23rd December… 2 more days for Christmas. But my house is not yet ready for Christmas. Some repairs and restorations took place after Cyclone Vardah. Spring cleaning is on now. I’m yet to pull down the stored decorations, lights, nativity crib, etc. So it still doesn’t look like Christmas at home. But seeing the pictures of the celebrations that has started in my housing complex and the wishes that have started pouring in and floating around, the Yuletide spirit is seeping in and I’m rearing to pull out all the decorations.
Are you already infected with the Christmas spirit? This is one of the most looked-forward-to festival in the whole world and not just by Christians. This is the time for gifting, for sharing, for spending time with family and loved ones, for wearing new clothes, for feasting, for wine, for cakes, for midnight mass, for kissing your loved ones under the mistletoe, etc.
From childhood this was my favourite festival. Hot idlis with mutton kuruma after midnight mass was to die for. And the wine and the dance and the girls and the …..hmmm! A late lazy breakfast was followed by a sumptuous lunch with biriyani as the central course. The lunch table was laden with food and could feed over two dozen people at any given point of time. The house was filled with friends and family either resident or visiting. It was a whirlwind of smiles, laughs, hugs, wishes, presents and love.
In all this the small figure of baby Jesus in the creatively done up nativity scene was still a major draw and the first place to go to for visitors. Each year we would do it in a different theme. For many years we used to decorate it with grass grown from wheat or mustard seeds. The kings, sheep and the shepherds were the ones on the grass. Some years we will have a hut to house Jesus, Mary, Joseph, two cows and a donkey with Archangel Gabriel perched on its roof. Some years it will be a rocky cave. A couple of years it was snow created by cotton wool.
I miss all those little pleasures we had while growing up. My children are unfortunately not experiencing Christmas the way we used to experience it. And it’s truly a loss which they cannot even comprehend.
The coming of Jesus is so filled with deep meaning that it is now lost in the commercialisation of this festival. It marks the end of the separation of God and man and uniquely bonded man with God through Jesus. We have been incepted with the Divine DNA after His coming and man can raise himself up to his divine nature and drop the animal within him. We now possess the ability to rise ourselves higher than our crass earthly needs that the body was born with. This conflict between our divine yearnings and our earthly needs is the dance of life that we live on a daily basis. Who wins or who loses determines the quality of our life and our destiny.
Look within you. Be aware of this internal tussle. This season, let the divine rule within you and see how blissful life can be when you have Him as your Lord!
Thank you dear Lord for ruling over my thoughts, my emotions and my life. I surrender to thee and will gladly do thy will.