BIS #6555 Christmas Celebrations at St. Dominic Savio High School-Andheri

by Heather Upadhyay, Valerie Mascarenhas & Fr Brian Moras for BISMumbai

"Have yourself a merry little Christmas. Let your heart be light. From now on, your troubles will be out of sight." – Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane.

The melodies of Christmas carols lilted through the corridors of St. Dominic Savio High School with the advent of Christmas cheers.Students attending school not only experienced the delight of being back on campus after a lengthy passage, but also felt the festive throb.

Christmas celebrations looped the virtual circuit on 22 December 2021 at St. Dominic Savio High School. Heralding a silver lining out of the pandemic blues the gorgeous Christmas tree canopied the entrance of the school. ‘Hope was born on Christmas day’ beautifully bejeweled the curtains. TheWi-Fi network fueled the google meet and the online feast began. A tranquil aura lit every desk, as the class teachers led the students into solemn prayer, with thanks giving and praise to God for his abundant blessings. The traditional tableau presented by the teachers beautifully portrayed the essence of Christmastide.The message was explicit and assimilable. While we engage in preparing superficial symbols of Christmas, we tend to avoid the stretched-out hands of the needy. We conveniently choose to take a different route turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to their cry. As the children witnessed the recreation of the incarnation and birth of Jesus Christ, with much zeal they acknowledged the all defining message of Christmas,‘Jesus Christ our hope, during these trying times.’ Father Moras in his Christmas message spoke of the subdued nature of our celebrations,since many families were suffering the impact of the Pandemic. He implored for peace and love, reminding us to take care of each other. Students sang Christmas Carols and waited eagerly for Santa to arrive with his Ho HoHo…. call and echoes of Merry Christmas cheers. While jolly St. Nicholas appeared on the virtual screen with his bag of goodies, parents hugged their bundle of joy and surprised them with a gift on his behalf. Children were quizzed on the story of the birth of Jesus. With a platter of cookies, coffee and milkshake students pranced on the remote ballroom. Online games brought in joie de vivre into the classroom. Fun brimmed and excitement swirled in, as student and teachers played, ‘Santa Says, Christmas Bingo and Wheel of words.’ Taking a flash back a day prior teachers joined together in the Agape meal. The management and staff shared warm fuzzies and caught up with each other. Reassuring and comforting vibes inundated the hearts of the gathering. Notes were shared, with lines from countless Christmas songs. With zest and gaiety teachers sang carols in various languages and unwound themselves in delightful fun and frolic.The familiarity of the flock soon chartered into a new course of Salesian bonding. Father Brian Moras blessed the banquet and gave thanks to ‘The Ever-Living God-Emmanuel,’ for through these trying times ‘God has been and is with us.’

While the blessed year nears to an end and we take a quick revitalizing break, we affirm that the Almighty has been gracious unto us. So as one Savion family resolutely embedded in Salesian ideals,we reiterate our vow to imitate Jesus and Mary, giving them a pivotal role in our lives and making Christmas a celebration of love.