Christmas is a festival I’ve celebrated from the time I was a little girl. I’m not Christian but we celebrated each and every festival with equal fervour at our household. My parents would fill up stockings with whatever they could afford – pencils, toys and candy. As children we would look forward to Christmas Day. The house would reverberate with excited squeals of children opening presents.

Over the years, I grown older, changed cities, even continents. But the thrill remains undiluted. Putting up the tree, decorating it with Christmas baubles and accessories. Getting presents for everyone. Hearing excited squeals when others open their presents. In fact this year, we decided to extend the circle of happiness. We put up a tree in office and it was the best thing ever. Everyone pitched in and we had a sumptuous lunch of chicken biryani and vegetable pulao afterwards to celebrate. It was our very own version of the festival.

That’s when I realized something. Christmas, or any other festival for that matter, isn’t about putting up trees, making rangoli or giving people presents. It is much more than that. It is about the sense of belonging. Everyone coming together (irrespective of their faith or ideologies) to celebrate and be together.

That sense of belongingness.

In fact, when I was leaving for home the very same evening, I noticed the front door to our office. A colleague had put up a Merry Christmas decoration right below Goddess Lakshmi’s feet (from the Diwali celebrations). It had been done unwittingly but It looked beautiful and quite natural. I think we will leave them hanging for the whole year now. Maybe even longer.

What do you think?

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