Christmas is the happiest time of the year for me from my childhood. When I was a kid we lived in a town called Palayamkottai , where Christians live in bunches and we can easily see Anglo Indians too. So its of no wonder that they dedicate the whole December month for Christmas and New Year eve.Though I had very lesser opportunity to celebrate the birth of Jesus, I love the festival like anything. (I was born a Hindu and living as a Christian, admire all religions). They used to dcorate the whole city with 'electric stars' and colorful serial bulbs. Every day Santas from various denominations make a visit to our houses along with the carol service. This will be the peak moment for everyone to get gifts and offer the carol service people some offering for the Church.
I always have a great feeling that it is a time of joy and for positive thinking towards the world. So I love to decorate our house with lights, wreath , Christmas tree and Nativity scene.
We set up the tree on the Thanks giving weekend. Then within a week finish all the decorations for the tree. Now the tree would be ready to shine by December 1st.
Then during the advent season (Nov 30 to Christmas), there will be special mass on Sundays to emphasize the true meaning of Christmas.
Advent, the beginning of the liturgical year in the Catholic Church, is a time of preparation for the coming of Christ at Christmas. It was historically known as "little Lent," because, like Lent, it is a time of repentance, with prayer, fasting, and Confession.
Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas, and therefore varies in length between 22 days and 28 days. (In 2008, it is 25 days long.) The following is a list of the dates of the Sundays and major feast days that fall in Advent 2008.
* First Sunday of Advent (Sunday, November 30, 2008)
* Feast of Saint Nicholas (Saturday, December 6, 2008)(Our Santa clause)
* Second Sunday of Advent (Sunday, December 7, 2008)
* Immaculate Conception (Monday, December 8, 2008) ,Holy Day of Obligation.
* Our Lady of Guadalupe (Friday, December 12, 2008)
* Feast of Saint Lucy (Saturday, December 13, 2008)
* Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday) (Sunday, December 14, 2008)
* Fourth Sunday of Advent (Sunday, December 21, 2008)
* Christmas Eve (Wednesday, December 24, 2008)
* Christmas (Thursday, December 25, 2008), Holy Day of Obligation.
On the night before Christmas (or 3 days before) we set up a 'nativity scene ' depicting the birth of Jesus. On 24th evening, before attending the Christmas mass we visit our friends and distribute snacks and sweets.
Then by 8 PM (in India at 12 midnight) after dinner, we attend the special mass for Christmas . The mass ends by receiving holy communion and kissing the 'Infant Jesus'
The next day ,that is the Christmas day will be the Biriyani making day for me while my prince charming stretching himself before the TV:)
This is how we celebrate Christmas.
This is the wreath I made for our door decoration.
This is the tree on the first week. The top ornament denotes Jesus Christ , while other ornaments denote the members of the holy family. This tree is otherwise called a Jesse tree or a family tree. I will post the entire setup along with 'nativity scene' soon.
My regular readers may know that i make a trial run before every special dish. Likewise , while searching for a fruit cake I got Chams, Christmas fruit cake and it turned out to be a great success.
Thanks Cham. (I used 1/2 cup olive oil instead of butter. This is the only one variation and my cake got baked in 55 minutes at 350 deg...a gas operated oven). This is a very very good recipe and I have never got such a nice cake before.So I have planned to do this a lot.
Let's celebrate the Christmas feast event at Purva's place also.