The Joy of Christmas - Deborah Doris Fell, Maud Tyckaert

Christmas is one of those magical holidays that actually go beyond faith more than most other religious festivals. Although earlier celebrated only by Christians to mark the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas is now celebrated by people from different religious backgrounds, across the globe. From singing carols, visiting the church, putting up and decorating the Christmas tree, and getting together for a soulful meal, it happens in various households with much gusto and cheer. Keeping the festivities alive, You & I brings you two lovely ladies who talk about their versions of Christmas cheer. For both of them Christmas is more than just any other holiday—it’s about spending time with loved ones and recalling fond memories while making new ones too.    -- Niharika

Deborah Doris Fell
A true Hyderabadi, Deborah is a model by profession but a child at heart. Having begun her career eight years ago, this tall, dusky lass is alwasys busy travelling or posing in front of the camera, leaving her with very less time to spend with family. But Christmas is a time that is spent solely with family, uninterrupted. “I don’t take up any assignments on Christmas eve and day as I like to spend time with my family. Unfortunately this year, the entire family will not be together on this joyous occasion, as my mother and brother are in the US. Christmas will not be the same without them, however we will still continue with the same celebrations—visit to the church followed by a hearty meal,” said Deborah. Helping a hand to the needy is an important aspect of the festival for her family too, she says, adding that she loves to bring a smile on the little ones faces. Telling us about her love for fashion, she says that it was never a planned move. Deborah aspired to become an air hostess, but it was a pageant during her school days that made her consider taking up modelling professionally. “Fashion has always been an interest but that was never a planned path, I’d like to believe that it chose me rather than me choosing it,” she concluded.

Maud Tyckaert
A journalist turned French teacher, Maud Tyckaert is currently teaching her native language at the New York Academy—an American Progressive School in Hyderabad. Originally from France, she first visited Hyderabad in 2004 on work, during which she met her current husband, a DJ at the hotel she was staying at, and moved to Hyderabad after marriage in 2008.A mother of two, for Maud christmas is the celebration of motherhood and she eagerly awaits the festive season each year, for it is a day spent with the family, filled with laughter, excitement, and a lot of food. They begin the month of December by setting up and decorating the Christmas tree, and the evening before Christmas day is when the family indulges in special treats. “We usually go to a hotel that offers a lavish spread because it’s not easy to prepare all the delicacies at home,” said Maud for whom the excitement on her children’s face when they open their gifts is the best part of the festival. "This day reminds us about the magic of giving life," she added.

This year is all the more special for Maud’s children as their Godfather is visiting from Paris for Christmas, and playing Santa Claus with lots of gifts from the family in France. “We’re a multi-cultural family so we celebrate every festival with must gusto, but Christmas is closest to my heart. This year too we will go to church for mass and spend the rest of the day with family and close friends,” she said.