Growing up in a Catholic convent, Christmas of my childhood meant more than just holidays. We would spend days practising hymns, to be sung in our little school chapel.
We would spend a considerable time putting up the Nativity scene, stringing decorations, setting up a small, artificial fir tree, and decorate it with shiny rounds, streamers and top it with the silver star.
The chapel stood just beside the convent where our Sisters stayed. And so we would get sniffs of the cakes, biscuits and other goodies being baked.
Once in a while, we would be rewarded with sweets or slices of warm bread and jam and a slice of cake on other days.
Since it would be our exam time too, we used to find it very difficult to contain our excitement. The holidays started after exams but on Christmas Day, we would go to school.
Mother Superior and a Father from the local church would preside over the prayers for the school and all of us .
The school choir would bring in the joyful day with the beautiful hymns. And after that goodies were distributed.
There would be happy, shiny faces all around. Even the strictest Sister would be smiling. We would be in our civil dresses .
School seemed different to us on Christmas Day.
After a mandatory visit to the playground and making sure we swung on every swing, made use of the merry-go-round and the see saw one last time, we would troop back to our much exasperated, waiting parents for the trip home.
Shrieks of "Haaaaappy holidaaaays " would reverberate the school grounds and to the hills beyond as we separated from our friends for a fortnight long holidays.
Back home, Ma would have her cakes and roast chicken ready.
And her famous winter salad ( I will be making a post on it soon).
As this difficult year nears its end, we look forward to happier days and pray that the year ahead will be just as beautiful as the days of our childhood. To be able for us to make happy memories again.
I baked these two cakes this morning.
One, a simple vanilla and orange zest added golden delicious delight.
The other, with the added very subtle flavours of coffee and spices.
You will find all my recipes of my cakes on the label 'Cakes' on the right column under labels.
Merry Christmas and may God bless you all!