Tag Archives: Christmas

At the home front….

With Xmas round the corner, it’s no wonder that the days just flew by, plus a week without the internet and my laptop !! A week of Xmas preparations and parties at the hospital, though I did get an early surprise – my annual leave was granted and the flight tickets came right on time !!

Yes, after two years, Xmas is finally at with my parents, siblings and cousins crashing over. So now there would lots and lots of sleeping in, shopping, baking and more to do….any thing but work ; and just once I really welcome the no-work bit ( finally I guess I could call it as vacations with a capital V !!)

Though, right now, I’m definitely not on alert mode !! With the travelling and the time lag, my biological clock hours need to be re-set and that’s one thing that really takes time. 

So more from the home front, once when sleep looses its hold on my hay-wired mind… time to cozy in !!

And then baking for starts…mmmm. lots to-do.

 


Today – to deck the halls !!

It’s been nearly two weeks into the Advent month. Funny how time flies!! It feels just like the other day, when I was marking the days off August waiting for autumn to start.

Now that it’s December, the Advent month; the boxes have to be tackled from the attic and up goes the tree. For me this time round it’s a pretty late start, (really late!! ), considering the fact in my years so far, post- Thanksgiving, up goes the tree!! Forget about waiting for Black Friday to go by.

So far the only feat accomplished is the procrastination bit. That is, the plans for the gifts to buy, the baking, the decors and the shopping. Though this year round, I have to start the hunt for the best bargains – new place, new shopping routes, new markets!!

Looking deeper into the Advent month, each year there was something special to do; as in a selfless act. It goes beyond soup kitchens and organizing x’mas celebrations and gifts in old age homes, orphanages and the so on. Last year, was the last year of university, during internship. So it was mostly of organizing the play and the choir with the proceeds going for the poor patient funds.

Though the year before last , it was a different X’mas project. Most of us in the neighborhood had pooled in for a fund-raiser, at the local network and at the church for the orphanage and their school. Besides organizing the gifts and the new furniture for the orphanage, we had to take classes for the kids in elementary subjects. In a way, there was lot of learning to be done; learning about life, friends and the gift of being selfless. True, we may not meet the little kids again, but little actions leave their impression.

So this year, the hospital had decided to take one of our projects to the streets. There are scores of road traffic accidents in India and in many of them, children are the worst affected. Whether it is a cause of road-rage or rash driving, the consequences still stay on even after they get discharged from the hospital. Some children have lost their homes and parents, and shuttled to and fro from their relatives’ home. Some become physically challenged.  Some of them have their homes, parents; yet they still haven’t lost terror hasn’t lost its grip. Life comes to a stand-still and everyday day is like another hurdle to cross.

In Horeb, that’s the name of the place where I stay, last week we had started a small community mainly dealing with post-trauma victims especially road-traffic accidents. So this X’mas, we plan to help them getting their lives back on track, (rehabilitation is a really long word to say it !!). It goes more beyond the psychological help; we need a lot of social help. A lot of them become physically challenged and especially for children, their world had turned upside down.

And so that’s how time flew for me in the past two weeks. So far, phase one i.e. persuading them to join the community, attend the meetings and be a part of the bigger family is underway. The next phase is to rope in the families of the victims to attend the sessions and become a part of the community. After all, each one really needs to know and understand that they are not alone. Then next, coming to the social and economical ventures; plans are still being formulated as to how to go about it. I hope that this project works out, and that there would be a lot of smiles at the end of the year, next year in fact.

Changing tracks and coming over to the busy and hectic part of X’mas, i.e. the arrangements and settings for the parties, the family gatherings and the baking are under full swing. (Need to hide the weighing scales first!!) And then, what’s left to do? Loads, for starters; considering the amount of cleaning up to be done; I’m going to be up and in my knees for hours from now. Two days of off-duty and it’s going to be Oh yes, “deck the halls with boughs of holly..lalalalala..la..la..la..” 

So what’s your festive season like so far? Has there been any progress on the planning? (Don’t ask me, I haven’t started out yet on the home-front!!) Do you have any end-of-the-year or X’mas projects planned or on-going?

 


A sprig of Holly and good cheer…

Four hours past X’mas day, and I have been having a jolly good time . Before writing (…rather typing) any further; a sprig of holly, a piece of cake (freshly baked…and oh yes, edible!!!), a glass of wine and good cheer to all…..Well this post is long overdue…. It was more or less supposed to be my X-mas checklist, I mean like “is-everything-in-order-before-chaos-occur”. But as usual I lost the battle with time, eternal enemies that we are!! Fortunately it did turn out to be pretty great “X-mas” this time- my first ever away from home and oh yes, I am still working!!! Taking you through my X-mas checklist and my X-mas day….

