Have our lives gotten so busy that we are missing out on the joy's of Christmas?
Photo Credits: page 2 lead
No time for giving or for getting.
Christmas is rushed, Christmas is
No time for laughter or even idle banter
It's Christmas time, mistletoe and wine
Children singing Christian rhyme...
A small change to the lyrics of an old Christmas favourite and it becomes a reflection of our lives in today's busy busy world. Ask anyone how they are doing and you'll most certainly hear, “I’m so busy… so busy… There's so much to do.” Are our lives really so over-scheduled that we have so little time for family? For ourselves? For things like Christmas celebrations?
“Yes, life in general has gotten busy for everyone,” believes Nolan Mascarenhas from Anjuna, adding, “Work, kids, school, social media, the mundane Monday to Friday (and for a few folks Saturdays as well) has us and our noses to the grind, literally speaking.” And Yuri Ribeiro from Panjim concurs. “There isn't any time to indulge in decorating and making sweets. My wife comes home by 6 pm and then there is the mundane housework to do. If she comes late then its next to impossible to do anything other than the regular stuff,” he says, adding, “But we have planned what we going to buy and what we are going to make. As far as the sweets are concerned, we plan to make just the easy stuff like the toffee and the cake. The rest we will buy from an aunt.”
The same goes for the Ribeiro's Christmas lunch. “We will probably make the rice and the salad ourselves, will have someone come in and make some of the authentic Goan dishes and simply order the turkey,” he informs.
Aaron D'Souza from Thivim, on the other hand, has gotten all his décor up. But he opines, “We no longer have large joint families to help with the chores. As a result, everyone gets together only a day or two before Christmas, so there's not much time left to decorate or make sweets.”
A Network Consulting Engineer at Cisco, Verna-based Agnelo Ferrao often spends as many as ten hours at the workplace. Working from 9 am to 7 pm, does not leave him much time for other things. “Besides, all our décor is on the loft and I am needed to climb up there and get it down for the holidays,” he states. “The shopping is being done in parts, but the decor will be up only during Christmas week.” Ferrao has another reason to procrastinate. “In any case, if we put it up any earlier, our one year old is sure to pull it all down before Christmas day,” he says with a smile.
But is time or the lack thereof the only deciding factor? What about the fact that most everything is available ready made, a phone call away or at the stores? Has this made life easy considering the time factor or has this just made us a lazy generation? “That's hard to say,” says Ribeiro, “because life as we know it has changed. Yes it may have made us a bit lazy since we know we can buy things now, but we must also understand that today the amount of work and stress that we have to take on has built up and is definitely much more that the previous generation experienced. But maybe that's because as social beings, we have more wants than we can count.”
D'Souza agrees. “Any modernisation makes man lazy and dumb,” he says emphatically while Ferrao adds, “During my childhood, we used to get involved a lot whether it was in going carolling from door to door as a large group or in helping make the neighbourhood star. It used to be so much fun. The youth of today, however, are not seen participating anymore. With the advent of technology, a lot has changed. I barely even see kids playing outdoors anymore.”
D'Souza also laments the corresponding loss of culture. “You rarely see the old Goan culture any more. The variety of sweets have reduced because of time people make very few variations.”
For Mascarenhas, however, it's all a matter of perspective and priority. “We make time to catch the odd movie or coffee with friends. Christmas decorations or any other festival for that matter is that time off wherein one can tune away to a magical peaceful place in the process of decorating or making long lost forgotten recipes as time away from the humdrum of reality and our lives.”
And he is right. Maybe we are too busy to deck the house up from top to bottom. Or make that elaborate Christmas lunch with all the trimmings. But why not start with some carols playing in the background? It might just have the soothing effect that is lacking and allow one to escape reality for a wee bit of time.
Christmas is a magical time to say the least. So no matter how busy your lives have gotten, take time to breathe a little magic back into it, not just during the season of joy that's just around the corner, but for the forthcoming new year as well.