Sunday, December 16, 2012

When Christmas Came Early

It's been a fun, hectic weekend in these parts. Jai's siblings - his sister Ayesha and brother Anil - and his brother's wife Christabel came in to town with the express intent of playing the role of indulgent aunts and uncle to the hilt. The kids were showered with much love, attention and gifts and are now going to discover Monday morning blues tomorrow when they revert to being stuck with a grouchy mum and a busy dad.

Since Ayesha won't be in Bangalore when we go down for Christmas, Ayaan decided that we have to have two Christmases this year, with one early celebration happening in Hyderabad this weekend. It started with that and somehow snowballed into two days of fun, with almost every element coming together to make it a pretty comprehensive yuletide celebration.

The first order of business was to get a Christmas tree in place. Since we always head over to Bangalore for Christmas, we never saw any merit in buying a tree for our own home. When Ayaan said he wanted a tree, I put him off because it seemed a waste to buy one and add to the plastic crap in our home. Then I had a brainwave - I have been planning to add some plants to our balcony so I figured that one that could double as a Christmas tree would be a good start.

So, off we headed to the nursery and picked up a medium-sized spruce plant. Ayaan then got to wondering about decorations and since I had even less desire to acquire cheap, plastic decorations, we decided to create our own decorations. So the tree acquired the following accessories over the course of the weekend.
  • A garland of dried leaves that Ayaan found while walking around.
  • A couple of flowers from the building garden.
  • A bunch of edible candy canes that Anil and Christabel brought for the kids - these have been disappearing at a fairly rapid rate and finding their way into greedy, little mouths.
  • The kids and their aunts made some crafty angels to hang on the tree. The angels were the source of quite some hilarity since Tarana could not get her head around them and kept insisting that Angel (our dog) does not have any wings. And when Ayesha announced that an angel had lost its head, both kids quickly looked under the table, curious to see what our headless dog would look like.
  • No tree is complete without a star and Ayaan managed to dig out some star art he had done with spaghetti a few days ago and that went right on top of the tree.
In the end, our patchwork Christmas tree came together quite well, with its high adorability quotient setting off its rather suspect aesthetic values. Here it is in all its glory:


The next item on the agenda was the construction of the gingerbread house from the kit that Anil and Christabel had brought over from the U.S. The gingerbread panels, icing and decorations were all pre-made and only assembly was required. We had a super time putting it together, both kids and adults. A lot of the candy ended up in the kids' tummies before it even made it to the house. The final result was lopsided, far from perfect and bore only a passing resemblance to the picture on the box but we had a ball, and that is what counts.


We also ended up having a fairly traditional Christmas lunch, even though it was not by design. Months ago, Christabel had mailed me a link for making roast chicken and this was one dish that I have always wanted to master. But the recipe had stayed in my inbox and I could not muster up the guts to actually try it out. I realised that having Christabel over was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get a live tutorial on how to roast a chicken. And that is just what we did. This was our lovely lunch today - roast chicken made from scratch with stuffing, gravy and the works. It was as delicious as it looks! It was accompanied by a 'green salad' that Ayaan put together with Ayesha's help.


The last order of business was the opening of gifts. The rest of us are saving our gifts for Christmas day in Bangalore but since Ayesha won't be meeting the kids again, she put her gifts under the tree last night. Since morning, the kids were only interested in knowing when we would get to the gift-opening part of the programme - which we did after lunch. 

The kids were pretty thrilled with their haul of gifts. Like the adoring aunt she is, Ayesha had remembered Ayaan's fascination with all things related to the London underground and had managed to get him a t-shirt and a cup with the tube map printed on them. Ayaan was so thrilled that it was almost like a current ran through him when he opened up the t-shirt and saw what was on it.


Ayesha also got them some very special gifts from Sweden, where she currently lives. Ayaan got a bottle of Swedish honey, which he has tasted before and loves. Tarana got a book featuring Pippi Longstocking, an iconic character from children's literature in Sweden.

  

Tarana was also a happy recipient of this bird-shaped noisemaker but Ayesha has not won any brownie points with the harried parents who will have to put up with the infernal racket!


So, that brings an end to Christmas Part One: The Hyderabad Edition. The next installment will be coming up in little over a week, from Bangalore.

23 comments:

  1. Looks like you guys had alot of fun pre-christmas. The chicken looks delicious. Looking forward to reading about part 2 in Bangalore.

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    1. Hi Sameer! Good to see you in these parts again :)

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  2. I cant see any pictures :(:( darn!!

    but your explanation seems wonderful enough :)

    I loved that idea of gingerbread house :)

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    1. Really? I wonder why. I can see them on my super-slow connection.

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  3. What a lovely celebration. Loved every part. You all put up a gogeous tree there. And what awesome gifts. Have a beautiful time with all these.

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  4. Umm.. Am commenting from phone. Dunno if my comment got posted.

    Great celebration that was. Loved every bit

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  5. This looks like some super holiday season fun. And that roast chicken is making me crave for an almost-midnight snack!! Can't wait for Christmas. Yay!!

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    1. Come to think of it, there is just enough leftover roast chicken for a midnight snack :-P

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  6. That photo essay made lovely reading -pls post the recipe of the chicken roast.

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    1. There's an idea. I shall do the recipe tomorrow. Saves me from having to rack my brain for posting ideas :)

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  7. What fun :) Pippi Longstocking is such a cute series. I just introduced Button to her. And the tree is cute :)

    Merry Christmas. Catch the gingerbread man before he runs away :)

    Cheers
    Meera

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    1. Thanks :-)

      Heard a lot about Pippi but this is our first book

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  8. Okay, here is wishing you a happy christmas - first time on
    :-)

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    1. Thanks. Stay posted for more merriment in Part Deux :-)

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  9. It looks like the perfect celebration. I love your tree and all that is on it. :)

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  10. Amazing...... only kids can have you come up with things like that!!! Awesome celebration...... Happy Xmas to the kids from me!!!

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  11. Oh ya..... I laughed so much, when i read the line 'headless dog'......

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    1. It was too funny. Tarana is still rather confused by the angels and their wings. :o)

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  12. Anonymous12:33 am

    Awesome! Tarana looks so big compared to when we met!

    LOL@angel's head. My younger one was about Tarana's age when we went to see the mummies at the British Museum and she was totally confounded!

    Chox

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    1. Ha ha. Can't blame her. :-D

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  13. Lovely! All of it:)

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