"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way-things I had no words for." ~ Georgia O'Keeffe

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Christmas Traditions

India wrote in her post about the traditions she had in her family during Christmas and wanted to know what everyone else did for Christmas. Since she asked I decided it would be better for me to write it down in my blog as it will be quite long. So here is what we did for Christmas when I was a kid

1.The main celebrations for us started on Christmas Eve. We would attend the Carol Service in the evening which was a combined affair with the Catholic Church and Protestant Churches since the town we lived in had a very small group of Christians. The choir consisted of nuns some ladies from the congregation and men's voices from the School of music of which my dad was in charge. Invariably the choir had people singing from all faiths. I always thought that was so nice that even people from different faiths joined us to celebrate Christmas the Carol Service also used to be attended by all faiths.

2. Then we would come home have a quick dinner before we went to the midnight mass.

3. After coming from attending the mass mum would cut the Christmas cake and we would have some coffee or tea with it. I used to be so impatient to open the gift after that lol! Which I did.

4.On Christmas day we used to attend the morning service which is quite early in India so we would be back home by 10 in the morning.

5. On Christmas day it always was a day spent with many friends for us. Since being one of the few Christian families all our non Christian friends would come to visit and wish us on Christmas day. So there would be a constant stream of visitors throughout the day.

6. It is a tradition to make lots of sweets and savouries for festivals in India so mum would make plenty in anticipation of visits from our friends.

7. It is also a tradition in India to send sweets and savouries to your neighbours and it is something everyone does for their festivals so we would go and give this to our neighbours.

8. After the last visitor had gone in the evening. We would then sit and have a very simple dinner as a family and sometimes dad would play some carols on the piano and we would accompany singing.But if we were very tired we would go to bed.

9. We would always have a coal fire on for Christmas.

10. On Boxing Day we spend the evening with some close friends. Each family would bring a dish and we would share and eat. Usually this was like a feast.

. 11. After I got married and moved to a hot place Christmas is more of a family affair 12. Christmas Eve is more of a normal day.

13. Christmas day we go for the early morning service come back and have a sumptuous breakfast with the family.

14. We then give gifts to each other. To make it more of a fun we ask someone to dress up like a Santa Clause so that the kids have fun.

15. Then we go and give sweets and savouries to an orphanage close by.I love that the best as to see each child's face light up when they see the sweets is a joy.

16 Rest of the day is then spent waiting to devour the lovely smells wafting from the kitchen.

17 Lunch is Briyani a traditional Indian rice dish cooked with spices and meat or Chicken you will find a brief description here

18. Then rest of the day is spent relaxing with the family.

My favourite carol is 'It came upon the midnight clear'. I don't like Christmas cake but I do love Panettone. I bought some today and it is yum.....


  1. What lovely Christmas traditions Shashi. DH and I often have Panettone instead of fruit cake. But I must have chocolate log.

  2. Dear Shashi,
    Tanks for telling these nice traditions!
    They're lovely.. I can picture Small Impatient Shashi!!So cute!
    I don't like christmas cake either.
    I like Panettone which is Italian, but Philippe doesn't as he doesn't like sulatans...
    So I usually buy a Pandore which is a Panettone without raisins!
    Benjamin and I love mince pies!
    Have a nice day, dear.
    I'm off to school.

  3. Sounds perfect Sashi !
    Love from sesga xx

  4. I do love to hear traditions and childhood recollections of fun times.

  5. Oh thank you for sharing your Christmas traditions Shashi, it all sounds wonderful and you paint such a fabulous picture of everything that's involved in making your Christmas special :D
    Chris xx

  6. Shashi, thanks for sharing your Christmas traditions. Wish you lived closer - we'd gobble up those sweet treats! *smile* Sue

    p.s. I left a Christmas 'memory' on my blog. Stop by!

  7. I love the sound of your childhood Christmas - very similar to my childhood Christmas which was all about celebrating the birth of Jesus, getting together (family, friends, community) to rejoice and share but also always spending time and giving gifts to the less fortunate...
    Thanks for sharing - I hope you all have a wonderful time this year..:)


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