Credit | By Evgeny Karandaev via Shutterstock
The office has been abuzz with Christmas decorations for the past few days. Reds, greens and whites everywhere. Balloons, Christmas trees and Santas, the atmosphere is truly electric. Well, not surprising really since it’s December. Though there is still work to be done, the load is still fairly lighter than it is the rest of the year. From cubicle decorations, competitions, silly banter and team lunches, this is probably the best time of the year at work. It makes me love December even more. Truth be told, I look forward to this time of the year to be able to get some respite from the back-breaking and stressful schedule at work along with the million other things that need juggling. Tell you what, the nip in the air makes it even better.
What about you, do you love December too?
The last month of the year also makes me nostalgic, taking me back to my childhood where it always signalled the start of the much-awaited winter vacations, the end of our academic year, a time for festivities. What can I say, for me, there has always been something magical about December!
Shillong, where I grew up, donned an enchanting look in the winters, especially December. It was the time to be merry and we used to be too. How I miss that feeling even today! The air would be ripe with the festive spirit. It being the peak of the holiday season, there would be celebrations all around. You could hear Christmas carols being practised around bonfires through the night. In fact, we would fall asleep listening to them. The Christmas markets would be abuzz with shoppers, kids dressed is colourful winter wear under the festive lights. If you ever come across Christmas postcards, then I should tell you Shillong looked very much like those. Perhaps, even better. When I close my eyes I can still take a whiff of the Christmas Cakes that we would exchange with friends and neighbours. The camaraderie, the banter, everything about December spoke of community, togetherness and fun. It was almost like living in a fairy tale. It was that beautiful.
Then there were the picnics too. How can I forget those? I have some wonderful memories of picnics in the hills of Meghalaya, near lakes and streams with walks in the hidden caves. For some reason, even the chill failed to dampen our spirits then. We would all drive along the hilly roads to the picnic spots. I remember once it was a spot surrounded by huge pine trees. It was like a semicircle leading on to a narrow path that went down to a stream which had on it what you would call a natural bridge made by the roots and barks of trees around. It was perfect. As kids, our only job was to play while the parents built fires and cooked in huge pots. The food also had a certain taste to it. We called it the picnic touch which even to this day I miss. I wonder if my daughter will ever experience these simple joys of life.
Truth be told, I miss the Decembers of my childhood. The small town feel, the celebrations as a community and the simplicity is what I crave for. With the kind of life, we lead these days, I don’t even know who my neighbour is. And even the select few I do know, I don’t have the time to meet and spend time with them. In fact, anytime I get I just want to sit at home and relax. Somewhere there has been a tradeoff and I’m not sure if I’m the better for it. Still, December remains a favourite month for me. What about you?