Islamabad-With only a week left in Christmas, Christian residents of the capital, like other parts of the country, have started finalising preparations for the occasion.

This year, the Christian community is making preparations to celebrate the Christmas with more enthusiasm and renewed spirit, feeling the echo of church bells that announce birth of the Jesus.

The festival will be marked through different activities ranging from community gatherings to cake cutting ceremonies in small communities.

The joyous occasion will fill the atmosphere with colours, symbols and traditions of Christmas that include Christmas tree, Santa Clause, carols and Christmas gifts.

The youngsters studying in various educational institutions run by the churches are rehearsing for tableaus and carols to add charm to the Christmas functions. All young and old are visiting Sunday bazaars and markets of twin cities to shop for themselves and their loved ones while youth looks more interested in buying Christmas cards and gifts to show their love to their family and friends.

Aasia Masih, a schoolteacher, said, “I have finalised preparations for the Christmas with family and friends. This festival has great significance for the whole community as this is the time to spread love among all”.

 “On this occasion, we should follow philosophy of Jesus Christ that was based on love, brotherhood, peace and harmony to deal with issues like terrorism and extremism”, she said.

The main ritual of the Christmas celebrations is decoration of Christmas tree to welcome the arrival of Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas.

The Christmas tree is usually decked with different ornaments including baubles, small bells, painted gold or silver, stars of different shapes and sizes, pine cones, apples, candies, tinsel and balloons made from glass, metal, wood and ceramic. An angel and star is often placed at the top of the tree representing the host of angels.

The main markets of the federal capital have started displaying Christmas accessories and ornaments used to decorate Christmas tree to attract the buyers. While the sweet shops are also ready to earn huge business through selling cakes and sweets on this occasion.