Presents are wrapped and Santa Claus has checked his list twice – It’s finally Christmas. Today, families come together to celebrate the nativity of Jesus with food, wine and dance. Year after year the day is looked forward to in anticipation, but memories of Christmas can never be forgotten. As the world comes together to celebrate the joyous occasion, NT BUZZ speaks to few people who share their Christmas memories.
“When I look back at my childhood, I think every Christmas was fun-filled and laden with Christmas gifts from Santa Claus and sweets till I could eat no more. As an adult I had not just one but twenty one beautiful Christmas days each better than the other because for 21 years I had a live Santa Claus that gave me joy, peace and fun and his second name was Matanhy. Yes, the most blessed and fun filled Christmas’ for me were those I spent in the company of my husband Matanhy.” -Alina Saldanha, Environment Minister
“Raised in India, we have always heard about a White Christmas. So when I experienced it for the first time, I felt I was inside a Christmas card. Zermatt, in Switzerland, is so magical at Christmas time. Up in the Alps, this tiny town is the epitome of Christmas. The shop windows are magical, the pine trees are snow laden but lit with fairy lights, the snow is wonderfully white and one can actually hear bells jingle. The latter is because there are only sleighs and horse carriages with tinkling bells. Cars are not allowed in Zermatt. I recall a walk in the moonlight. There was an ice bar at the edge of the mountain that served warm spiced wine. The best was the ‘silence’ of soft snowflakes whispering to the ground. The blue white snow seemed to go on for miles with the majestic Matterhorn mountain (like on the Toblerone chocolate wrapping) in the distance. Now add a star studded sky. This is truly Christmas!” -Wendell Rodricks, Fashion designer and author
“My best Christmas memories are associated with the year I got elected as the corporator of ward no 11 of the Corporation of the City of Panaji. After we attended the midnight mass at Don Bosco, several of my friends, and supporters came over to my house to have Christmas cake, sweets and coffee. The morning was spent visiting people from my ward and instead of the traditional Christmas lunch at home with my family, I ended up having a grand lunch in my vaddo organised by my neighbours and well-wishers. In the evening the festivities continued at home with more friends and supporters dropping in to wish me. Definitely Christmas 2011 will remain etched in my memory as one of my most memorable Christmas celebrations ever. I have made it a point to spend time with the people from my ward on Christmas every year, and the love and goodwill I share with them count among my favourite memories.” -Kabir Pinto Makhija, Deputy Mayor – Corporation of City of Panaji
“Christmas always brings in good memories. However, this year of course Christmas will be celebrated, but it will be in remembering and toasting to Aaron D’Mello, who passed away few months ago. Aaron was my sister’s fiancé and we had the pleasure of meeting him exactly a year ago on Christmas day. We will miss him terribly recollecting good and not so old memories shared with him. Christmas this year will be different without him. It is also only this time of the year that the four sisters come together for a family lunch with our parents.” -Dawn Mortimer, Model
“Memories of Christmas have to be about our big fat family. Normally we have this tradition, year after year of get together for a meal prepared by all the aunts. It’s also fun as we also make sweets three to four days in advance. It’s not just about making sweets but the fun and joy we have while doing the sweets. It’s a wonderful moment to see our family of about thirty people come together. What I vividly remember is how as a young girl, like many other children really believed in the Santa Claus tale. However, on Christmas eve, I caught my dad hiding gifts under the Christmas tree and was so shattered. He tried his best by making up some other story to pacify me.” -Gail D’Silva, Model