The tradition of Christmas trees, which commenced thousands of years ago, have been revived year after year by Christians all over the world as the tree has gained the status of a symbol; a symbol of an existing relationship between homo sapiens and the Almighty. While information about when fir trees, that were used by Romans in temples to celebrate the festival of Saturnalia, became the traditional Christmas tree is unknown, there is sufficient evidence that ‘Brothers of Blackheads’ had used the fir trees as Christmas trees in the town squares of the cities of Tallina and Riga in 1441 and 1510. In modern days, people put up Xmas trees in their homes not because they attach any significance to the tree’s history but as a ritual. A ritual that is the result of commercialisation, children’s expectations of finding Xmas presents under the tree and their belief in Santa Claus.
Bogged by shocking electricity bills that ran to the tune of $1400 approximately, I was reluctant to put up a Christmas tree and decorate it with lights. What began as an attempt to please my enthusiastic teenage son, provided me soul satisfaction when I had finished decorating the tree. Mental exhaustion was replaced by a curious delight, which radiated on my face. When my son, who had banished himself to his room to become a slave of technology by bartering his soul to XBOX One, unintentionally stepped out of his room to quench his thirst saw the fully decorated tree, his face lit up with wicked glee. My efforts were instantaneously rewarded and I began to feel the spirit of Christmas well up inside me.
Consciously or unconsciously, we are all drawn by the magic of Christmas on the eve because it is a time to court generosity. For most, it is a time of togetherness with friends and family gathering under one roof as the bustling modern lifestyle is making it increasingly difficult to set aside a carefree day for such festivities and celebrations. For few it is a time of religious and spiritual significance. And yet others it is a time for forgiveness, love and charity. Whatever walk of life we hail from, whether Hindu, Muslim or Buddhist, rich or poor we are able to experience the magic of Christmas. Merry Christmas to all.