School had been always different in the winters, especially during December. Trying to win the daily battle against the comfort and coziness of the warmth of our woolen blankets and then engaging in a greater war against water, as bathing in an icy cold Delhi winter happens to be no piece of cake.
As if these tasks were not enough, there waited another milestone to accomplish, another box to put a tick on, travelling to school in the school bus, through winter fog of North India, braving the chilling cold breeze that seemed to flow almost always, opposite to the direction, in which the bus would lead.
A lot of times, my dad used to drive me to school, as it did save me from nature’s wrath and nothing said regarding the precious extra five minutes of sleep, that lasted nothing less than, if not more than a lifetime.
Wearing a maroon cap , for it used to be my school’s official colour, I used to sport a maroon muffler as well, which in turn, other than protecting from the harsh December climate of North India, also proved to be a little bit of fashion for someone, dressed in proper school uniform, consisting of a blazer and a sweater, with the school’s logo imprinted on them, both being maroon, along with a slightly faded brown woolen trousers.
The morning assemblies were called off quite a few times, sometimes taking place in the afternoon, yes you heard it right, sometimes the “Morning” Assembly used to take place in the “ Afternoon” and still be called “ Morning” Assembly and on some rare occasions, the morning assemblies were conducted in the closed school auditorium, rather than on the open and frozen school ground.
One of the most fond memories, I have from my school life is that of the Christmas Parties, we used to organize. Right from class Nursery, the teachers would ask us to bring snacks, packets of chips, biscuits, Christmas cakes, juices, chocolates, toffees and everything that they normally discarded off as “unhealthy” and termed as “junk” food. This was followed by the teachers, along with their assistants, changing the seating arrangements of the classroom for the designated party time , in such manner that four tables were joined together, with a couple of chairs fencing them, for the little kids to sit on and enjoy the party.
Even after primary, we did continue this tradition of parties, however this time they took place in the school canteen and it eventually disappeared as the years in school life increased. These parties were organized on the last working day of the year, on the day after which the school remained closed for the winter break that lasted for a couple of weeks.
Christmas carols, being played from the school speakers, which were normally reserved for important announcements by the principal, The Nativity Play, in which I carried out the heavy responsibility of playing either a sheep or a camel,, along with the Choir, for which I remember singing, “Silent Night Holy Night” and how can I forget the famous “ Dashing through the snow” and “Jingle Bells Jingle Bells Jingle all the Way..” and Christmas Cake being distributed to everyone added to the atmosphere or what I call the aura of Christmas.
I think I need to finish this post as it is getting kind of cold here, after all why will it not? It is December the 24th after all! Wishing you all the Happiest and the Merriest Christmas, I hope you all shall keep your stockings near your chimneys or near your windowpanes, for Santa to come and shower you with gifts and blessings, because wishes do come true..
Wishing You all A Very Happy Christmas and A Happy New Year.