In Christmas, New Year

Every year, I set up an artificial Christmas tree at my home, decorate it with small goodies and lights. However, it just doesn’t have the festive feel nor the spirit. This time, I wanted it to be different. I wanted it to be bigger and more importantly, make our apartment folks to be involved. That’s when the idea of a community tree cropped up and quickly latched on to it.

This is the tree that’s inside our apartment that we chose. We planted this two years ago and this guys has grown fairly strong. We decided to give it the Christmas look.

Off I went to Parrys Corner. It’s a good one hour ridefrom my place. Worth the long ride. You get the best varieties and the best prices. Picked up stars, trinkets, bells, and other stuff.

There’s a special lane in Parrys corner that only deals with electrical goods. Picked up a whole bunch of ‘china made’ Christmas lights.

The whole idea attracted the apartment kids like Pied Piper. That’s just half of them. A whole lot more joined in soon.

The kids helped set things up and the adults joined in doing the hard stuff like electrical wiring and hanging.

We needed thin metal wires in order to hang the stars and the bells. There’s a nice hardware store nearby and bought these wires.

Meanwhile, another team of volunteers began work on getting the electrical wiring ready. Since all the bulbs were to be fixed as a serial connection, we had to make sure that the connections were perfect. One mistake and the rest of the bulbs won’t glow. I wanted to call in a professional electrician to help but the enthusiastic guys said they’d do it themselves. I was impressed.

A kind gentleman in our apartment helped source a ladder that greatly helped. Once the wiring was done, we began to hang the lights.

As the evening progressed, the day light began to fade making the task harder. The team didn’t want to stop mid way and we laboured on. The thin branches didn’t help either and we had to be careful. The lightest guy in the team took on the adventurous job of getting up the tree.

When we switched on the power, it was a sight to behold. The colourful lights lit up the place brightly. The kids and the folks in the apartment broke into an applause immediately. Seen here are the three guys, Nagesh, Manohar and Rajesh who took on the bulk of the work. Each of the kids went and shook their hands saying, “Thank you uncle”. The joy on the kids face was worth all the 6 hours of hard work.

The spirit was contagious. One of the neighbours even bought a whole pack ‘jalebis’ for the team. Now the folks in the apartment are enthusiastic about celebrating a joint New Year Celebrations on 30th night and plans are underway. It’s the first time in 12 years that this apartment is seeing a joint celebration.

Amazing what a little spirit and a Christmas tree can do! 🙂