Our great Christmas 2016

10:00 AM

You may have noticed I suddenly went quiet after December 23rd and the few posts between then and  January 2nd were all scheduled in advance.
It's not the first time I'm slowing down during the end of the year festive period. I usually give focus to family, friend and just plain old relaxing after a busy year.

2016 was no different in many aspects, but also very special, as far as Christmas was concerned at least.
The whole year was a crazy ride of having escaped death or at the least, severe injuries last February. It was followed with the longest Summer break we ever had, thanks to a change of school (nearly 4 months of break, it's no picnic).
There have been the usual high and lows, a few successes and achievement, and a health revelation that forced me to seek help and loose that weight (I'm still going strong).
The festive season then claimed us, and it was a whirlwind of public holidays, parties, gathering, festivals that kept us on our toes, and for some reasons, most of Ishita's friends are born during said festive season, to make it more interesting and busier than it already is.

Christmas this year was quite special though.

My brother in law surprised us by coming to visit us from Lucknow along with his wife and son. This is the first time ever they came to celebrate Christmas with us in 10 years of DH and I being married.
Until the 23rd they had no idea if they would get berths on the train, so we only really could plan at the last minute.
The came in the evening of the 24th and I spent the morning and the afternoon of that day doing some last minute Christmas shopping for my nephew. We also realised we had no guest pillows left and had to brave the mall crowd to get some as well. I then quickly made a batch of Milano cookie dough. With the idea that the kids could get baking on Christmas day.

We ended up opening presents on the Christmas morning, then played outside for a while, napped, and went out for dinner as it was way simpler to do with 6 people, two vegetarians who prefer Indian food and a tiny kitchen that was already overloaded with dirty dishes from lunch.
It turned out to have been an excellent idea. We headed to one of these "Barbecue" type restaurants where they bring grilled food to a grill on your table. That way everybody got to eat what they wanted with no wastage of food.

On the 26th, we tackled some grocery shopping and errands, then I got Ishita, her cousin and our neighbour busy in the kitchen in the afternoon.
I manned the oven while they got busy cutting shapes in my cookie dough. It's at this moment I thought : "Darn we need a bigger kitchen". 3 kids attempting to cut cookies together on the only 70 centimeters of usable kitchen counter space in our kitchen is quite a challenge.
They spent the rest of the evening playing hide and seek in the flat while I tackled the cleaning and dinner prepping with SIL.

It was followed by a day of shopping at the mall which gave us the occasion to soak in the Christmas decorations and that super cute penguin Christmas tree in the first picture. SIL, Ishita and I were in shopping bliss, my 10 years old nephew? Not so much, it is clear that shopping enjoyment is in the genetic markup that makes a girl/woman. Boys usually loathe the experience from an early age, a fact that my nephew confirmed, along with the testimony of my other SIL and many of my friends who are moms of boys.
But hey, it was the beginning of the sales period! You can't miss that! Especially when for the first time in ages finding clothes that fit is no longer a big ordeal for me.

Before you know it, and a few creative projets, way too much food and a trip to South Mumbai it was time for BIL and family to head back to Lucknow. They left in the afternoon of the 31st and DH, Ishita and I went to see the New Years Lights in Hiranandani Gradens in Powai in the evening, and went back home before the crowd and traffic got too bad.
If you are ever in Mumbai between Christmas and New Year you MUST go see those lights, they usually light them for Christmas but this year they ran a bit late. They pretty much light the enire neighbourhood, hang fairly lights from every tree in the public park (Heritage Garden) and it is probably one of the best free holiday activity you can do in the suburbs.

I took a few pics to mark the occasion:
Those fairy lights globes are found all over the area, mostly hanging from strings above the streets, but a few adorn the ground near Rodas Hotel and Galleria.

Around the hotel and galleria they made a canopy of lights above the street instead of hanging globes. This picture above is taken at the Galleria fountain with what was, once upon a time called the "Bayer house" in the background. It is now called the Scorpio house. This building and area have been featured in a couple of Bollywood movies and commercials over the years.

The star of the light display is Heritage Garden, it is a big public park that is nice and pleasant year round. For New Year though, it is adorned with lights, every trees, and bushes are completely draped in fairy lights, the result is pretty stunning, and it comes as no surprise that the place gets really crowded on the 31st.

A lot of people come to Hiranandani Gardens for the lights, and all eateries and street food stalls are doing a brisk business on that day. DH and I left around 8.30pm before the roads became clogged with traffic.
We continued celebrating at home with take out food and a bottle of wine in our sweat pants. We've never been the New Year party type to begin with and even less so after Ishita was born. We enjoy the confort of our home.

Happy New Year to all of you!

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  1. Anonymous1:17 PM

    It is wonderful that you had loads of fun. It is great to have people at the time of festivals. The more the merrier. The light decorations of Hiranandani are breathtakingly beautiful.

    We went to watch a wonderful movie called "Dangal" on 31st December. It is based on a true story from Haryana, of a father who trains his daughters to become world class wrestlers, in a patriarchal society, against all odds. Wonderful movie with a message something which the entire family can watch. I think it was a perfect ending to the year.


    1. I think that is the movie my husband went to see with BIL and family one day. I stayed home with Ishita as she isn't super patient with Hindi movies, or heck movies in general, sitting still in cinemas is not something she feels like doing, even for a Disney movie she gets a bit antsy toward the end.

    2. Anonymous3:22 PM

      I think is a wonderful movie and thank god bollywood is making more of them these days. Who would have thought bollywood would make a woman centric movie with sports.

      My son too gets restless during movies. Last time we went to period movie and he did not like the noise of the war scenes. This movie has a few, well a lot of wrestling scenes with loud thuds, he got agitated, plus he saw a few children walking up and down and he wanted to join them, but could not. All in all my wife got perturbed and I felt sorry for her. This had happened a year earlier too, so we did not want a repeat of it, but since it was such a good movie, we went to see it.

      Now, we plan to take him to malls and crowded places more often, so that he gets used to crowds and noise but with his exams we don't get time. These days children are always having exams.



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