A simple and blissful Christmas

10:34 AM

This year might have seen the best Christmas I ever had since I moved to India 12 years ago. It could possibly be one of the best of my adult life altogether.

The irony, is that I didn't even try making it good. I didn't try to conform to any guidelines and ideals defined by culture and society. I decided to just do what I enjoy doing: eating comfort food, sipping hot tea, opening gifts, and watching a good movie.

We started our Christmas celebration on December 24th, because I grew up celebrating that day, and it feels way way less forced and artificial for me to just keep with that pattern.
I started that day by going out early in the morning to get a chance at getting the sourdough bread I love at my local bakery. Mumbai was experiencing a chill at the time, so the rickshaw ride kind of felt like we were in an open sleigh of sort, and yes, it felt pleasantly cold.
I then spent the day relaxing, and cooking a batch of chicken liver spread and then made "pigs in a blanket" (except with chicken sausages).

DH came home early that day so we could all open presents together, and the sausages and liver spread were pretty much our dinner. Then, Ishita was ready for bed, but not before she ceremoniously poured a glass of milk for Santa and placed cookies on a plate (and a carrot for the reindeers).
By Christmas morning Santa dropped a gift for her on his way and we just lazed around the whole morning. For, we had plans in the afternoon, the best kind of plans :

We headed to the mall and multiplex to see a movie we knew we would all enjoy : The latest Star Wars (which released in India on the 25th itself). I loved it because I am a Star Wars fan, DH loved it because he likes Star Wars too, and Ishita loved it because she is OBSESSED with spaceships and robots.
Once the movie was over, we headed for a cup of coffee and did some Christmas light watching in Hiranandani Gardens in Powai.

It was a ridiculously simple Christmas, with no pressure to be the perfect hostess or have the most perfect food on the table. There was no slaving in the kitchen the whole day to produce a special meal to grace the occasion. There was no urge to take a ton of pictures to capture the happiness with a camera for shield. There was no fancy clothing, no bells and whistle (other than the bells on the tree). No fancy table (something we are a bit too big about in my homeland and never made much sense to me). Nope, there was nothing cosmetic and impressive about that Christmas.

What is had however was : a lot of love, a lot of warmth, a lot of simplicity, a lot of fun, a lot of things we enjoy, some pretty lights and a feeling of bliss coming from it all. And,  after a whole month of jammed packed weekends (and weekdays) a lot of gatherings and parties with friends and little time to rest.
For the first time, I didn't feel like I was particularly missing out on anything by not having guests over on Christmas Day (not that I hate guests, far from it).

This Christmas and overall Holiday season had the perfect blend of decor, fun, cheer, get together and love. Just how it is supposed to be...

Now, as December is coming to an end, I find myself reflecting on the year that was and counting my blessings as I always do. Don't expect much activity from my part on the blog. I am stuck in that zone where Christmas is over but not just quite yet. I of course have plans and ideas for the blog, all of which will come with 2016. 2016, with its promises of starting anew, and having a blank canvas to work with...

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  1. Wow, I'm surprised Ishita had the patience to sit through an entire movie at her age.
    No drama here on Xmas either. A S. Korean Christian group served a free meal so I went & helped.
    The only drama going on here-
    It is a chilly 15C this morning. I shut the doors, the maid leaves them open. I ask her to keep the doors shut repeatedly, she leaves the doors open repeatedly. Then I catch her cleaning the wooden bookshelves with window cleaner & a damp, dirty rag for the 5th time this month, I hand her the duster & demonstrate dusting of wooden objects. WHY is this so hard? What is so difficult to understand? Argggh!

    1. The damp dirty rag and and window cleaner to clean wood sounds SUPER familiar, I went on explicitly forbidding my maid to use anything damp for dusting and had to scold her a couple of time this year still when she tried pulling the trick again. I gave her countless demo on how to dust properly, and it keeps falling in deaf ears. Now she just glide a duster around mindlessly. It's not clean, but I am past the point of caring. She catches half the dust doing so, I clean behind her the proper way. Ditto with the mopping, she's been with us 4 years but she STILL doesn't understand that mopping involve putting pressure on the mop to get the stains and grime to come off the floor. She also refuse to understand that putting too much water on the floor is not going to get anything clean at all either. Each time DH or I tell her the floor is not cleaned, she finds a way to blame whatever mop she was using, you'd think after 4 years and us even showing her how it is done she would just understand it is not the mop's doing but the person holding the mop...sigh!

  2. Merry Christmas! I had a pretty good Christmas in Michigan. My husband grew up traveling for Christmas in India. I want to relax and let the kids play with their toys!

    1. Merry Christmas to you too! I am pretty much in "relaxing mode" right now. Ishita is happy to play with her friends in the building, and I am happy not to have to be on the run and planning activities during the holiday break.

  3. Anonymous8:57 PM

    it is good to know that u had a good Christmas. We too went to watch a movie on Christmas "bajirao mastani" based on the love story of maratha peshwa bajirao and his Muslim love. Needless to say with all the war scenes and songs my son became restless. The whole mall was decked up for Christmas with huge Christmas tree and santana cluaus. there was not a inch left. It was hot and chaotic. We has a quick dinner and a few rides for my son, headed home. With four days off everyone went to the mall. not a pleasant experience. In fact it was difficult to reach the mall due to traffic jam. One girl behind me joked that it was more easy to reach the mountain shrine to reach vaishno Devi than to reach the mall lol.

    btw ishita could handle all that noise quite commendable.


    1. When it comes to Malls and holidays, we generally try to beat the thick of the crowd by going there early. The movie was at 2pm, we were there by 1.30, grabbed a quick bite and went into the cinema hall. By then there wasn't that much of a crowd at the mall, but by the time the movie was over at 4.45 the mall was super crowded and we want for the exit quickly and off to have a coffee in Powai. The Starbucks there was crowded, but still manageable and watching the lights is an open air activity, since Hiranandani Gardens are well planned, the crowd doesn't feel suffocating at all.

  4. Anonymous10:29 AM

    Oh, we reached there early but I guess the crowd had already poured started pouring in due to the holidays. I was not the case earlier. Now, we are a bit wiser. My son prefers TV to big screen but is quiet comfortable with big screen. The movie behind a period film had lots of war scenes and noise. This again brings us back to the choice of films with children.

    There was time when you had to go to the movie hall for booking tickets current or advance. There was a mad rush because there was only one screen. Now, with multiple screens things have improved. Black marketing of tickets was common. I have personally enjoyed many a movie sitting in the front seat with all the noise and whistles. This was also the reason that women/families avoided movie halls.

    Now with the malls, the usual riff raff that used to come to movie halls are nowhere there. They have either disappeared or improved their behaviour. The only problem is that they sell overpriced food. However, this is what we need, if we have to improve our public places.


    1. I usually avoid too realistic movies with Ishita, at home she only watches cartoons and G rated movies. Starwars being the limit of what she is allowed to watch for now.

      The trick with multiplex going is to avoid the food they sell inside, it's overpriced, and not even tasting good. We usually eat just before the movie, or right after at any of the mall's eateries and usually stick to water (overpriced) and a small pack of popcorn IF we feel like it, and we usually don't :-)


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