After all the baking and finding empty cookie jars ( my monsters ate them all),,buying gifts and hiding them and then trying to remember where I hid them. Here I am..On a very hot and still summer day..ready to celebrate Christmas.
Christmas for me personally was not Santa or the Christmas tree. It was about hiding behind the curtains in the darkness and listening to the carollers who start singing nicely and then it progress to shaking the gate and banging the drum hoping the noise would wake up the sleeping souls, so they could collect money/cake! I am sure they knew we were not sleeping!
Amma didn’t want to bake fruit cake ( too expensive, fruits and alcohol). She baked 123 cake. Half the time the power supply failed half way through the baking process and the other half time Amma used very old baking powder or even barley powder instead of baking powder. So the real surprise of the Christmas was how the cake turned out. Hard as a rock cake was still better than no cake and my sisters and I ate every bit of the cake Amma baked. Sometimes family friends brought fruit cake as gifts. Moist cake covered with hard icing and beautiful iced flowers and we fought to get the biggest piece.
When my father was home, he spend a lot of money on fire crackers. I loved the poothiri the best..and the smell of gun powder..I was with my grandmother one Christmas and I begged and pleaded with her to buy me fire crackers. She did. She send the farmhand to buy me 3 ola padakkam. Up until then I wasn’t even allowed to touch a fire cracker ( safety) and there I was, 6 years old and having to light the cracker and then toss it before it exploded in my hand. The first few times I tossed the cracker before it even lit and my grandmother held my hand and guided me.. Once I got a hang of the timing, I wanted more and my grandmother gave me “that” look and I knew it was time to shut up. I don’t think Ammachi was trying to teach me to be self sufficient..but that one instance of learning to light and throw the firecracker taught me a lot of things..that I could do anything if I really set my mind to it, even if others tell me that it isn’t safe/right etc.
I would have loved a Christmas with a 123 cake, crackers and carollers..the Christmas of my childhood..
Today children and I will celebrate Christmas eve. Typical Aussie seafood dinner. There is also Christmas fruit cake.
My children think firecrackers is all about laser light display ! they think burning crackers is not environmentally friendly and waste of money..not to mention the unnecessary noise !
They don’t understand why one must go from house to house and sing songs about White Christmas that too in a tropical country. It is so lame, they say.
But tonight my children and I, we will share another Christmas together..much as I can’t give them a Christmas of my childhood, I can still give them all my love and new memories..Isn’t that what it is all about?
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas.
We are leaving for annual Christmas holidays on 27th. Be back on 16th Jan !
Wishing you all a very happy new year.