Monday, December 24, 2012

Nativity Scene...

So the crib is set up too.... used black chart paper to set up the night sky, stuck stars and angels all around. Click on the pictures for a larger view...
Pretty cool... huh?
A closer view...  
 The guiding star...

Wishing all of you a blessed and beautiful Christmas. May the love, peace, joy and hope of the divine baby fill our homes, our hearts and this world. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A memorial poem for the Sandy Hook Elementary School Children...

Innocent Eyes...

In the classroom scribbling on the desk
Smiling at the teacher reading some text
Dreaming of cookies and presents under the tree
Beautiful voices singing carols off key
Magic of the season exudes from them
Beautiful smiles and kisses like toffee

Innocent eyes see a stranger that enters
A few loud noises and their world disappears
Innocent eyes behold a bearded man on bended knee
His arms are open, He smiles beckoningly
They recognise Him, the beginning of time
He sweeps them up, kissing them tenderly

Sentinel beings and scampering pets, rejoices
At this cherubic gathering of pigtails and crayon smudges
Even here preparations are in full swing
To celebrate the birth of a King
Innocent eyes agog at the sights and the sounds
They join the shepherds in their song

Nestled in His lap, memories still linger
Of loved ones, forced to surrender
Looking at Him, they know all will be well
When everyone meets in His kingdom, to dwell
He sings them a song, they nod off to sleep
He sheds a tear for the ones who lie awake and weep.
When I read bout this incident online, I couldn't make sense of it all... how deranged should a person be to gun down innocent children. It was pure evil. Then the recent gang rape of a 23 year old girl in a moving bus in Delhi, made my insides hurt. Reading bout her ordeal and torture, I broke down... what they did to her was evil in its potent form, evil from the deepest darkest pit in hell. I don't know why such things have to occur, I don't know why He lets them occur... I don't know what to think... it's just overwhelmingly sad, nobody deserves to suffer like this. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Wall Christmas Tree....

So I saw this picture on Pinterest a few months back and I thought of replicating the same at home this Christmas. Tell me what you think of my wall Christmas tree...
I know the original picture used logs of wood, but I didn't want to poke holes in the wall... they had to have drilled holes or something, how else are those logs held up? Anyway, I used a sheet of cardboard, cut it into strips and arranged them in a tree like fashion.
There was some old wire lying about, and I used that to link the strips of cardboard... this way, only one nail would do.
Then bought some (rather masculine looking) gift wrapping paper and wrapped each individual cardboard strip in this paper. I wanted to give it a rugged look, that's why didn't pick up any glittery or flowery wrapping paper.
Next made the star that comes on top of the tree with yellow chart paper.
Made a few Christmas ornaments to go on the tree... used ordinary cardboard and glitter powder. 
Some more ornaments... 
Next it's time to hang up the tree, the cardboard strips may not align themselves in a straight horizontal pattern. I had to use some double sided foam tape to stick the errant ends to the wall. Once that is done and all the strips are aligned, attach the little ornaments and put up the star on top.
Thread some serial lights through them in a zig zag pattern... and you're done.
Switch off the lights in the room and enjoy your very own wall Christmas tree. Even though making this can be a little daunting, the effort is worth it in the end. I love how it makes the room glow with Christmas warmth, I'm looking at it right now as I am writing this...
The star looks especially stunning with those rays of light streaming out through the many loops... all in all  this wall tree makes a nice cozy Christmas presence. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Best Christmas Albums.... Ever.

It's raining carol concerts in the city and I've attended some lovely caroling events these past few weeks. What a beautiful way to usher in this season... through songs of joy and hope. I start playing carols nonstop from November 30th, which is also my sister's birthday, and my parents have so rightly named her Carol. I wrote a poem for her on her birthday, I thought it was pretty funny... 

No sparkling Somerhalder
Nor sexy Holloway's smoulder
You got the best man little sister
In my friend who resembles Richard Gere. 

