Christmas 2018: Everyone in Orlem is happier in December, says VJ Gaelyn Mendonca
Host and VJ Gaelyn Mendonca talks about her favourite Christmas memories
Host and VJ
Mangalorean Roman Catholic
Grew up in Orlem, Malad
There's magic in December. From the moment we get into November, all that's on my mind is that Christmas is around, and it's going to be all the things that make you fuzzy on the inside. Even though we don't have a snowy or white Christmas, Mumbai makes Christmas a very unique and special experience. I've grown up in Orlem, Malad, and the vibe changes in December. People just seem happier.
We go for midnight mass. All this while I was going to Our Lady of Lourdes in Malad. But since I got married last year, I have moved to Bandra. So, I have to pick a church to go to, because there are multiple churches here, unlike Malad where I had just one choice.
We have this tradition, where all of our friends get together after mass, and we meet with cake and fruit punch. We bring in Christmas together and it goes on till the wee hours of the morning. The 25th is family day. Mom cooks up a feast for us. It's a very elaborate affair, with stuffed roasted chicken, sorpotel, a meat curry, different kinds of salads, biryani, everything you can think of.
A Christmas tradition is also to overeat. My mum makes sweets as well, and we go and distribute them to our friends and neighbours and wish everyone. Putting up the tree is also my responsibility, because everyone thinks that it's the youngest person's job. Christmas isn't just confined to one day. It's only fair to call it the Christmas week, since the celebrations go on for so long.
When we were children, we used to get together and start practising our carols. We would then go from building to building to sing to everyone. We used to be so excited about something as simple as singing for somebody. When I think of Christmas celebrations, my most fond memory would always be in taking that extra effort and doing stuff together as a community.
How to celebrate Christmas: This time of the year is very busy especially in my line, but just to prioritise and say, 'This is family time. This is the one time in the year when nothing is more important', trumps everything else.
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