Pre-Christmas days were pretty busy with the caroling, X mas play and the bonfire nights. Setting up Christmas trees in the wards and at my place…finding the right size was essential especially in our cramped (minus the books and clothes strewn around, voila we have a dance floor then!!) quarters. So a miniature spring cleaning process took place and finally we found the right place for it. As for the books ‘n clothes, they shall enjoy the space of the spare closet in the hall, for the next couple of weeks. And up went the Christmas tree….not having one is like something missing from the Christmas spirit. Spruced up with decorations, all lit up, it gave the hall a welcoming look. Ideally, the Christmas tree symbolizes the ever-lasting life with God. There are many legends which tell about the origin of the Christmas tree, but one thing I have personally felt is that without one, there is something missing in Christmas.

Meanwhile, away from home, I had the enormous task of sending e-cards and greetings to friends and family, especially to my re-connected friends. And hunting cards for my grandparents who adamantly refuse to use technology. It’s all totally confused, says Grandma and Grandpa is convinced that these things are bugged. It’s a wonder that they agreed to a land-line and nope, no cell phones yet. Anyways there is something precious about Christmas cards, getting the real ones is fun, especially when on looking at the old cards, I am reminded of the past Christmases’. Anyways that and the gifts had been taken care of.

Secret Santa, we used to play it every year at home. Being away from home was all the reason more to hold one among colleagues. You can imagine the surprise on our faces when we drew the lot. We all could hardly wait for the unrevealing to happen.

Beginning with the eve of Christmas, the bunch of us who were the working lot decided that work or not, Christmas dinner would still there be as at home. So before the midnight church service, we all came up with the idea – to host the traditional X-mas dinner at one of our places. Nothing new about the timing of the idea, we are one set of regular last-minute-parties-and-dinners. Choosing which one of us would have to host it was the next thing to decide, because it meant cleaning out the whole place from top to bottom, at least the main hall!! Once the decision was made, reinforcements were called in and oh yes, the process of leafing through the recipe books started and so did the calls to home, what to make for the dinner. And the hunt for the groceries started. Thankfully, the stores were still open!!! But before it could be a complete kitchen disaster, we had help from one of our senior doctors on the campus. Under her watchful expertise, the dinner was prepared. It was fun, though a complete mess of the kitchen was made. And the dinner was not a disaster, for many of us who exist on ready-to-cook and pre-dinner boxes; it was like a miracle that we could prepare something edible!! Miracles of Christmas!! Baking didn’t turn to be as charred as expected. Add the wine, and we were all set for dinner.

Then we all went for the Midnight service. Sitting for the message, brought back memories of my childhood, how we all used to gather beside the Christmas tree listening to Grandpa tell us about the story of Baby Jesus and the Star. No matter how many times I hear it; there is a sense of wonder in knowing the love and mercy of God. It signifies the true essence of caring and giving, the spirit of Christmas.

Then dawned Christmas morning. Though most of us had to work, we did have fun in the wards, especially with the children and elderly. Oh we do make wonderful Santa’s. Those of us who did manage to get a few hours off, escaped for a “picnic-lunch cum dinner”, or as we like to call it so. Not yet freezing out here!!! For my first Christmas away from home, I surely had a wonderful time. Sitting and typing away at the wee hours of the morning, all I can say that life is indeed a miracle. The way you value it makes each day more precious than the other. And the memories that are made, they last for a lifetime till the grave. Well, it makes the “crappy” days worth living. I have to get some shut-eye now but where did that bottle of wine go?!!! Can’t let it go wasted, can I?!! Cheers to you all….Feliz Navidad

 


Roll your “r’s” and get your “t’s” straight !!!

Christmas-time !!! Aside from the yearly Christmas celebrations, i.e. carols, church choirs, bonfire nights, all the baking and friends and family meet; there is the annual institutional Christmas events..i.e. the Christmas choir and the Christmas play. Well this year, I am getting involved with the play. Nope, not in the “dramatic” department, had enough of theatrics at work. Rather I am into the sets and props. Hey, you put the actors on stage but minus the sets and props, all you get is a bunch of dialogues and facial expressions !!!

This year, the script is based on M.A.S.H.- the 70’s show drawing the concept from the “Officer’s only” episode (15) of season 02. Concept all about discrimination based on rank. Well, practice will soon get on full fledged as the three day show is over the next weekend!! Dialogues, expressions, pronunciation, stage movements…thank goodness I switched over. Recollecting my earlier roles, the long tiring practices, memorizing the lines, and worst of all the stage fright…..it was fun, but this time I needed a change. So I jumped at the chance to take care of the “sets and props”. Earlier I thought it was light work, but I have changed my mind. Post-reviewing the script and the airing of the original episode for the benefit of the entire cast and crew, I was staring at the screen gasping for air like a fish!! Omg work has to get started asap. Looks like there is going to be a lot of heavy furniture to be moved around, ward scenes to work out and a bar to be set up !!!

Ironically, are we getting breaks from work  for this? Na!!Nada!!Zilch!! After all, the whole objective of this institution is to make us into multi-tasking professionals!!! So with a prayer, I shall start off. Yikes!!! Where did my copy of the script go ? Have to get the separate lists for the props for each set sorted out ?! Oh no, not a hunt now!!