My School and Christmas

I went to a Convent school in Delhi and my school had a Catholic Church within the campus. As I recollect, everything about my school was welcoming & grand..The school assembly was an everyday affair as we dragged through our daily rituals of the morning prayers like Oh Father in Heaven and other sing along hymns and rhymes.The assembly invariably ended with a ‘thought for the day’ by our beloved Reverent Sisters a.k.a Nuns.

I remember, one of my favourite subjects in school was Moral Science. Firstly, because there was not much of written CW or HW given. Secondly because it spoke about the good positive virtues one ought to have in ones life. And Lastly, it was taught by one of my favourite Sisters. Sister Maria. She taught us how we should grow up to be a : Kind , Caring , Humble , Giving , Forgiving human being.. And to all these adjectives that I stumbled upon in this class, I vowed to myself that they will be a part of me as I grow up. I wanted to posses all those virtues and become a Good-Nun one day ! . Hee Haw ! Yes, I was so much in awe of my Nuns and their charisma that I dreamt of become a Nun and run a Church or a convent one day. Don’t know why , but I felt I was born to be a Nun. Period . My career was decided ! So I never missed my Moral science lessons while secretly wondering and wishing for a peek what lies underneath the white coif our nuns wore ! Always wondering if they had long hair or short hair or any hair at all !

Apparently ,my best Friend in school was a Catholic Christian and she used to attend those Catholic class while the other non catholics like me attended the Moral science class.. and even though I loved my moral science classes but still the budding nun in me was curious to know what happens in a Catholic-class and why they were more privileged  to be taken to the church more often than us!  I even started to think if being a Catholic was a sure shot way to become a Nun! I was so in love with the last surname that Christians had like Martin ,Thomas ,Lewis, Carlos as they seem to be so trendy and happening that I even picked on a few to choose from just in case my father agrees. So gathering all my courage, I shared my thoughts of changing my religion and my ambition to become a nun with my father one day. He smiled, but didn’t give me a yes or a no. My heart sank and so did my dream & career; or so I thought . The following week my father called me and gave me a framed picture of Jesus. Does that meant we are all converting ?? I was thrilled, I asked mom if she would allow me to place my frame in her little temple space that she had created in her room. Her shelf had all the Gods she believed in from Krishna, Durga, Ganpati , Gurunanak and now the God I had faith in ; adorned her shelf too. I even taught my mom the Sign of the cross and we prayed often together. As years passed by my desire to be a nun and convert my religion slowly left me. Now when I look back to it all seems so silly . So what if I couldn’t become a Nun…I am glad I could become a Super-Mum !

That was the impact of my school on me. Whilst my school made me understand the special place of my family in my life, it also taught me to embrace the good values & morals each culture-religion had to offer. And of course ,the best month in school was December as Christmas was celebrated with much fanfare and grandeur, with skits and dances, tuck shops and a trip to the Old Age Home..Each class had a small Xmas tree fully loaded with bells, balls ,stars et al.. Our very own Princy (Respected Principal) announced a prize for The Best decorated class for Christmas each year. This festival brought with it the charm of Giving and Sharing.

No wonder this festival holds a special place in my heart . The essence & The spirit of Christmas is something I have grown up with.The singing of the Carols and the sound of the bells from the churches still give me goosebumps.Though, I am not a Christian, but It’s my festival too and I feel the onus is on me to let my children feel & experience the spirit this festival has to offer.So every year we put up an Xmas tree 🌲 Decorate it with all the enthu .. Buy presents for each other and pretend Santa still exists .. Share stories and sing carols ..Watch the trending Christmas movies and gorge on the Rum & Plum cakes from our favourite gâteau shops, accompanied by a cup of hot chocolate for the kids while we wine it up !

So, lets cheers to the Spirit of Christmas and pass on the magic of this festival to our kids and to the kids at the signals who sell those red Santa caps and reindeer horns oblivious to the significance or the stories behind it. We have been Santa for our kids on every Christmas, so why not be the Santa to at least one poor child each year.

As another year comes to an end, Let’s be Loving-Giving-Forgiving, and keep spreading the cheer among our little angels, so that they continue to make good & beautiful memories in this beautiful world along the way…

Hope you have a Wonderful Insightful and Peaceful year ahead!

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Author: Preeti S. Manaktala

A Montessorian with a dream of opening a school which would nurtures young minds. A mother who believes in creating good memories for her children. A writer who is on a beautiful unknown path to write some heart felt stuff. A learner and a seeker. Writing makes me happy and gives my thoughts a voice. Taking baby steps towards something very wonderful and beautiful ahead.. 😊

6 thoughts on “My School and Christmas”

  1. Hello Preeti, it is so wonderful to know you. I love your style of writing and I am totally enthralled. It is so lovely to see how you are taking steps in this beautiful journey! Thank you so much for following my blog. But I am more thankful for the fact that you write from the heart and every line is pleasing to read! I am waiting for more and more posts from you. Have a great week, and stay happy!

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  2. I really enjoyed your post. And I relate to it as well. I never went to a Catholic school or church when I was young but I read a lot of stories and watched movies about the Catholic nuns and Catholic saints. I also felt that I was supposed to be a nun. It was confusing since I wasn’t Catholic, I was a Christian in a Protestant church. As my spiritual path progressed it led me to a very unlikely place. I have been a devotee of Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi) since 1989 and have gone to her ashram in India almost every year since then. My adult children both live there now, and have for some time.

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    1. Its so nice to hear that Karuna. My school has had a great impact on me. I wish I could revisit that life.. Though I couldn’t be a Nun, but I believe I have all the wisdom and grace. I have realised that you need not be a nun to do good or be good or be considered good. Goodness should come naturally to you ..its right within all of us..we just need to hear the right Voice!!

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      1. I agree with you. And it doesn’t take being a nun to make your spiritual path the center of your life. Spiritual path in whatever direction your personal path takes you. I was very impressed with how your parents handled the situation when you were young.

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