Sri Lankans are finally celebrating their first Christmas somewhat free of Covid-19. Although it is still advisable to be cautious in social gatherings, things can be considered to be relatively under control.
Unfortunately, despite overcoming a global pandemic, we have all been plagued with a different concern as the country’s economic and social instability weighs heavily on us all.
Regardless of severe inflation, price hikes, and a shortage of essential goods, Sri Lankans appear to be fairly determined to have a grand Christmas celebration and an equally festive New Year.
The Sunday Morning Brunch is also extending our warmest wishes to Sri Lankans living here and abroad a very happy Christmas.
Much like the wonderful people we reached out to, Brunch too would like to express a hopeful message for the new year.
Sri Lankans have experienced a difficult time especially this past year, owing to the political and financial crisis. However, if nothing else, Lankans have always been resilient and as a collective, we’ve always come out stronger. We have no doubt that Sri Lankans will recover and reach impossible heights soon; we simply must remain hopeful and do our part to help our nation recover its former glory.
As we wish all our readers a merry Christmas, The Sunday Morning Brunch reached out to a number of beloved figures to find out their Christmas Day plans; how they will be celebrating the day, perhaps surrounded by family and friends or indulging in delicious festive foods, and to maybe share with us a hopeful message for the coming year.
“Christmas generally begins with midnight mass at St. Andrew’s Scots Kirk where we worship and sometimes a quick piece of cake at a friend’s. If we don’t attend midnight mass, we generally attend morning service, have lunch at home with family, a good nap (mandatory), and set off to a friend’s for Christmas dinner which has long been tradition. However, in the last three years, material festivities have tended to take a backseat and especially this year, it will be about sharing that Christmas feeling with those who can’t afford a daily square meal, let alone celebrate Christmas.”
Staying hopeful for the new year, Savithri shared: “While Christmas is a time for festivities, we cannot forget the reason for Christmas; Christ, born to save humanity from its sin. The concept of forgiveness, care, and love therefore must be paramount this season and be spread throughout this nation. With these, good can always triumph over evil. May this nation be blessed this Christmas.”
“I typically celebrate Christmas with my immediate family, cousins, and close relatives. We go to church on Christmas Day, following which we gather and celebrate together.”
Harpo shared that they would be sure to focus on those who were less fortunate as well, especially considering that the season was a time for giving and sharing one’s blessings: “I have a company to support those who may need it [Harpo Foundation] and we make sure to focus on others need when we are celebrating.”
Harpo also shared a message of positivity for all: “The past four years have been especially difficult for Sri Lankans, starting with the Easter Sunday tragedy. My hope is that we all remain positive and take this positive energy into the next year. Thinking of and projecting positivity may be the way to come out of whatever craziness we’ve all experienced these past few years.”
Tarja De Silva
“We were never a family that traditionally celebrated Christmas, but since my husband joined us [Alberto Ruiz] and because celebrating Christmas is really ingrained in Spanish culture and it is sort of inbuilt in their practices, we have started to have a Christmas dinner and celebrate in that way,” said Tarja.
She added: “While typically we would have a Christmas dinner, this year it will be a holiday celebration because we as a family will be travelling to Vietnam so we will be celebrating there, but as a family.”
Tarja also wished for resilience for the coming new year: “I hope that we all remain resilient. We have all been through a lot these past few years, but I would like to say, let’s not allow this to put a damper on our dreams and let us hope that the new year treats us all well.”
“Typically, on any special day, I always want to be with my family and my kid; he’s really into Christmas and he’s expecting Santa Clause. I want to give him a good time and really make it a memorable one. That’s what we will do; open some gifts,” Roshan said, adding: “Christmas is a time for sharing and spreading joy, so that’s what we hope to do.”
Roshan also shared a message for the new year: “Everyone goes through rough patches and Sri Lankans have been through a lot. However, I like to think that there is a silver lining ahead and what we should do is think positively. If we are able to do that, we can have hope. It’s about not thinking negatively and hoping for the best.”
“I almost always celebrate Christmas with my family, unless it’s a rare occasion where I’m travelling or spending it on stage. I’m grateful that I get to spend Christmas this year with people who truly matter,” Natasha said.
She added: “My mom fell ill last December and has been in and out of hospital with kidney disease. It hasn’t been easy for the family. Thankfully, she is in the process of recovery. Today I’m especially grateful to see her up early making Malay pickle for Christmas lunch. So grateful.”
As for a hopeful message, she said: “Love the people in your life and don’t take them for granted. You never know when you will last see them. Value yourself, most importantly; you matter. Seek wisdom more than pleasures of this world, love yourself unconditionally, and always know you are enough. Since we are all reflections of each other, how we see ourselves is how the world sees and treats us in return.
“As the new year dawns, promise yourself that you will stay true to your own authenticity and in doing so you will see that you align yourself with that which is good for your mind, body, and soul. In the end, it is nothing more than an energetic tie between cause and effect. People sometimes forget that they hold the key to their happiness.
“Wishing everyone a truly blessed, healthy, and abundant 2023!”