December, the month of love, peace and joy! It’s that time of year again, when opalescently lit Christmas trees add just a trace of magic in the air. A spell, everyone looks forward to spend with loved ones, planning to make it the perfect Christmas yet. I guess we are too facile in fathoming the magic and perfection of Christmas to realize that the greatest gift of Christmas – ‘Love’, already makes Christmas perfect. We lose sight and lose out on having the perfect Christmas while we get busy planning the perfect Christmas.
I remember, came December 1st, I was feeling real down and gloomy, thoughts of spending Christmas away from home was depressing. The few friends I have in the city were busy planning, shopping and booking their tickets to go home. Watching their flurry of activities made me even more depressed and to elevate myself from the pits, I started watching Christmas videos on Youtube and kept playing ‘Have yourself a merry little Christmas’ over and over for myself, much to my flatmate’s displeasure because then, she got reminiscent of many Christmases spend home, singing carols and sitting around blazing bonfires that diffused the winter nights chill for a while. At that moment, the fact she would be home for Christmas didn’t dispel the dolor we were seemingly getting ourselves into. We decided it was a wretched idea listening to Christmas songs and drifted on to stories of Christmas we remembered the most and for a while, like excited kids on getting their favourite toys at Christmas, reliving the happy days brought back so many warm memories that somehow stays deeply embedded somewhere in us even though years have passed by.
I was worried then, what Christmas would be like this year for me and I carried my dread to the extent of updating my facebook status, announcing to the world, what a bleak and blue Christmas it was going to be for me. Sometimes self pity can drive us to be irrational and I was decided until some days ago, ‘Christmas was going to be terrible for me.’
A few evenings ago, on my way home from work, I saw the homeless wearing threadbare clothes, huddling and warming themselves around a small fire they had managed to make, while I was bundled up in layers of warm clothes, still wanting warmth and when I reached, it would be to the warm confines of the place that is home to me with a roof over my head. I didn’t fail to notice the children, the young and the elderly trying to sleep on thin mattresses of cardboard paper, rolled up in thin blankets in the biting cold, foggy weather under the shelter of Nizammudin flyover. It was a picture I didn’t forget in a hurry, a painful scene that still nags me. How do they even survive? Not much I can do but in the spirit of Christmas I resolved not turn away from those I could help. If I don’t reach out in love, I know the meaning of Christmas is lost in me even though they won’t understand what the fuss is all about. After all, isn’t Christmas a lesson in ‘love, sacrifice and peace to all mankind?’
I look at my life and say, ‘how blessed and how beautiful!’ It took the homeless to make me realize how traditionally accustomed we have become in celebrating Christmas. Paraphrasing a friend who left a comment on my Facebook status, Christmas is just a date but it lives on everyday as long as we have Jesus in our lives and though I won’t be home for Christmas, it won’t be as wretched as I had set out to think. Christmas is two days away and I’m filled with so much joy that I won’t miss not spending it with my dear ones. Love, joy and peace to all and a very Merry Christmas!!