Saturday, December 24, 2011

The true Christmas spirit

Susan and Mathew made heavy purchases of various gifts, cakes and sweets and toys the whole afternoon and had them bundled in colorful wrappers and put in the rear seat of the car. With both earning good salary, they spend every Christmas a tidy sum towards gifts for their friends. They generally surprise their friends on Christmas Eve.

They decided to start with a friend on the outskirts of city. This would enable them to see the bright lit streets and houses with decorations and shining lights in multi colours.They drove through the various streets slowly seeing happy people and happier children playing around the Christmas tree. They could even see the tables in a few houses with food, cakes and sweets laid on them lavishly. They heard the singing of girls and young men dancing. There was mirth all around.

As they were exiting the busier part of the city through the darker and poorer areas, Mathew saw a man in Santa’s robes signaling them to stop the car. Surprised he stopped the vehicle by his side. He was white in complexion, old in years and looked really like a Santa Claus with his flowing white beard, smiling eyes, merry, and round-bellied. He was bespectacled and complete with his red coat trimmed with white fur and a bag on his shoulders.

“How can I help you? Would you like a lift? But where are your sleigh and the reindeers?” Mathew asked jocularly.

“Thank you. I don’t need a lift. But I was wondering where you are bound for as there are no rich men of your class beyond this point” he said even as he peeped into the car and added “I see you carry lots of gifts like Santa Claus. For whom are they intended?”

Mathew did not appreciate his impertinence in stopping his vehicle and asking him questions that was no concern of his. But the genial manner of the man and his attire softened his anger. He said “I am taking this to distribute these to my friends before night fall. I am in a hurry actually” he said.

“I would not take much of your time. Your friends must be well off like you. Am I right?” he asked

Though irked at his impudence, he politely answered in the affirmative.

“Oh, oh, you seem to have missed the spirit of Christmas and what the Man who died in the cross stood for” he said.

“What do you mean?”asked Mathew in anger.

“Nothing. It is just that Christmas is not merely fun, feast and family that includes friends and relatives. It is not just giving gifts to each other. It means embracing the true Christmas spirit, to reach down within ourselves and be willing to give to the needy. Give ourselves, our time, our love, and our possessions to those who are not as happily placed as ourselves. Giving gifts to such people is no obligation, but a symbol of love. Yonder, a little down on the road you will see the poor in the humble tenements with no light or adequate food or well dressed to protect them from the cold weather. It is the same Christmas for them too but without the merry making and joy” said the old man

For a moment Mathew was speechless. The truth of the words hit him hard and he could see from Susan’s face that she was also affected.

The old man seeing their silence said “The poor people shiver in cold and wallow on the damp floor with hungry stomach. Let your gifts bring cheer and warmth on this special day if you are inclined to agree with me. Do remember that Christmas is a season for hospitality and charity.

“Thank you Sir for opening our eyes. This Christmas will be special. We haven’t bought the blankets. We will presently buy and distribute all these to the poor. Our friends can do without these.” Mathew replied and turned to Susan asking her for approval. She was elated at the suggestion. They both turned to find the old man had vanished just as quickly as he appeared. They were left wondering whether Santa Claus is real as in that long stretch of road no one can disappear that easily.

18 comments:

  1. The story tells the way of God's unique way of dealing with a man and his ignorance. Christmas is not for just a day but days all through an year for sharing , caring and loving the less fortunate..I am happy that the story ended the way it is supposed to :-)

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  2. Very nice story. This is the way Christmas should be celebrated...our festivals too. Your narration is beautiful, Partha Sir!

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  3. Merry Christmas! A wonderful story of loving and giving. It is just that God knows how give at the right time and right place.

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  4. keeps me thinking.. very nice story..and agree completely with sandhya.

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  5. true christmas spirit realised indeed...nice one...

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  6. yessssssss
    merry christmas ... lovely story

    merry christmas to you and family and everyone around
    Bikram's

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  7. U have brought up the Christmas spirit so nicely..... Have a good time, and hope everyone gets someone like this to show the right path :)

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  8. There is only one spirit in such revelry of faith-"commercial driven"!

    Whether Christ would approve of this fan fare and frolicking on December 25, said to be his Birthday , is the question.

    And since he was perhaps the first philosopher with socialist leanings, will certainly disapprove the acrimony Church and the flock indulge in his name.

    A good point well mooted in the story.

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  9. That is a lovely story to remind us about the true Christmas spirit...Today Diwali and Christmas have be come gift centric festivals.
    And there is oneupmanship in gifting too...

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  10. It is just that Christmas is not merely fun, feast and family that includes friends and relatives. It is not just giving gifts to each other. It means embracing the true Christmas spirit, to reach down within ourselves and be willing to give to the needy. Give ourselves, our time, our love, and our possessions to those who are not as happily placed as ourselves. Giving gifts to such people is no obligation, but a symbol of love

    this is the meaning of all f3stivals, but sadly we imbibe only the fun part...

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  11. Very well said, the true spirit of any festival lies in giving pleasures to he less-privileged and see the happiness n their faces :-)

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  12. That's well said uncle.. and good thought amidst the Christmas break.. i loved the way u expressed it on the way it has to be celebrated...

    hope u had a good day on festival..

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  13. Very true.
    Its very rare that people follow the real spirit of Christmas and help others.

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  14. Merry Christmas and a very Happy new year KP!!

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  15. Very nice story and tells us the moral of how to celebrate a festival.

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  16. :) Theres a lot of warmth in the story, thanks for sharing!

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  17. Today, gifts have become status symbols and their main purpose is lost. Nice.

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  18. ////It means embracing the true Christmas spirit, to reach down within ourselves and be willing to give to the needy. Give ourselves, our time, our love, and our possessions to those who are not as happily placed as ourselves. Giving gifts to such people is no obligation, but a symbol of love. Yonder, a little down on the road you will see the poor in the humble tenements with no light or adequate food or well dressed to protect them from the cold weather. It is the same Christmas for them too but without the merry making and joy” /////


    ..... The true meaning of Christmas is explained very well in simple words. Hope that everyone understands the real reason for Christmas season.

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