My Christmas concert night began with 3 teachers dressing me in my light pink sari. At first I had a hard time feeling the holiday spirit as I was wrapped up in our pastel color uniform. I decided to put on some American Christmas music to get in the spirit. I sang along (warming up my vocal chords) as the teachers made me feel like a celebrity, pampering me and making sure each fold in the sari was just right. As I rang out the door, my auto (taxi) was waiting at the steps of the school to carry me off to my performance. If I didn’t feel like a movie star enough already, when I arrived at the enormous hall, the red carpet had been laid and was waiting for the choir’s grand entrance. The concert was a blast…and I’m not exaggerating. I was very skeptical of joining this choir in September but this night made it all worth it! Some of the songs we sang in Malayalam I ended up mouthing but at the end of the performance I was told that it just looked like I had more passion singing the English the songs. (I took that as a compliment.) The icing on the cake was my picture in the paper the next day… a souvenir worth hanging on the fridge when I return in July! As I came home that night, I was rejuvenated and excited for the season.
I must admit I was a little apprehensive about Christmas in India. Spending 4 years in college where the holiday spirit was buried under mounds of school work and the days closest to Christmas were full of cramming for finals, I was afraid I would spend another year missing the spirit of this season while in India. However, it has been quite the opposite. It seems that each day since the month of December has begun, I have done something related to Christmas. The day after my Christmas concert, I attended Jim’s Christmas concert I have taught Christmas carols in class (weird feeling to be sweating while teaching these though,) attended various types of Christmas related programs and helped the girls at Nicholson with the pronunciation of words as they prepare for their Christmas program.
My favorite activity has been making and decorating our newspaper Christmas tree. My friend, Katie sent foam ornaments for the girls to decorate. As we were decorating them today, one of the girls asked where the tree was…I didn’t have one was my initial response. But after putting on my resourceful thinking cap, I grabbed the morning paper and some paint so we could make a Christmas tree. We didn’t have a paint-brush but used our hands and clumps of newspaper to spread the paint out..it was a great collaborative effort! Each girl took a turn to “hang” their ornament on the tree as we sang O Come All Ye Faithful….it truly felt like Christmas! The girls have another week of school before their Christmas break begins and you can definitely feel the excitement in the air!