Has Christmas, and the way it is celebrated has changed over the years?
I grew up in India, where Christianity is a minority religion, they worship inordinary flat roofed buildings, which have nothing more than a cross to distinguish it as a church,
I do not have vivid memories of the festival being celebrated. Any religious festival in that country only varies in the place of worship. Otherwise they all have food and family as the main features of the day.. New clothes are bought, a huge feast is cooked, and families gather together to enjoy it. Muslims and Hindus go to their respective place of worship and the Christians do the same
As my father had spent his formative years in the UK, he remembered the festivities with affection. I was not much aware of the religious rituals, but do remember the wonderful dinner we had. As we always had a chef for cooking “English” food, and another for the local variety. Though the English cuisine only consisted of “white or brown stew, cutlets, and roast. Am not sure if the British menu was this limited on those days, or the cooks there have not bothered to learn anything else!
I do remember though a Christian family I knew as a child. They talked about the “miracle birth” the joy to mankind and the Virgin Mary. I will pretend to listen with interest, all the time aware of the heady smells coming from the kitchen. The lunch will be delicious and will consist of a roast and vegetables cooked in various sauces and on their own.
When I came to England, the first Christmas was a white one. I was fascinated by the snow, and was so moved by the hospitality of our neighbours and friends. The matron of my hospital gave us, the overseas students a present each, which she had paid for, because as she put it, we didn’t have any family here and we should be £looked after”.
I remember the streets being completely empty throughout the Christmas period, and people being generally friendly and n good spirits.
So I seen the way the festival is celebrated changed and changing, and my experience has been only over last thirty seven years or so.
So how about you? What were the Christmases of your childhood like? What do you remember/miss most?
With so many of us here from such varied backgrounds and ages, I think we have lot to find out.
So, do tell,please.