Anyone Can Be Santa


The ongoing Santa Workshop ushers in the festive spirit by making people experience the joy of gifting.

Most of our childhood memories associated with Christmas are those moments when we awaited gifts from none other than Santa Claus himself. However, this Christmas, a Santa Workshop that is being held at Sacred Heart Cathedral's Yusuf Sadan gives people an opportunity to be Santa Claus and bring a smile on the faces of as many as 1.2 lakh people in the Capital. Organised by DeePositive Foundation, the workshop is all about letting those who sign up, experience the joy of gifting. "It is not a charity event. It is about making people believe in the power of gratitude," says Deepanjali Rao, its founder.

As one enters the basement, Christmas decorations such as the holly, fairy bulbs and baubles light up the room and transport one to fairy land. A group of people seated in the middle of the room are busy wrapping gifts. They seem like a bunch of elves working round the clock, much like a scene from the 1994 American fantasy film The Santa Claus, making sure the gifts are packed in time for Christmas. Be it a three-year-old fiddling with gift wrappers or a 61-year-old woman paying attention to the project at hand ó the best part is that anyone can be part of the workshop. Christmas carols and popular songs on the radio fill the air while those at work sing along.

These gifts have been collected from people who wish to give presents.There is one rule: they should be unused and are purchased right then. So far, 40,000 gifts have been stacked next to the Christmas tree in the room; the target is to wrap 1.2 lakh gifts before Christmas. On the big day, the volunteers will distribute these to people working on the streets ó porters, Metro staff, sweepers, rickshaw pullers, cops, slum dwellers, homeless and street children. "The idea is to thank those who are not thanked," adds Rao. The gift could be anything ó chocolates, earmuffs, biscuits, keychains, pens or socks.

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