My School and Christmas

I completed my schooling from a convent school in Delhi and my school like every other convent had a catholic church within the campus. As I recollect, everything about Holy Child Auxilium was welcoming & grand.The school assembly was an everyday affair as we involuntarily mumbled through our daily rituals of the morning prayers, Oh Father in Heaven must be really chuffed with us as we sang hymns and rhymes unassumingly with our half lidded eyes.The assembly would invariably end with the ‘Thought For The Day’ by our beloved Reverent Sisters a.k.a Nuns.

I remember, one of my favourite subjects in school was Moral Science. Firstly, because there was not much of written classwork or homework given on this subject . Secondly because it spoke about the good positive virtues one ought to have in ones life. And lastly, it was taught by one of my favourite Sisters, Sister Maria. She taught us how we must grow up to be kind, caring, humble, giving and forgiving human beings. To all these virtuous adjectives that I stumbled upon in this class, I vowed to myself that they shall be a part of me as I grow up. I wanted to posses all these qualities and become a Good-Nun one day ! Hee Haw ! Yes, I was so much in awe of my nuns and their charisma that I dreamt of become a nun and run a church or a convent one day. Don’t know why, but I felt I was born to be a nun. Period. My career was decided. And so, I never missed my moral science lessons while secretly wondering and wishing for a peek of what lies underneath the white coif our nuns wore, always wondering if they had long hair tied up in a chignon or short hair or any hair at all ! I would also secretly imagine myself wearing it one day and giving little children some gyan holding the precious mike.

Apparently, my best friend in school was a catholic christian and she used to attend the catholic classes while the other non catholics like me attended the moral science class and even though I loved my moral science classes but still the budding nun in me was always curious to know what went on in a catholic-class and why they were more privileged to be taken to the church more often than us!  I had my doubts and assumed that being a Catholic would be a sure shot way to become a nun! I was so in love with the last names that Christians had like D’costa, D’souza , Martin ,Thomas ,Lopez, Lewis, Gomez, Carlos – they seem to be so trendy and happening than just a plain Sharma tag. I even picked on a few to choose from just in case my father agrees that I can change my last name. What innocence you see !  So gathering all my courage to share my thoughts of changing my religion and my ambition to become a nun, I sat down to discuss all this with my father one day. At the end of my stammering one sided conversation he just smiled, and without giving me a yes or a no, he kissed my forehead and left my room. My heart and dreams for my future all sank like the titanic, or so I thought. The following day my father gave me a framed picture of Jesus. Did that meant we were converting ?? I was thrilled, I asked mom if she would allow me to place that frame in her little temple space that she had created in her room. On that grand shelf sat all the Gods she believed in from Krishna, Durga, Ganpati, Gurunanak and now the God I had faith in adorned that shelf too. I even taught my mom the trinitarian formula prayer and we often prayed together. As years rolled by my desire to be a nun and convert slowly left me. Now when I look back, it all seemed so silly. I am thankful to my fathers patience with me and his silence and pacifism has taught me a lot. He never gave me a clear yes or a no for many of my silly request, letting me on my own arrive at conclusions and now I understand the reason behind his silence.

So what if I couldn’t become a Nun…I am glad I am a Super-Mum not less than a nun !

That was the impact of my Auxilium on me. Whilst my school made me understand the special place of my family in my life, it also taught me to embrace the good values & morals each culture and religion had to offer. And undoubtably, the best month in school was December as Christmas was celebrated with much fanfare and grandeur, with skits, dances, tuck shops and a trip to the Old Age Home.Each class would put up a small Xmas tree fully loaded with bells, balls, stars et al. Our very own Princy (Respected Principal) announced a prize for the best decorated class before the winter break. This festival brought with it the charm of Giving, Sharing and Loving.

No wonder this festival holds a special place in my heart.The essence & the spirit of Christmas is something I have grown up with.The singing of the carols and the sound of the bells from the churches still give me goosebumps. I still remember all my morning prayers and now as an adult understand the true meaning of each prayer. I often find myself humming during this time of the year songs like ” Merry Christmas Polka” by Jim Reeves, a song I danced on during one the Christmas celebrations in school. Though, not a Christian, but this is my festival too and I feel the onus is on me to let my children feel & experience the spirit this festival has to offer.

So every year we put up an Xmas tree 🌲 Decorate it with all the gusto and enthusiasm.Buy presents for each other and pretend Santa still exists.Share stories and put on some Christmas music.Watch the trending Christmas movies while gorging on the Rum & Plum cakes from our favourite gâteau shops, accompanied by a cup of hot chocolate for the kids and a glass of Jacob creek for us.

So, let us cheers to the Spirit of Christmas and pass on the magic of this festival to our kids and to the poor kids at the signals who sell those red Santa caps and illuminated reindeer horns oblivious to the significance of the festival or. We have been pretending to be Santa for our kids on every Christmas, so why not be the Santa to at least one poor child each year.

The year is coming to a close, another year gone, what have you done this year ? Let’s come alive and be Loving-Giving-Forgiving, and keep spreading the cheer among our little growing angels, so that they continue to make good beautiful memories and pass the cheer on to this beautiful world.

Hope you all have a Wonderful Insightful Healthy and Peaceful year ahead!

6 thoughts on “My School and Christmas

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  1. Hello Preeti, it is so wonderful to know you. I love your style of writing and I am totally enthralled. It is so lovely to see how you are taking steps in this beautiful journey! Thank you so much for following my blog. But I am more thankful for the fact that you write from the heart and every line is pleasing to read! I am waiting for more and more posts from you. Have a great week, and stay happy!

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  2. I really enjoyed your post. And I relate to it as well. I never went to a Catholic school or church when I was young but I read a lot of stories and watched movies about the Catholic nuns and Catholic saints. I also felt that I was supposed to be a nun. It was confusing since I wasn’t Catholic, I was a Christian in a Protestant church. As my spiritual path progressed it led me to a very unlikely place. I have been a devotee of Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi) since 1989 and have gone to her ashram in India almost every year since then. My adult children both live there now, and have for some time.

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    1. Its so nice to hear that Karuna. My school has had a great impact on me. I wish I could revisit that life.. Though I couldn’t be a Nun, but I believe I have all the wisdom and grace. I have realised that you need not be a nun to do good or be good or be considered good. Goodness should come naturally to you ..its right within all of us..we just need to hear the right Voice!!

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      1. I agree with you. And it doesn’t take being a nun to make your spiritual path the center of your life. Spiritual path in whatever direction your personal path takes you. I was very impressed with how your parents handled the situation when you were young.

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