Lit Up Like a Christmas Tree
By Priyangwada Perera
Ceylon Today Features
“I am so glad we found Christmas clothes for all of us without having to shop like crazy,” Amma told the family. Both Kaveesh and Kaavya nodded in agreement. “Yes, Amma told us that this time no shopping is possible, because of COVID-19 and I was not expecting any new clothes,” said Kaveesh. Kaavya being the youngest, smiled shyly. “I too was not expecting anything but I must say that the thought of celebrating Christmas for the first time with no new clothes, no gifts made me very sad. I was trying to think of the poor, sick and the less privileged people and remember how fortunate we are. I kept telling myself that with or without new clothes for Christmas, we are safe and healthy and we have so many good things,” Kaavya said. “Oh, what a precious little girl you are, to look at the situation like that. I am so proud of both of you, Kaveesh and Kaavya that you are unselfish, sensible children. We did not go out, the way we do every year.
Thaththa and I went to the town and we knew some shops were open. We went, grabbed a few things and came out as fast as possible,” their mother said. “Of course, Kaveesh. That was the world’s fastest shopping spree ever. Although, I admire your mother for being very swift and fast with her shopping on any day. But this one was even better. It is not a wise idea to be shopping because we are not completely out of danger,” father added.
“I was prepared. I knew what I wanted and what I was looking for. I know your sizes and what looks good on you and what you like,” Amma smiled brightly and Thaththa nodded in appreciation. “Anyway, I washed all the new clothes and put them to dry. None of you are going to wear them out of the showcase of the shop,” Amma said. “I destroyed the bags I brought them in and disinfected everything as well,” she continued when the father added, “Trust your mother to do everything correctly and follow all health guidelines. So, you are safe.” All of them laughed in merriment and assurance that they have done the right thing and that Christmas would still be beautiful.
“Oh, I wonder what everybody is going to do about clothes for Christmas,” said Kaavya, who was very much interested in fashion and clothes. “Nangi, don’t you have anything better to think about? How about thinking of a new creative way of making the crib, instead of speaking of stupid clothes,” said Kaveesh quite irritated. Then with half a smile he said, “But to be honest, Kaavya, you posed a very good question. I wonder how our dear aunty Viji will come to church on Christmas. Usually she is lit up like a Christmas tree. Poor aunty Viji must be feeling terrible if she cannot find the right clothes.” This made them all roar in laughter, except one person in the room. “This is strange. You say she usually comes lit up like a Christmas tree. Then why do I not remember that? I am always attentive and aunty Viji is always the first to wish us after Christmas Mass at church. I don’t remember her lit up like a Christmas tree. Aiya, which year are you talking about? Plus, we don’t have a fancy dress parade for Christmas Mass,” Kaavya was puzzled.
All the others burst in laughter again. “Oh dear, this is so bad to laugh at aunty Viji,” Amma said trying to stop her giggles. Their father was still laughing. “Kaavya, my dear, ‘to be lit up like a Christmas tree’ does not mean that a person is dressed up like a Christmas Tree. It means somebody has overly decorated oneself, in all sparkly things, with too much ornamentation and jingle. That makes one look like a Christmas tree,” he managed to explain, in between his laughter.
Kaavya’s eyes sparkled. “I know what you mean, Thaththa. I have seen plenty of such people. Yes, aiya is correct. Now that you explained it, I was thinking how flashy and ornamented aunty Viji looked, as compared to Amma. Now that you said it, she looked exactly like our Christmas tree that year. But isn’t it terrible to look like that? I hope aunty Viji does not come lit up like a Christmas tree this year,” little Kaavya said quite sincerely. “Oh no, I hope she does. It would be fun to watch out for her,” Kaveesh said grinning. “Don’t be mean, Kaveesh. People dress the way it pleases them. If they want to be lit up like a Christmas tree, let them be so,” Amma said. “Oh yes, it only adds to the sparkle,” Thaththa laughed.