Shopping for Our First Christmas Tree 45


This will be my first Christmas in India and the first Christmas away from my family! I will be honest, I have been absolutely dreading it. Christmas is such a special, magical time in England and in this region of India, it’s just another day. It would be so easy for me to grumble about it, but I have decided to get excited and bring the Christmas spirit to us! This will be my husband’s first Christmas, he has shown me so many beautiful festivals, it’s my turn to show him one! 

As the Diwali lights were being pulled down in India, the Christmas lights were going up in England. We may not have the Christmas carol choirs singing on the streets, Christmas themed everything in the supermarkets or a forecast of snow… but we do have a Christmas tree!

In England we have a pretty convincing artificial tree which we store in the shed until Christmas comes around again. We have brought a real tree in the house on several occasions, that Christmas tree smell is too gorgeous to resist. One Christmas we bought one so huge, we had to cut the top of it off so it could fit in the house. We wouldn’t have that problem this year though, most of the Christmas trees were still babies.

baby Christmas trees

Christmas tree babies

We had such a lovely surprise when we went to find our first Christmas tree, a small section of the nursery was full of poinsettias! Last Christmas, during our family visit to Church for the Christmas carol service, the rector told us the story of these beautiful red plants and their significance during Christmas.

poisettias

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To get us in the Christmas spirit, I will have to retell you my retelling of the story of poinsettia:

Maria was too poor to give a gift to the Church to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, this distressed her so much she wept for days. A beautiful angel wearing golden robes came down from heaven to comfort the weeping child,”The most precious gift you can give is your love”. Maria smiled through her tears and lovingly gathered the small weeds around her, she tied them together as neatly as she could and ran to the Church. The child placed the weeds on the altar and squeezed her eyes tightly together in prayer, when she opened them, to her amazement she saw her weeds had spouted crimson leaves in the shape of the star of Bethlehem. The star of Bethlehem is the Christmas star, the star which appeared when Jesus Christ was born. A gift given with love is the most beautiful of all. 

Ahh, isn’t it a lovely story!! If you’re in India, you could visit your local nursery and see the poinsettia for yourself!

Holy star

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After much deliberation, we chose the petite but perfect Christmas tree. My husband and I are excited to decorate it in a couple of days. It’s so lovely to have that Christmas tree smell in the house!

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About Lauren Mokasdar

Lauren fell in love on the internet, took a one way flight from England, got married & started a new life & bicultural family in India. She writes about finding happiness & balance between two very different worlds, when her baby takes a nap.


45 thoughts on “Shopping for Our First Christmas Tree

  • Gopal Sekhar

    hi, very touching story. Hope you have great Christmas in India. Have you wrote letters to Santa and have you got any replies. In India we do not putt stockings like in England, merry Christmas and have nice Christmas pudding, I remember one Christmas pudding i got from my uncle in UK , it tasted so good,. Have nice day. If you get DD Malayalam at 9 pm there is reality show on Church choir on chritmas carole,

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Thank you so much, Gopal!
      I have written many letters to Father Christmas, along with replies :D. Christmas pudding is really nice, especially warm with ice-cream!
      😀

  • cynthia haller

    How exciting! I have a big artificial one, because I am a plant killer and could not be trusted to keep a potted tree alive the rest of the year. I haven’t bought a Poinsettia these past few years, but the first time I saw one in India was in 2005 or 2006, they seem to do very well in this climate. My dog thankfully didn’t care about eating the poinsettia, but I I am not sure my cat can be trusted around one and that plant is apparently toxic to cats.

    I go all out every year for Christmas, to me it has always meant family and friends celebration and the joy of sharing, so i make sure to invite all my friends over for a party during the month of December. And we usually have several gatherings at other peoples home during that month to either celebrate togetherness or do craft projects.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Ohh that sounds so lovely, Cyn!! 😀
      I am *hoping* I can grow this tree and keep it alive for next year- but let’s see haha!
      I cannot wait to hear more about your Christmas crafts on your blog!! Yay xx

      • friend

        @Lauren

        When I was a child, I had difficulty in understanding why Christ had to suffer. He is supposed to have suffered for the sins of others, as we have been told. Why should a divine being suffer?? Was there no other way to spread his message?? The details of the cruxification are gory. He did come back but the death was very violent. I hope I have not offended you.

        • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

          Hey Friend,
          It seems suffering goes hand in hand with religious figures. Lord Ram suffered, Lord Krishna suffered etc.
          I have read and heard throughout my life that Jesus experienced the whole range of human suffering to cleanse humanity of their sins, which reminds me of the theory of karma in a way! I think that the crucifixion scene is to invoke love and compassion in the worshipper! These are just my theories based on what I have known but I haven’t studied the bible in depth! I hope this makes sense though!

          Take care!

  • leggypeggy

    I’m so glad you’ve decided to be excited about Christmas in India. We’ve celebrated Christmas in many different countries and I’ve always found it rewarding. Love the poinsettia story. Have not heard it before, so another reward.

  • friend

    Christmas always bring warm feelings to heart. We do not have snow in much of India but winters in north india are harsh and with the fog we definitely get the Christmas and new year feeling. There is something magical about the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas tree, Santa Claus and Christmas gifts.

    There are remarkable similarities between Jesus and Krishna. One was son of god and other was god incarnated. Both were born in humble surroundings. Jesus in a stable and Krishna in a prison. They both met violent deaths. Christ was crucified and Krishna was killed by a hunter who mistook his feet for a deer. They are both larger than life and gave a philosophy which revolutionized the concept of spirituality in the world.

  • Antonina

    I’m sure you’ll have a lovely Christmas celebration, Lauren. It’s true, in India one has to take extra efforts to bring in the Christmas spirit, but it only makes it even more magical. I’m surprised Christmas is just another day in Nagpur – i was under impression they have a huge Christian community. The wedding of my husband’s cousin took place in an old colonial church, and I think they’re supposed to take proper Christmas mass.
    For me, getting into Christmas mood was even more challenging in India. Firstly, the Orthodox Christians of the Easter Europe celebrate Christmas on the 7th of January instead of the 25th of December. And, to be honest, for many years it wasn’t celebrated at all – the Soviet Union was a country without religion and religious holidays. That’s why New Year celebration is much grander than Christmas in Ukraine, Russia and so on.If you’tr curious how we celebrate New Year in Ukraine, I wrote all about it here http://www.indiapalette.com/new-year-celebration-in-ukraine/

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Antonina,
      Yess, just another day, except if you go to Church of course. My husband went to work on Christmas day last year whilst I was in England. There are several Churches in Nagpur but the population itself is pretty low (less than 1%) and from what I have seen concentrated in one area of Nagpur far away from us. I have been to a service in the Church I think you are refering to, it’s beautiful. It’s Anglican and British built so exactly like the churches I would visit in England (coming from an Anglican family).

      I have a Russian friend who told me that she celebrates Christmas in January, fasninating!

      Hoping you are all well! Take care! xx

  • Foreign Indian Wife

    Ah, I understand how you feel, I’ve been feeling the same way. Even with the Christmas themes going on in New Delhi, it’s just not the same! Like the German Christmas Market… Very little Christmas spirit there! It was very unfortunate.
    Certain malls will deck their halls 😉 And feature a giant tree, but so much is missing.
    Honestly, the fact that there is a small presence of Christmas is more of a reminder of how incomplete it feels here.
    Sigh… 🙁

  • Christen Battenfield

    I know the feeling. I lived overseas for 10 years and always found this time of year difficult. As an American I always missed Thanksgiving and Christmas like crazy and my homesickness would overwhelm me at times! I can remember years in Australia cooking up a Thanksgiving dinner for all my friends and being the only American at the table! Ha! Great memories.

