INDIA ABROAD DECEMBER 30, 2016 21 COVER STORY
the origins are religious in nature
but so many celebrate Christmas
in a secular way that I don’t even
feel unusual. We celebrate it
because it is a time to pause and
take stock of your loved ones
and spend time with them.”
She had another motivation
for returning to her Christmas
roots. “I didn’t want to be the
grumpy old lady forbidding my
children from celebrating
either,” said LaVigne.
While growing up in Boston,
she said, she and her family dec-
orated the tree together, went
caroling, baked for the holiday
and connected with relatives.
She said it wasn’t about buying
and giving gifts – or counting
how many everyone got. That
practice continues today, she
said. “My children get three gifts
total and we focus on the posi-
tive and non-commercial parts
of the holidays,” she said.
“Christmas gives us this
opportunity and we are really
happy to have this be our
favorite Christmas celebration
activity. We also cut down our
own tree annually. It is one of
the best parts of our celebration
on the physical side. Also, we go
to see the ‘Nutcracker’ together,” she said.
Continued on page 22
Above, the Indian Business Association of Oak Tree Road, New
Jersey, celebrates Christmas at India Square in Iselin, New Jersey,
with Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac, Indian American council-
man Viru Patel and Indian American kids on Saturday, December 17.
Below, Diana Rohini LaVigne with her children cutting a Christmas
tree in the Los Gatos area of California. Left, Arun Goel with family.
Below right, students at Dolly Shah’s Christmas workshop.