“The magi, as you know, were wise men–wonderfully wise men–who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents.All who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.”
-The Gift of the Magi (O.Henry)
It is the season of joy and merriment! Christmas is back yet again, shiny as ever with bustling streets, exhilaration in the eyes, twinkling lights, hand-crafted fruit cakes, and eye-catching decors, paving the way to the end of one more year. We all drift along into the holidays – let them overtake us unexpectedly – and wake up some fine morning suddenly saying to ourselves: ‘Why, this is Christmas Day’! Instead of being a time of unusual behaviour, Christmas is perhaps the only time in the year when people can obey their natural impulses and express their true sentiments without feeling self-conscious and, perhaps, foolish. As we blend into the harmony of the Christmas carols, let us look into the lives of people for whom the magic of the festival is in not believing in a Santa but having a real-life Saint to fulfill your wishes. Arav Hak, a young boy living in Mumbai, is asking other young boys and girls across India for a simple gesture — become Santa Claus for someone in need this December. Having worked closely with children battling cancer, Arav knows what he is talking about. He has raised over Rs. 7 lakhs for this cause and wants others of his age to help too. Arav says his worldview changed when his mother took him to a hospital for cancer patients during Diwali. Determined to help those in need, he started frequenting Dr. Ernest Borges Memorial Home and ended up spending a lot of time with a young cancer patient called Aditya. Upon realising that Aditya was a huge cricket fan, Arav and his mom made arrangements for him to watch an IPL game live with VIP tickets — making his dream come true. ‘These kids have a right to go to school, learn, play and have a normal childhood, just like us. For a minute today, let’s think about them, donate and maybe this December we can all come together to be the Santa Claus in their lives’, he was quoted saying. In another part of the country Five Bangalore teenagers will be giving the perfect gift to a village in Karnataka this Christmas — the gift of light. Aditya S Prasad, Nihal Harve, Eshaan Bhandari, Karan Taj Singh, and Vaishakh Datta together started The Deepam Initiative, through which they will install solar-powered lamps in the village of Kaiwara. The idea was concieved in August, and they’ve already raised Rs. 26 lakhs to fund this venture.They finally decided on Kaiwara, where they found a cooperative panchayat and welcoming locals. On 25th December — the day of Christmas — they will install 70 poles and 140 solar-powered street lamps on a 2km stretch of road that leads from Kaiwara to the highway.
Christmas, in short, is about the only chance a man has to be himself. There’s something you can gift everyone: to your enemy, forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to a customer, service; to all, charity; to every child, a good example; and to yourself, respect.
It is truly a ‘merry’ Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most. May we never be too grown up to search the skies on Christmas Eve!