This year, he has divided his Christmas day into two halves — one to be spent with his family and the other with friends. “My Christmas starts a special mass on Christmas Eve at the Portuguese church. On the 25th, we bake cakes, share presents and spend time with family. But after evening mass, it’s an all-night party with my friends at the Bandra Gym,” said Braganza.
At his Andheri home, Fredrick D’Mello’s themed Christmas cribs keep his celebrations colourful and creative. “This year I’ve made a winter-themed crib full of cotton wool snow. As the clock strikes 12, we will place baby Jesus in the crib and say a small prayer,” he said.
Others have come up with more unconventional ways to celebrate. Children living on the pavements of Malad will meet Santa Claus in the form of Rony Umman, a business developer, for whom charity work is the essence of Christmas. Starting last week, the Umman family sat together to figure out how many street children live in the vicinity. On Tuesday, they will distribute the gifts, which are all items the children can use.
“Jesus asked us to feed the needy, so on his birthday this is the best gift I can offer god,” said Umman.