Our First Christmas Day in India

Every Christmas morning since I can remember has started in the same way, I have woken up with a stocking stuffed with small presents from Father Christmas sat on the end of my bed. I wake up confused, what is that weighing down on the duvet (?), then I realise it’s Christmas!! My first Christmas day in India, I still woke up confused. Why after her five-day holiday earlier in the month has the woman who comes to do the washing up had not turned up for the second day in a row without calling? Meanwhile, my husband was woken up by Father Christmas licking his face…

Christmas pug

My first Christmas in India began with soap and dish water before I fired up the oven and started to make my as-close-as-possible British Vegetarian Christmas dinner of nut roast, roast potatoes, mint chilli peas (because we are in India, we need some spice), garlic butter carrots, cauliflower cheese, stuffing (sent from England) and gravy! I also made a chocolate and cherry cake for after!

I don’t know why but even though we call it a Christmas dinner, but we have eat it during lunchtime. We had our foreign wife, Indian husband friends for lunch (dinner?) and after tucking in with Christmas songs playing in the background, in true British Christmas style, we played the board game monopoly! I haven’t cooked anything on this scale for months so I was pretty proud of myself and it felt so good to have a plate of somewhat British food in front of me!

merry Christmas cake trees

In the evening we went to a Cathedral designed by an Englishman, built in the same style as the churches I would visit in England and well over one hundred years old! I wish I had taken my camera because it was so beautiful! The British built Cathedral celebrated Christmas with Indian style, covered in fairy lights with music exploding from speakers (temples are sometimes decorated with outside lights and play music during Hindu festivals). Hundreds of people from all faiths had come to celebrate Christmas (and take selfies…), so many in fact it was hard to even enter the church and once inside we had to shuffle down the aisle at a snail’s pace. Another Indian twist, everyone took their shoes off before entering the church (as one would do when visiting a temple)! The fusion of British and Indian was surreal.

Whilst walking back to the car, looking at the Cathedral from distance, I saw a scene that could have come straight from an Indian Christmas card. Below the huge and rare full moon low in the night’s sky, nestled between the dark shadows of giant trees, the Cathedral dripping with fairy lights with a warm glow coming from the tall, wooden open doors.

That night my husband and I spoke to my family via skype and I remembered how my Christmas day used to look (and sound!). I hope next Christmas we will all be together, whether in India or England. Christmas away from ‘home’ was never going to be the same, but I am so happy we chose to celebrate and I enjoyed myself thanks to being around lovely people and eating lovely (if I say so myself) food!

christmas skype 2

christmas skype 1

(If you fancy seeing some photos of the Cathedral, you can find some great ones here)

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33 thoughts on “Our First Christmas Day in India

  1. I was eagerly waiting for this post! How can Alfonso manage to look so cute and cuddly without even trying!!! He is such a cute baby!
    The cake looks yummy and I am glad you celebrated. I wish I could get to see the food pics. The dishes you mentioned sound so yummy and the foodie in me wants to take a look!
    Hey and you got an oven! That’s awesome! 🙂

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    • He is gorgeous isn’t he?
      Sadly, I was too eager to eat the food and forgot to take a photograph! Next year I will definitely remember!!
      Happy New Year!
      I hope you are well xx

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  2. Congratulations on your first Christmas in India. About maids there are not available when you need them the most i.e. when there is a festival/ guests come to your house. Growing up Christmas always left a warm and glowing feeling although we did not not celebrate. There is something positive and auspicious about it. May be the Christmas tree and Santa Claus are so adorable. Also, India has so many festivals that life itself seems like one big festival.

    Happy new year to your and your husband. May the new year bring best of and happiness to you. May you have a happy married life and…….Opps!!! I was almost tempted to say something. Cant help it, Indian elderly instinct, I suppose LOL.

    God bless and take care.

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  3. Felt very nice to reading your write up of the Christmas day in Central India. Also saw the pics of the awesome cathedral, in red and white design, in the click here link. I wish you and your family Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year. Good Luck!!

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  4. Your Christmas dinner sounds fab! I’ve gotten quite used to going over to my husband’s family for Christmas, so it was a bit different for us this year too, as it was just the two of us at home. Glad you had a lovely Christmas, and best wishes for the New Year!

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  5. Merry Xmas and a happy new year to you and your family Lauren. I am glad that you celebrated it with fervour and enthusiasm. Yes, indeed it was remarkable achievement within itself as it was your first one outside the english soil and was celebrated with the same vigour.

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  6. Considering, it sounds like you did have a pretty nice Indian Christmas! Your menu sounds delightful and the visit to the cathedral sounds really nice too. It’s always hard to have Christmases away from our original home (I’ve gotten used to it and it’s easier for me now 5 years later) but I still miss it. This year was probably the quietest and simplest Christmas I’ve ever had. Happy new year to you Lauren and to your little and big family!

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  7. Your dinner menu had me drooling. I’m surprised you didn’t post even one pic of the food.
    Or it can be fodder for another post. 😉

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  8. Aww Alfonso looks such sweet!
    Im glad u enjoyed Lauren 🙂 your Christmas in India u handled it very well.
    And made so beautiful stuff..
    Happy New year!
    XO

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  9. Sounds lovely! I love how Christmas, which is itself and amalgamation of Pagan and Christian traditions is such an accessible festival for all people regardless of faith to come together and enjoy.
    Whether mid-winter is spent abroad or in the UK it is great to give and receive food, gifts and hugs from people you care about and even strangers, give thanks for what we have and that the spring will come soon, as well as reflect on the situations of people less fortunate than ourselves and give a little to them too if we can.

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  10. Lauren, Ive just stumbled on your blog as I was looking for ‘what does a breaking bangle signify’. My English wife has just broken some of hers. I hope you are liking my lovely country.

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