If you however take Jesus Christ out of Christmas, Christmas loses its significance. We asked both Christian and non-Christian actors what Christmas and Jesus's teachings mean to them.
Nia Sharma: Christmas to me means bells, delicious chocolate cake and a beautifully lit Christmas tree. This Christmas Eve I will be attending India-forums' colour themed party. I am very excited that I'm the cover girl of the December month on the Zing magazine. I am being featured in the 2013 calendar of india-forum's Youth Icon Calendar.
Had my family been in Mumbai; I would have gone with my family on the Christmas Day to the beach side, to dine at the J.W.Marriott and to a Hard Rock Cafe where loud music is being played. My favourite Christmas song is Last Christmas I Gave you my Heart by George Michael. I like the movie Serendipity, the 2001romantic comedy, starringJohn CusackandKate Beckinsale. In that film during theChristmasshopping season inNew York City, Jonathan Trager (John Cusack) meets Sara Thomas (Kate Beckinsale).
I respect Jesus's teachings. If he sends me a signal this Christmas I will surely try to follow it. I am also expecting cute gifts from Santa this year. Every year news channels come to actors to shoot Christmas videos dressed as Santa Claus and give us lovely gifts.
Krystle Dsouza: Christmas means family time, Lots of fun with family , awesome dinners and most of all the celebration of the birth of baby Jesus. Jesus gave his life for us. With no expectations at all, he teaches me selfless love which should be given to all without any expectations.
?I have always attended mid night mass on 24th night at 11pm. It's the best way to bring in Christmas and the night chills with the carols playing that gives me the Christmas feel.??My ideal Christmas dinner can be any kind of food. But it has to have my family sitting around the dinner table.
Amrita Mukherjee: Jesus Christ who is a god was born on Christmas Day. We have a holiday on Christmas Day. I have learnt lovely Christmas carols in school like Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. This Christmas I want Santa to give me a nice frock, shoes, hair band, clips, bangles, payal, nail polish and lipstick. I have Christmas dinner at my grandma's house, she is a great cook. I love Christmas cakes- I love mango flavoured cakes the most.
Jaswinder Gardner: Christmas is a very important festival for Christians as we are all one in the body of Jesus Christ. Jesus who was born on Christmas Day died on the cross to take away our sins. In Christ there is joy, peace, prosperity and salvation. I became a believer (accepted the Lord as my personal Saviour) eight years ago. In Christ I got physical healing. I would go to a convent school where Christmas was celebrated. However before I came to know the Lord, Christmas to me was like any other event like Diwali. When I started growing in the Lord (living by the teachings of Jesus), the significance for Christmas completely changed for me. To me Jesus's teachings is all about love and sacrifice. Jesus taught us selfless love, to be patient and to lead a good and pure life. I love reading books on Christianity and Jesus's teachings like that of Joel Osteen, Benny Hill and Joyce Meyers. Though I won't be in India this Christmas I will surely attend the church Christmas service in the country I am in.
Raquel Rebello: Lord Jesus was born on Christmas Day. On Christmas Day I spend quality family time, make home-made sweets and dress in new clothes and shoes. Christmas is after all the best time of the year. Lord Jesus's teachings give me courage and strength.I attend midnight mass without fail every year. I sing at the choir. Though I am grown up now and I know that there is no Santa Claus; we still keep gifts under the Christmas tree and open them on Christmas Day. I go with my friends with the Christmas dance in Bandra. It's great to have family dinner on Christmas Day.My favourite Christmas carols are Jingle Bells and Mary's Boy Child. My favourite Christmas movie is Home Alone.
Rakhi Sawant: Christmas means everything to me, it is like life to me. Jesus Christ was born on this day 2013 years ago. He was born out of Mother Mary's womb in human form.
Accepting Lord Jesus as my savior has brought about an immense positive transformation in me. I am not the same Rakhi that I used to be before knowing Jesus. Lord Jesus is more important to me than anyone else in the world.
It is not that I don't respect other Gods and festivals though. I celebrate the festivals of all religions- Diwali, Eid, Gudi Pawda, Guru Nanak Jayanti etc.
It was Lord Jesus who taught, 'If someone strikes you on onecheek,turnto him theotheralso. Mahatma Gandhi liked this teaching of Lord Jesus and believed in the same.
