The third year without my daughters at Christmas was beginning to take a toll on us. All this was compounded by many problems that seemed to have wiped away my contagious smile. Gloom was setting in.
It was Christmas and my birthday too. My spouse put up innumerable lights and stars in the house to cheer us. He dressed up as Santa, and we both went out into the street and played ‘Ring the Candy’ games with the street kids. His Ho Ho Ho and our free flow of goodies warmed everyone who passed by.
I also cooked up a feast and invited all those who work for us to eat at the table with us. I taught them how to give by playing ‘Secret Santa’ in which everyone had to get a present worth 100 rupees only. These were exchanged later, and the surprise element filled them with joy.
I missed my daughters and my beautiful home with them in it. But as we spent more time with the kids, their joy and comments – ‘aaj to maza aa gaya’ – filled us with more joy.
My brooding was ultimately replaced with compassion as a granddad came up to me and told me about how he had lost his daughter during childbirth just a few days ago. In his arms was his first toddler grandchild. The man looked up at Santa. He wanted Santa to carry the child and also take pictures.
Nature shows how people are facing unforeseen situations. It gave me strength and filled me with more power to give back.
Christmas is love and I am happy we still have it in us to love.
Never let Grinch steal Christmas!
~ Manjula Om Bains