So my sister likes these two guys (I mean, who wouldn't, click on the links to check them out) and the first guy Ian Somerhalder plays a vampire (hence the sparkling reference) in some teen drama series, and the second guy Josh Holloway used to appear in an old series about plane crash survivors called Lost. And yeah, my friend does resemble Richard Gere, at certain angles... anyway, if you get the poem, then good. I can't do more explaining than this... 

Coming back to the real reason of this post... Christmas carols, I think it's wonderful how carols have the ability to bolster up the spirits and turn everything around you magical. These are some of the best Christmas albums ever, I dig them up every December to bring back the memories of the past growing up Christmas years, where every moment was filled with excitement and expectation. 

There is not a Christmas carol list anywhere in the world without the Jim Reeves collection mentioned on it. He was the epitome of the season, my parents used to play his records while we were growing up and it's almost like a tradition to listen to him every December. Even now, back in my home town, one can still hear him crooning from houses and street corners. He will always be remembered as the person who heralded the  change in season with his delightful carols rendered in his trademark magnificent voice. 
This is another classic growing up, Boney M is more upbeat and addictive, they somehow inject you with an energy serum and the dance just gets into you. There used to be a football club in my colony and those guys used to blast the colony (at least my part of the colony) with Boney M before and after the midnight mass, and the air positively buzzed with an infectious feeling of goodwill, happiness and excitement. 
My brother Manoj has a collection of some of the best country Christmas songs I've ever heard,  I remember him playing Let it be Christmas by Alan Jackson a few years back and I was blown away. It's impossible to listen to it without falling in love with the season and the man singing the song, it's that potent. Country artists  are a class apart (at least the older ones are) and even now as I am writing this, Alan Jackson is softly playing in the background. He can make any song sound beautiful, and his Christmas album is poignant and exponentially wonderful, as time increases it only gets better and better. 
Scotty is a recent addition, he released his Christmas album this year and when I heard a few songs on it I knew it was tradition material right away. His rendition of First Noel, is so uplifting and soulful it brings tears to your eyes. And a new song I heard on his record 'Christmas in Heaven' is beautiful beyond words. It speaks about the loss of a loved one and the singer wonders how Christmas in Heaven is like. He asks if the snow is falling on the streets of golds or if the one who died is singing with angels right now. He wonders whether that person is kneeling with the shepherds before the divine baby now... the song gets to you, tears you up. It's hauntingly  beautiful and Scotty does a great job, of shaking you up and making you feel alive... to wonder about the beauty of this season. 
There are a few other country Christmas songs that make it to my playlist every December like ~ Old Toy Trains by Toby KeithTennessee Christmas by Alabama, Grown up Christmas List by Amy Grant,  Old Time Christmas by George Strait among others. So listen to them, spread the Christmas cheer and have a wonderful advent season. Speaking of Advent, this is one of my favourite advent songs...

Okay, listen to Scotty now...

Sunday, December 02, 2012

The Hindu festival of lights, Karthikai Deepam...

So those who read my blog probably know my penchant for anything related to candles or lamps. I think its got something to do with the flickering shadows that mask the rigid lines of reality and shrouds everything in a mystic romantic glow. And since Karthikai Deepam, a very pretty Hindu festival of lights, was just round the corner I was intent on celebrating it. During this festival houses and streets are lit up with rows of oil lamps in the evening. 
Visited the market nearby and bought many of these tiny clay lamps. 
Saw this flower lady  surrounded by her colourful flowers...
Soaked the little lamps in water for a while (cause apparently if you don't soak them in water, they tend to soak in the oil later) and then spread them out on paper. When twilight loomed near, I got to work lining up these lamps outside the house and placing oil and wicks in them.

Here they are all lit up and emitting a cozy glow, aren't they pretty... made me thankful for my very own collection of tiny stars that twinkled and played with the descending darkness.
Saw this at a neighbour's place...