This year God has gifted me a beautiful new flat. Next year I wish from Him a good film offer and a nice item song.
I try my best to follow Lord Jesus' teachings but am being honest enough to own up that I can't follow all his teachings. If I could have done that I would be a sannyasi today. However I do strictly follow some of his teachings. Jesus is a healer. He has brought about great miracles in my life. For instance I speak the truth and don't believe in lying. I don't visit babas and astrologers but trust Jesus instead. Through Jesus you can attain salvation and go to heaven.
I am ordering a huge Christmas cake of about four to five kgs this year. Many children will attend my Christmas party and enact various super heroes like Spiderman, Krish etc. I will have a beautifully illumined Christmas tree and a ten feet statue of Santa Claus in the party.
Vaishnavi MacDonald: I was once in darkness, sin and was an enemy with God. However it's because that Jesus died on the cross for us that we celebrate Christmas Day today. Christmas is about the birth of Lord Jesus Christ and not about Santa Claus. We discredit the kids when we make them believe in Santa Claus instead of Jesus on Christmas Day. I have made sure though that my nine-year-old daughter knows the true meaning of Christmas instead of centering the festival around Santa.
This Christmas my husband in working hard on setting up a crib of Baby Jesus. Our church has a big service on Christmas Day, we sing songs of praise and worship to God and Lord Jesus. It's because of Lord Jesus that I am saved today as he took away my sins. Jesus is life giving. The Word of God (the Bible) is simply not to be read but also to be put into practice.
Gandhiji would read the Bible and followed its teachings. That is why he could get freedom for our country. If you follow Jesus's teachings you get freedom from hatred, bitterness, materialism etc. Gandhiji had asked you to love your enemies and if any one strikes you on the rightcheek, toturntheotheralso. This has all been mentioned in the Bible as Jesus's teachings.
One you accept Jesus as your savior you get super-natural grace and don't have to depend on self-effort anymore. You change as a person and consequently get healing, deliverance and break throughs in life. To me Christianity isn't a religion, it's a personal relationship with my saviour Lord Jesus.
This Christmas I will buy a huge cake and distribute it to friends and my colleagues along with sweets. I will be distributing CDs titled Unchaiyon Par which is our pastor Tejal Nadar's newly released CD. Meera, my church friend is making a testimony (to Jesus) DVD for gifting to everyone this Christmas.
I will have Christmas dinner with friends and family. We will try to dine out at Yoko's Sizzlers provided we get an unreserved table. My favourite Christmas carols are Silent Night and Long Time Ago in Bethlehem. I also like the Christmas Carol movie with stars Jim Carrey. I simply don't like Santa movies. I have loved reading The Torn Veil by Gulshan Esther (a Pakistani Christian) and the Death of the Guru by Rabi Maharaj and The Death of the Guru (by Trinidadian-born bestsellingIndianauthor).
Shoaib Ibrahim- This Christmas, I would like to ask Santa for more work and lots of new assignments, since that is what I am appreciated for. Wishing all my viewers a Merry Christmas.
Vivian Dsena:The best thing about Christmas is waking up in the morning and exchanging gifts and goodies! Although we have grown up and stopped believing in Santa, the present exchanging never fails to excite me! I am really looking forward to Christmas this year as I have a huge surprise gift planned for my family and I'm sure that they are going to be overjoyed when they receive it.
Dipika Samson: The best gifts in life will never be found under a Christmas tree! Those gifts are friends, family, kids, and the one you love! When you have them with you, what more could you ask for?
Siddharth Shukla: I associate Christmas to the colour white. Having that image in my head, I have always wanted to celebrate a white Christmas. I don't remember the last time I had a day off, so this Christmas, I would like Santa to send me on a long holiday, so I can fulfill my wish.
Tina Dutta: Since childhood, Christmas has been a very special time for me. We used to celebrate Christmas by putting up a huge tree at home, hiding gifts in the entire house. This Christmas, I want Santa to give every child the same good times that I have had during my childhood.
We at india-forums.com wish you all Merry Christmas.
Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.
- Calvin Coolidge (was the30thPresident of the United States)
Reporters: Krishma Solanki and Pallavi Bhattacharya
Author: Pallavi Bhattacharya