Another year…another Christmas morning! As I sit here enjoying the serenity around me, I feel nostalgic. Christmas is one of those days I feel nostalgic about. It was one of my favorite days of the year as a child. Growing up in India, Christmas day meant a lot of things to me. I woke up in the morning to the warm hug and kiss from my dad, and in just a few hours I could wear that new attire that has been sitting in the shelf for the last month or so. As a child in India, we never exchanged gifts on Christmas. It never really mattered because I got chocolates and I got to shake hands with Mr. Claus
Santa Claus, I have had a secret crush on him for a long time now. As a child I wanted him to be my grandfather. Who wouldn’t? He would be awesome to hug and cuddle up with…he was my perfect grandfather. Thank goodness, bad Santa did not exist back then! He embodied the spirit of Christmas to me. Every Christmas we went to the busiest street in Bangalore where we got to meet Santa Claus. Stores were decorated, and Santa welcomed us. We did not go into the stores. Children went and shook hands with Santa, wished him Merry Christmas and we got our candy. It was no cheap candy…there were Cadbury bars, Nestle bars and other expensive candy. It was Halloween minus the costumes. This is why Santa and Christmas was awesome!
Every Christmas morning I wake up missing my dad and his childlike exuberance. His dimpled smile that welcomed me for years is truly missed. Each Christmas morning I look at his picture and imagine his warm hug. As a child, Christmas was fun. But in those small moments, we were taught the essence of Christmas. It was about being thankful; thankful for the love we have around us, being thankful for the simple pleasures in life- like warm hugs and kisses, which mean more than any present.
Last year during May/June as we were driving down the street in America, I saw a guy dressed as Santa on a motorcycle. My brain did not wonder why Santa was seen in summer- did not matter to my heart. It swirled back to those days in India and I jumped up screaming “Santa!!”. My husband was in splits laughing. I guess I finally came out of the closet as a Santa lover! It did not matter how old I was…at that moment I was the child growing up in India.
I am sure things have changed in India. Christmas might not be the same as it was 15-20 years back. Yet, if Santa asked me what I wanted this Christmas, I would want to go back home. I want to wake up in that familiar warmth again which we said was cold…Phewww!!!I want to feel the warm hug of my dad again. I want to walk down those familiar lanes and feel the spirit of Christmas again where simplicity was the essence of life.
Enjoy your day with you and yours! Merry Christmas!