LAHORE - Although the Christian community has decided to observe Christmas as black day in protest against blasphemy laws, most of the Christians are making preparations to celebrate the day with the usual enthusiasm. In this regard, almost all the churches in the provincial metropolis are being decorated with colorful lights, illuminated trees and other ornaments. The Christians are also decorating their homes and educational institutions run by the churches. The Christmas shopping is in full swing to mark the 2010th birth anniversary of Jesus Christ. Youth of the community are busy purchasing cloths, Christmas trees and cards. Annual Christmas dinner and cake cutting ceremonies, get-togethers and exchanging Christmas gifts and cards are also on the rise as per traditions. Christmas tree, which is the symbol of happiness and love are being decked to welcome the arrival of Santa Claus also known as Christmas Father. It is worth mentioning that the tradition of decorating Christmas tree was introduced in Germany and gradually became one of the prime symbols of Christmas rituals. Catherine Sapna, a Christian lady said, "Jesus Christ completely identified himself with the poor, deprived and marginalised and asked people that if they love him, they need to love needy people". While talking about the preparations of holy festival she said they usually started decorating their homes, schools and churches from first of December. She said she had purchased some gifts for her kin and friends. Chairman Pakistan Christian National Party Joseph Francis informed TheNation that the congregations of Christmas will be held in all more than one thousand churches in the city. He said about 0.7 million Lahorites Christians would celebrate the day with religious fervor. He further said the celebrations of the Christmas will remain up to January 6, 2011. "Religious rhymes are being used only in religious activities like carol services which are part of prayers," he added. Rama Rashid, a Christian girl, said she waited the day all the year as it was the occasion of joy and sharing of happiness. She said the day taught the message of love and humanity. Roban said they had organised the cake cutting ceremony at their house to share their happiness with their family members, relatives and friends. It may be mentioned that Major Christmas ceremonies will be held at Cathedral Church, The Mall, Saint Merry Church in Cantt, Saint Anthony at Lawrence Road and Anarkali and Saint Merry Church in Kot Lakhpat and Nishat Abad where a large number of Christians including women and children will attend the prayers on Christmas eve. The prayers will start from Friday night and will remain continue till Saturday by 2pm.