    At the moment, I’m back in the US – but even so this time of year is difficult because my Indian love of my life is in Delhi and I won’t see him again until June! Hopefully this time next year we’ll be able to plan a trip back to visit my family so he can experience his first Thanksgiving and Christmas – right after I have my first Diwali!

    Have a wonderful Holiday season, Lauren! I love reading your posts – it’s really helping me see (and mentally prepare to the best of my abilities) the culture shocks I will experience when I move to Delhi in June.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Christen,
      Lovely to hear from you!!
      I was thinking earlier it must be harder for Americans to have two family orientated holidays around this time!! I hope you have a lovely time with your family this holiday season and the days until June and full of fun and laughter (so you can reflect on them during the culture shocks hehe) <3

      Sending lots of love to you!!!! Happy Holidays <3 xx

  • Tracy Patil

    So glad you are getting into the Christmas Spirit! You have a very good attitude about it all and that will see you through. We will be in Nashik for Christmas and I intend having a great Indian Christmas, I even have a giant Christmas tree in the garden which we will try and decorate. So your little Tree could get very big, everything seems to grow fast in India !! I’m going to see if our local nursery has any poinsettias, I love them. Best wishes to you and your family Lauren, keep smiling !! Xx

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Aww thank you, Tracy!
      I hope you will have a beautiful Maharashtrian Christmas!! We have some family in Nashik too!
      I can see she is already growing, I really hope I can keep her alive for next year!!! 😀

      Hoping you have a wonderful time in India!! Lots of love xx

  • Saskia

    Hi Lauren,
    I love this post so sweet. I know the plight of finding a Christmas tree in a warm country. I once decorated a small palm tree for lack of finding a Christmas tree. It was great fun, although it did earn me a few odd stares :p. I also found out if you can get mincemeat it is amazing with banana bread really lush.
    I wish you both a very merry Christmas.
    Kind regards,
    Saskia

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Thank you sooo much, Saskia!
      Oooh I bet your palm tree looked gorgeous! How lovely!!
      I made some peanut butter and banana bread a couple weeks ago, I think that should be on my Christmas menu hehe!!
      I hope you are well, thanks for your comment!

      Merry Christmas to you and yours <3 xx

  • sowmya

    wow! those baby Christmas trees and poinsettias look beautiful.For me and my kids, making decorations for the tree, decorating the house with home made decorations, baking Christmas cookies, watching Christmas movies, donating toys for toy drives puts us into the Christmas spirit. We made a few salt dough Santas for the tree with the kids’ hand prints, it is fun and simple. Pinterest has a lot of ideas for decorations.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Thank you, Sowmya,
      Oh yum, Christmas cookies! How lovely, Christmas with children must be the best!!
      I am definitely going to check out pinterest! Thank you for the great suggestion!
      Take care xx

  • madhmama

    beautiful! The only Christmas that I have ever spent away from my family was when I was in India on my first trip, and it made me so homesick. I know how you feel! However you can definitely re-use all the Diwali lights! 🙂

  • anenglishwomaninmumbai

    I always wondered about those red plants you can always get in M&S stores in motorway services as an emergency present on your way to visit relatives you haven’t had time to buy a Christmas gift for (face as red as the plant leaves!) – what a lovely story!
    I have just got back to UK from India and have descended into Christmas hell! The shops, the TV, everything everywhere is BUY BUY BUY SPEND SPEND SPEND!!!
    So while you are missing friends and family you are at least avoiding the traffic, crazy busy shops and pressure to spend money on socks and plastic novelty toys. Maybe I am being bah humbug as have left the man I love on the other side of the world once more on the day when in UK everyone is with their most loved ones (and the weather here is terrible!). At least I can get drunk with my parents and eat too much chocolate to console myself!
    Have a lovely Christmas xx

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Heyy Cotton,
      Haha, yes, I didn’t know about it either until a year ago! Thanks for making me remember the crazy parts of an English Christmas hehe 😛
      I hope you guys can spend next Christmas together <3
      Merry Christmas xx

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