28 December, 2020
The last of this pandemic year’s festival coming up this week. The world over, people are gearing up to celebrate Christmas, and despite the gloom of the Coronavirus, there is still some cheer in the air. As if to remind us not to let down our guards, there is a new, more infectious strain of the virus found in the UK. As a result, many countries, including India, have stopped all flights to and from the UK till 31st Dec 2020. There is a lockdown in the UK and a few other European nations as well.
In India, though, the virus scenario looks promising, with the numbers coming down. But there are talks of a second wave, that could be more impactful, and hence, we must safely celebrate Christmas. It is best to avoid crowds and parties, and maybe even better attend an online or a drive-in mass rather than one in a church. This is how we have celebrated most of our festivals this year, so it is nothing new. But, we have to do what we can, to keep the traditions alive, celebrate the festival, and ring in the Christmas spirit; in the hope that the New Year will certainly bring in hope and cheer. After all, the vaccine is almost here, and with a little care, and patience, we will be able to put the pandemic behind us.
Whether big or small, the Christmas cheer sets in when you set up a Christmas tree in your living room. So, take out your tree (if it is a reusable one), dust it, and put it up with the decorations. You could also try a hand at creating a tree by referring to some YouTube links. This could also help you get creative and help you out in the right mood. It is not just the tree, but you could also create the decorations as well. Of course, you could also order all the stuff online, if you prefer so.
Find a nice corner in the living room, or a tabletop, depending on the size of your Christmas tree. Hang up the decorations, use some cotton to create the snow effect, and then brighten it up with some LED lights for the night effect. You may also wrap up some gifts for the family members and leave it at the bottom. Even some fake gift boxes to create the effect will brighten the overall look of the Christmas tree. Once done, share the pics with family and friends, or you could do your video calls next to the tree to have some comfy and cheerful conversations with them. You could, just for fun and a dash of colour, put on the Santa cap for your calls to make it more cheerful.
Apart from all this, make sure that you hang a Christmas star outside your house, or in the balcony, or on your Christmas tree. There are also multi-shaped lanterns that you can purchase to brighten up space. Some families traditionally create the crib as well. This could involve some time and patience, but the effort is well worth it, to recreate the Lord Jesus's birth scene.
Some families follow the tradition of Christmas lunch after the midnight church mass and a few others have Christmas dinners. Whichever you follow, plan the menu, and order in the items well before. Ensure that you either bake a Christmas cake or purchase one for the occasion. You could choose from the traditional Indian Christmas dishes of roast chicken/turkey/duck, biriyani, stew, vindaloo, etc. The options range from pudding, custard, bebinca, gulab jamun, kheer, tarts or pies, and cookies for dessert. Seafood is also a common menu item in many parts of India for Christmas. Of course, not to forget that bottle of wine, for the toast as well as the health!
While we may be confined to our homes, and need to curb on the socialising, it need not curb our Christmas spirits. Make the best out of the options available, and have a safe, happy and merry Christmas. Plan, start the preparations and ring in the cheer and maintain it through the New Year.
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