Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Puppy Called Hope (Letters to Parth - 11)

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love – time is eternity. 

Dear Hardyk Babu, My angel and my snowman, my candy cane and my plumcake,

I am sure you have been a good boy this year, and that Santa will be very happy with you. I know Santa is happy with me, since he has given me the strength to go through all that I have been through in these last few years and has promised me the most glorious new year ever.

Like almost everything else in life, for every person who believes in Christmas, there are two that don’t. Fortunately, that is not enough to take the air out of this wonderful festival, and the world over, people get ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25 as the Christ Mass. The festive season that starts with Thanksgiving (a harvest festival that was reworked to give thanks for the protection of the European colonizers of North America) reaches its “spiritual” height with Christmas and then climaxes over the new year’s celebrations.

In the modern world, where we consider ourselves a liberated and secular society, all people celebrate Christmas with equal fervour, and it has become one of the major festivals of our times. I grew up with Christmas being one time that our entire family would get together, I would be home for the winter break from school, and all my cousins and aunts and uncles would be in town too. As most of my exposure centred around art and literature that referred to a Christian understanding of life and morality, I was familiar with the idea. I knew that it was the birthday of Jesus Christ (or so I was told, since there is a very large body of knowledge to suggest otherwise), and that Santa was not a misspelling of Satan, but someone who brought gifts to kids who had been more or less good most of the year. I would hang up my sock at the head of my bed every Christmas eve and would find it filled with gifts the next morning. It was not until I was a teenager that I stopped hanging a sock up. Over the last few years though, I have again started hanging my sock up every Christmas, and in his own way, Santa has been filling it up too.


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