Christmas is round the corner. Festive spirit is in the air mixed with cheerful and boisterous celebrations.
With days to go, market places are exploding with twinkling lights, the fragrance of cakes baking wherever one goes, Jingle Bells and Silent Night ring the air. Preparations are almost done and everybody is waiting to celebrate this year's Christmas with renewed vigour and warmth.
Actor Apoorva Bose is planning a unique celebration.
“I am involved with an NGO 'Meghadarshan'. So, this year I am going to kick off my Christmas celebration with them. We are organising a flower caravan that will travel across Kochi. This is our way of spreading happiness to people and letting them know the real purpose of Christmas. That's how I am going to make this Christmas, a special one. In fact, unlike previous years, this year all my cousins will be coming to my home and we are planning to have a wonderful get-together. Unfortunately, I am no expert in cooking so I won't be preparing anything special. But my grandmother is planning to bake a special plum cake," she says.
The tradition of decorating the Christmas tree with angels or stars often placed atop as well as pictures of a small crib is a must for Keralites.
“Glittering stars, golden or silver bells, candy sticks, tinsel, balloons and ornaments of glass, metal, wood and ceramic are the major decorating items in our Christmas tree. We have a Christmas tree in our courtyard and we start decorating it a week prior to Christmas. The most exciting part of Christmas is making the crib," says Ninny Sunny, a nutritionist from Kattapana.
She adds, “This year, new sets of cribs, comparatively larger than the usual ones, are available in the market, so we could make a crib in a much more realistic way. Moreover, celebrating with family this joyous moment is the most special, especially when we give and receive exciting gifts to siblings."
For Jacqueline Issac and her family, Christmas preparations began from the beginning of December itself.
“We start decorating the Christmas tree from the beginning of the month. This is the most important celebration for our family as it is the time for a joyous get-together with our siblings. On Christmas eve, we used to put gifts inside stockings for our children, a traditional way of giving gifts to our dear ones as when they come back from midnight mass and carol service, they would be super excited. In fact, until this year my children believed that a real Santa brought them gifts. Not just that, my friends and I are planning to bring out an exclusive women's group of carol singers and plan a surprise visit to every house," says Jacqueline.