City youth energised by Yuletide spirit

Festive Fervour

The beginning of December is another time to celebrate, the month follows the charming and endearing story of Christmas by the youth organising wonderful events that unfold in various parts of Delhi.

Holding many wrapped gifts in her hands, Akshita Sood was almost floating in a pool of balloons with secret presents being exchanged in the capital as part of the ‘Gratitude Drive.’ This drive is an event celebrating the ‘cause’ the good old Santa Claus believes in--‘peace, goodwill, brotherhood and charity’.

Sood, 23, says “Dee Positive has been organising this drive for the past four years,” adding, “ we give small memorable gifts to those who are mostly invisible or unappreciated in society. The best Christmas tradition of all is showing gratitude towards one another, that’s what Santa believes in.”

Sood does not have to be a Christian to celebrate the cause of Santa Claus, a well-loved imaginary figure who was probably created to instil beliefs of ‘charity and
harmony’ in people.

“At this get together the main ceremony is about wrapping gifts that these children and teenagers bring. After the ceremony we eat together. This goes on till Christmas Eve. After this, we give these gifts to some autowallahs, rickshaw pullers, cops or tailors, people who are often taken for granted by society. But I would like to add this is not charity, it is a gratitude drive,” adds Sood.

Rashmi Lugun standing amongst a large crowd singing ‘Silent Night’ at the Holy Rosary Church at GTB Nagar says, “This is carol practice. We will perform these carols tonight in the church. This goes on till Christmas Eve (December 24).”

Lugun tells us how she and her friends have decided to share the spirit of Christmas through decorating the Church, Christmas tree and going to her friends’ home
to sing carols.

“We do this every year, we wake up early morning to send our doughs to the bakery and by evening we get our cakes ready. We decorate our houses with colourful paper hangings and also lights. We will also go to Sadar Bazaar for more shopping,”
says Lugun.

David Xalxo, one of the organisers of a Flash Mob that happened in Select Citywalk on 18 December, where “at least 100 people took part in singing carols and moving to the rhythm together.”

Xalxo says, “Different wards in the parish are involved in doing different things. Our parish this time also collected some money by singing carols from which we bought gifts for the poor people living outside our church and also for rickshaw pullers and others.” “The idea is that while we wait for Christ’s birth, we share our joy with more and more people,” adds Xalxo.”

To share joy and essence of Christmas, Xalxo and his friends visit orphanages, old age homes and hospitals where they enact various excerpts from the story of Christ’s life. These include stories of Christ’s birth, crucifixion and resurrection after which they distribute food and cakes amongst all.

Xalxo also says, “We keep a fast from 1 December, and during this time period of fasting we try to control our obsessions and temptations. It’s like a preparation for Christ’s birth.”

Christian youth groups around the city are busy preparing for Christmas, sharing the meaning of Christmas which is all about “peace on earth, goodwill towards men”, and doing their bit to ensure that the lowly and marginalised are not forgotten during this happy time.

“We’ve come to acknowledge that lots of people celebrate Christmas in lots of different ways. Some ways are not only to please God but to please your fellow citizens around you as the main teaching of Christmas is to take time out to spread love, peace and brotherhood,” says Xalxo.

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