By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: A Christmas celebration in its true sense was observed during the pre-Christmas celebration which took place under the historic Christmas tree planted at the All Saints Cathedral Hall premises.
The century old fir tree stands illuminated at the heritage All Saints Cathedral, bearing testimony to the Christmas celebrations in Shillong, where the pre-Christmas celebration was held amidst carols and prayers.
The priest in charge of the Cathedral, PB Lyngdoh while talking about the celebration said that the idea behind it was to show solidarity and to share the joys of Christmas.
“As a family we meet at this time of year to celebrate Christmas,” he said. The celebration saw distribution of gifts by Santa Claus, besides the singing of carols.
The ”natural Christmas tree” about a 150 feet tall, is decorated every year by the Presbyterian Church. The tree which had been planted by the British is an attraction to the faithful as well as to the tourists during the Christmas and New Year celebration.
The tree is under the maintenance of the church since then; adding that the church does not allow anyone to cut the branches other than removing the dead branches.
The celebration was unique as the children from different faiths also took part in the celebration to spread the message of peace and harmony.
The All Saints Church, opposite is an attractive structure made out of wood. The Welsh missionaries were the first to arrive in the Khasi Hills and establish the Christian mission in the 1840’s.
A reminder of their mission work of yore is the All Saints Cathedral which was originally built in the 19th century, in the ecclesiastic style which lies in the heart of the city.
It may be mentioned those 10 days before the Christmas, the church employs labourers to illuminate the tree and other decorative works in the church.
In another pre-Christmas celebration event, the District Tuberculosis Centre, East Khasi Hills, Shillong organised a special pre-Christmas programme exclusively for the MDR TB patients under its care on Friday.
The programme started with Christmas songs by the choir group from Mawkhar, which was followed by a welcome speech from the TB-HIV coordinator and later a song by the MDR patients.
The Shishu Shiksha Ghar, a Children’s Home of Learning too organised a series of programmes to celebrate Christmas thereby making the day special and joyful for the distressed, destitute and those in difficult situations.
Shima Modak, the Administrative Head & Principal of Shishu Shiksha Ghar took the initiative to double the joy of Chirstmas by celebrating it at the Mercy Old Age Home together with the children of SSG.
Around 60 under-privileged children from SSG participated in this special occasion along with 40 to 45 elderly people of the Home. Besides, sisters from the said missionary and teachers of SSG too attended the great moment.
Also, SSG organised Christmas celebration at Rangmen , Ri-Bhoi District as well as at Mawlong for the working children, child labours, domestic workers and other under-privileged children.