Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Santa Claus in Goa

He is absSanta Claus with giftsolutely dressed for the occasion. In red fur from head to foot. Comes with a jingle on an eight reindeer borne sleigh with a big bag of goodies, toys and sweets on his busy back, a fatherly figure rummaging in his sack, groping for gifts to give children they have been longing for and joy for us to bear round the year.

For Goa and Goans he is the lovable Father Christmas or the Christmas Father. Like in the rest of the world, we see that children in Goa believe that Santa Claus visits their town, city and village during Christmas night and fulfills their wishes, with the items that they desire and have waited for.

Throughout the year kids in Goa, pen letters to” Dear Santa claus” revealing to him the choice of gifts they would prefer at Christmas time. They also write last minute letters and drop them into stockings and hang them in prominent places inside the house where they hope it will certainly catch Santa’s eye. This is a tradition that was most often instilled in the hearts of Goan kids by their parents or grandparents to surprise kids with the gift of their choice on Christmas morning. Sometimes grandparents had the extra knack of dressing up like Santa Claus and giving that extra feeling of Christmas.

Goan kids like their brethren all over the world believe that on Christmas eve the Christmas Father piles up all the toys onto his sleigh with his fleet of reindeers and rides across the sky with them. The most loved reindeer though is Rudolph at the front who leads the way with his shiny red nose. Santa enters our houses through the chimney or through the door at midnight and places presents for the children in large red stockings or bags by their beds or at the foot of the Christmas tree.

Santa Claus is a craze among kids and nowadays parties during or around Christmas time usually has a Santa claus to add that extra gusto to a party and the kids simply love his presence always hovering around him and shrieking with joy and merriment.

Santa is historically based on a real person called St. Nicholas or Sinter Klaas in Dutch who was a very shy man and wanted to give money to poor people silently without them knowing about it. Legend says that one day he climbed up on the roof of a house and dropped a purse of money down the chimney. It landed in a stocking which a girl had put to dry by the fire. This may explain the belief that Father Christmas comes down the chimney and places gifts in children’s stockings. When the dutch introduced Sinter Klaas to the Americans they called him Santa Claus.

Santa Claus may be a belief. However allowing kids to fantasize about him gives you their good little baby years in good measure. All the excitement at the mention of Santa and thSanta Claus with reindeerse merriment accompanied with it gives parents a moment to chuckle at their children’s joy, gives children a reason to smile and be happy. After all a happy childhood can take children a long way. When they grow up and realize the fantasy of Santa while growing up in the big bad world out there, they will always fall back on those young days of theirs for good memory to help them reflect on the earlier fun times of their kiddie days.

However the prime reason for Christmas and indeed its joy and peace being through the savior Jesus Christ should always be paramount and taught to kids all throughout the year.

Merry Christmas to one and all

Xittuk Goencar

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