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.....