Saturday, December 25, 2010

Night before Christmas - Santa at home!

As most people living here in the US know, the frenetic holiday rush is at its peak today being the day before Christmas. Like most Indian immigrants, I am not traditionally into celebrating Christmas except for the seasonal trappings like Christmas tree, hanging stockings by the fireplace and wrapping gifts for kids. So the downside of this season being heavy traffic in strip malls, difficulty finding parking, malls getting suffocating, serpentine queues at check-out counters!!! Remember the song It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” ……I’d rather be singing…. …..“ It’s beginning to look a lot like …India” !! Well…….it only goes to show festival frenzy is the same everywhere!

The day before Christmas or the day before any popular festival for that matter is a day of heightened excitement and anticipation and in some ways better than the day of the festival itself!! For kids celebrating Christmas, it’s seems like the longest day of the year as 24 hours seem like a lifetime of waiting. Since it’s the day before Christmas ….…I cannot do without reading “The Night before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore and illustrated by Tasha Tudor. A Christmas Eve classic on Saint Nicholas, better known as Santa Claus who comes dashing through the snow on a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer and slides down the chimney to fill up the stockings with goodies for everyone…..when “not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse”! We grew up with Santa stories too….but the “chimney” part didn’t really seem to fit in as most houses in India don’t have one.

One book on what to expect the night before Christmas is “ The Polar Express” written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg. The Pyjama clad children get a dream ride of their life on the Polar Express taking them to the North Pole where they meet Santa and his elves. Abhay was more fascinated to hear about the train journey than the destination it pulled into….Santa’s workshop. Even when we took him for a photo op. with Santa in a local mall…..he wasn’t as eager as the other kids. It seemed as if it was more for his mom than for himself. Not to mention….my husband agrees!!! Well....I am after all …reliving my childhood!!!:-)

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