Christmas Candid: ‘Soon it will be Christmas day’
Christmas comes really early to our home. We bring in this merry season by preparing for the Mass on Christmas morning. My mom, Daphne, conducts the choir at the Shrine of Don Bosco, Panaji, and as we prepare for the service, there is a constant hum of favourite carols at the back of our minds. Practicing weekly with the choir for months ahead of the day really fills the air with joy.
Decorating the home and Christmas tree as well as coming up with new ideas to make the crib each year, adds to the festivities. Making sweets has always been a norm at our place, instead of the store-bought ones. The kitchen has a heavenly aroma, and even more heartwarming is the scene where the elders and both grandmothers teach my daughter, Rebecca, how to prepare the traditional Christmas sweets of kulkuls, bebinca, perad, dodol, not forgetting the rich fruit cake etc.
Our Christmas would not be complete without a visit to an old age home or children’s home. Volunteering with an NGO is the way to go, as well as donating something to a good cause, such as Christmas Hampers for the poor. It’s wonderful to see their faces shine as we spend some time with them; give them a few gifts and snacks. Truly, this is what the Spirit of Christmas is all about.
Christmas day celebrations are festive and bustling with activity. After attending the church services, there is a jolly exchange of wishes and sweets with the neighbours. Then it’s back home to put the finishing touches on an elaborate meal of traditional dishes like Cafreal, Sorpotel and Sanas, Sausage Pulao, Xacuti, Apa de Camarao and many such delicacies that fill the table. In the days gone by, we would attend the traditional Christmas dance which was a lot of fun, but now we prefer to sit by the piano and sing carols together or play Christmas games with the family.
We wind up the evening with a cup of eggnog and savour the sweets. The warm glow from the crib reminds us how blessed we are to have a wonderful Saviour in our midst and this fills our hearts with hope, peace and joy.
– Martina Sequeira e Souza, Singer, songwriter