Together in harmony

Together in harmony

Beyond the external trimmings of buntings and Santa, dinners and wine, at its core, Christmas evokes feelings of togetherness, writes Dorothy Victor


They have been at it for several years now. My two kids would quarrel and argue, pick at each other and poke fun at one another all year through. Yet, at Christmas time they are thick as thieves as they jointly take the responsibility of putting up and decorating the Christmas tree.

Though they are now grown up and are young adults, they were still small when we got our first Christmas tree. Little as they were then, they could not wholly fathom the mechanism of building the detachable tree all at once. However, they got the hang of it in no time. And to this day it has been an annual together-time for them as they build and decorate the tree together. The whole task of removing the parts from the box and building and decorating the tree would run into a couple of days. They would work in tandem at getting all the branches from the box and carefully placing them one by one on either side of the main bark. They had an amazing sense of understanding as to who would concentrate on the various aspects of putting the tree together. Once the tree was up, then the next task was to make it all colourful and gorgeous. So the decorations would start.

Tinsels, coloured ribbons, candy sticks, glittering ornaments, fairy dolls and silver stars, to name a few would be gingerly added to the branches. Together they would chat and laugh while one decoration after another found its place neatly and systematically. Once done, they would be elated and give a spontaneous high-five. “Mummy, look at our tree. It was just an ordinary tree when we took it out of the box. But we made it into a fairy, magic and prettiest tree in the whole world,” my daughter would say with pride and delight. “And we did it together, daddy, “my son would join in with a smirk to get back on us for correcting their quarrels. Soon the entire decoration would be complete with serial lighting doing the final touch. The tree then took the centre stage in our drawing room and would remain there for the entire three weeks of the Christmas season, standing tall as a testament of warmth and love.

All along I have watched with bewilderment and wondered how a simple practice of building a tree in symbolism of a faith held dear, could bring together two individuals who until that time were at loggerheads with one another. For, unknown to them, I can say that the whole affair of putting up a Christmas tree has taught my children over the years the joy in harmony and working together. It has brought to the surface the very idea that at Christmas all humanity feels close with God and to one another. It has reiterated that beyond the external trimmings of buntings and Santa, dinners and wine, at its core, Christmas evokes feelings of togetherness and goodwill; it is a time for family and friends; it is a season of good tidings and joy; it is a reminder that just as 2,000 years ago a little baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger cheered up the bleak night of the little town of Bethlehem, Christmas is a time when like children, we set aside grudges and come together in warmth. Differences are dissolved and a magical path to harmony and togetherness is discovered. As Emily Matthews put it, “From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another; the warmth and joy of Christmas, brings us closer to each other.”