The Indian American community here in the US has brought with them some of the traditions they have cherished back home in India. Christmas has now become associated with sharing of gifts, parties and caroling.
Continuing with the tradition of singing Carols and spreading the message of Christmas around the community, members of Our Lady of Assumption Syro-Malabar Catholic Mission in Norwalk CT went around the houses across the southern Connecticut, singing Christmas carols and bringing in the joy of Christmas and sharing blessings with members and families and friends of the newly formed Catholic Church in Fairfield County during the weekends in December 2019.The caroling began with the carol, ‘O Come All Ye Faithful.’
Wilson Pottackal and Jojo Thomas, leaders of the Church community informed this writer that the money contributed by the families during the carols will be used to build houses in Kerala, where the floods and the rain have destroyed tens of thousands of homes in the past year. Mr. Wilson also pointed out that last year they had identified and helped build rebuild at least two homes in Kerala last year. He hopes to continue the tradition in the coming years with the generosity of the Indian American community in the state of Connecticut.
Meanwhile, Trumbull Party Timers, a group of families in the Trumbull region shared the joyous Christmas blessings with children leading the Carol singing in each house in the region. “It was fun and while we had a good time we are glad we are able to share with one another the spirit of Christmas; Love, Joy, Peace, and Sharing,” said the youth who were the lead carolers of the group.
Christmas is a season of praise and thanksgiving for the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ, which begins with Christmas Eve (December 24 after sundown) or Day and continues through the Day of Epiphany. The name Christmas comes from the season’s first service, the Christ Mass. Epiphany comes from the Greek word epiphania, which means “manifestation,” when Christ made known to the world as the Savior when Three Kings/Magi visited Baby Jesus in Bethlehem.
But what is the real meaning of Christmas? Is it the gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, the cards in the mail, dinners with family and friends, snow in the yard, stockings hanging in the living room, and shouts of “Merry Christmas” to those who pass us in the streets? Is this really Christmas?