December for us in the boarding was a month to look forward to, and in my case (including a few of our gang) volunteering to assist Master Gregory and his son with the crib was at the top of our agenda. After it was all set up and ready to be admired we felt a sense of pride in our role. And more than that, Master Gregory rewarded us. What I loved were the statues which I guess were made in Spain. All this was to inspire me later in my choices about what my future would be like. Like all the statues that St. Peters Church had in its possession they inspired awe.

Of course my other agenda included the short Christmas break with our families. My mother’s favorite was using old clean socks which she filled with all sorts of things that she could afford, but it never failed to excite my sister and myself. Then there was the making of sweets like cul culs, puffs, and my mothers hard toffee which required really strong teeth (she called the toffee, jawbreakers). In addition to that was the midnight mass and the inevitable visits to family and friends. Don’t forget the Christmas Tree organised by our parish in Ahmedabad.

As time passed and passed it gradually dawned on me (a bit late though) that in all the excitement, we forgot the birthday boy. Sure like most of us, it was a merry X’mas rather than a happy Christmas. Merriment played a big part during this season and am guilty as charged. I also realized that as India and its Christians imitated the British colonizers in their culture and customs we tend to forget whose birthday we are celebrating and what Christmas is really all about. Now I know and its not too late either. So let me wish all the christian alumni, a very joyful Christmas and may this Christmas bring new hope in your lives.

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