Christmas cheer for all

http://www.telegraphindia.com

Dec. 25: The sizeable Christian population of Kalimpong town celebrated Christmas with traditional fervour and gaiety today.

The celebration began last night itself with people thronging the various churches dotting the town for midnight mass. The churches were again the focal point this morning as the faithfuls converged for the morning prayers.

After the service, children and adults alike enjoyed the goodies served at the peace feasts on the premises of the churches. People, dressed in new clothes, were also seen exchanging cards and gifts.

Later, the party shifted to individual houses where family and friends gathered.

The town itself wore a festive look with many shops decorated for Christmas. The bakeries did brisk business. “The sale of cakes and chocolates has gone up this year. It probably has to do with the sudden influx of foreign tourists in the last couple of days,” said Abhishek Khanna, the owner of 3Cs, a popular confectionery here.

Hosanna Covenant Charitable Trust and Living Stone Ministries have decided to donate blankets to 20-odd beggars in town on Friday. “We also plan to give them packaged food,” said Paul Prakash, the president of Living Stone Ministries.

In Siliguri last night, 17 members of the Rotaract Club took on the role of Santa Claus, distributing blankets, clothes and food to 40 footpath dwellers.

“The aim was to celebrate the birth of Christ. We took on the role of Santa Claus to bring surprise and joy to the downtrodden. We hope that the initiative will show them that somebody cares,” said club president Khushboo Maheshwari.

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