Christmas in the Land of Perpetual Summer

Merry Christmas all!

It is Christmas Morning. The kids are still asleep, but not for much longer.

There is a thick blanket of fog overhead and the morning air is cool. That will change later as the tropical sun burns off the fog and the comfortable cool of the “winter” morning and the day heats up. That is the first Christmas anomaly.

We acquired probably close to 1000 lights (hey they were cheap), lit up the Christmas tree to blinding levels and strung lights in the windows as we would in Germany or America. Our house is a lonely outpost of Santa friendly blinkiness; the only lit up house on the street. This is not surprising of course. A few were lit up for Diwalli; some spectacularly so, but it seems that most of the expats left town for the holidays; either to their home countries or to Thailand.

It seems as if most Indians left town as well. India is secular and they handle having a secular government in a land of a zillion religions by having public holidays on everyone’s holidays. Diwalli, Eid, Christmas, etc. Christmas comes at the time of year when India has the best weather, so India’s middle class uses it to go travelling it seems.

And then there is the Christmas tree! We did not ship in an artificial tree as most of the other expats do. At first, we thought that it we’d not be able to find a tree and would have to do something like string popcorn on banana leaves as a proxy. This was not needed. They have a variety of conifer here used as a Christmas tree. I don’t know what it is called. Our driver just calls the species “Christmas Tree”, just as there is a “Jungle Tree”. We bought one. The tree is a poor, scraggly thing; “Charlie Brown tree” is the term my mother uses. Conifers here just don’t develop like the firs of northern climates. It is kind of neat and very exotic. I have to confess that though last year’s tree was a very proper and beautiful fir, this one eats it out in terms of sheer coolness.

My mom helped the kids create garlands out of toffee and strings and we hung sweets on it instead of normal ornaments. The poor tree looks as if it will topple over, or buckle under from the load of sweets on it!

Charlotte is awake and I hear her speaking with her grandmother downstairs… time to go… Merry Christmas All!

Decorating the Tree

All Lit Up

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