“I used to notice that dad’s writing and Santa’s writing were similar. There were so many red flags, I can’t believe I didn’t catch him sooner,” said a flummoxed Sahana Peters while her parents smiled at each other.
The Mangalorean family who are celebrating Christmas in their home in Rahat Bagh, near Nagavarapalya, are missing one member, their oldest daughter Prajna, who had to be away for work. “Hectic schedules are a reason why
Christmas isn’t celebrated like before. People are so busy with work but we are trying desperately to hold onto all of it,” said Christopher Peters. Christmas carols are a fond memory for both Christopher and his wife Sharmila. He said, “While we enjoyed the best of singing, the ones in the choir were so tense. The churches used to practise so hard, it was a matter of pride for them.”
Old Christmas songs are played on a loop in the house during the season. “Sahana and Prajna hate it after a while,” he joked.
Though store bought chocolates are passed around the house, homemade still rules the roost. Sweet idlis and chicken curry are made on the day before, while mutton Biriyani is king on Christmas. "My mum makes amazing cakes," added Sahana.
Each member has a different reason to look forward to the festivities, but they all believe in spreading goodwill and hand out goodies to old age homes during the season. Sharmila said, “It is a time for us to show the love of Christ to others, spread hope and happiness around us. But things are commercial now. Santa and sales have taken centre stage.”
Sahana believes that the way communities embrace each other’s festivals is another reason to look forward to it.
She added, “When I was younger, dressing up for the plays was fun. And of course no matter how exhausted, we would always wake up in time for the gifts.”
“It is a time to reflect on how the year has gone by. Even if we have a little tiff with someone, we resolve it. Christmas is a time for new beginnings, to forget and forgive things in your past,” said Christopher.