December and the End of another Year

December…there is something to this month that makes me all warm and fuzzy and tingly and feeling nice. Yes, t’is the Christmas season..the chill in the air, the short days and cold nights snuggled in the blankets, oh there are so many reasons.

Come another few weeks and all that everyone would hear is “Oh this year has flown by sooooo quickly”. Though this is a constant conversation at the end of every year, I cannot help but wonder how days have gone by so quickly. The day is over before you know it and the year is now coming to an end.

This month brings in such festive cheer and a warm feeling which I don’t feel as much for all the other festivals we celebrate here in India. Yes, Diwali is good, but the pollution and noise is so horrible that it drains you of all the excitement. Huh! maybe I am getting old 😮 . This is the 2nd year we have given up bursting crackers, not even a sparkler and I’m glad we gave it up.

I normally put up our 6feet Christmas tree around the 2nd week of December-get my neighbour kids and watchman’s kid to decorate the tree–it’s a joy to see them scramble for the bells and balls and paper to put up more decorations than the other :-). Most people regardless of which religion they belong to, love this Christmas season and feel the same lovely feeling. This month also takes me back to my school days and brings back nostalgic memories of the Christmas plays we used to put up on the last day of the Half yearly Exams and the hugs and kisses we exchanged with all our friends wishing them Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Every year mom, sister and me had this ritual to go buy Christmas and New Year cards to send to our friends and relatives and every year I would end up with most cards :wink:. I would then proceed to buy stickers too to add that extra touch on the cards. It was exciting to wait for the cards sent by all my friends and mentally make a note of who all have sent me cards that year :smile:. I would also end up getting the maximum cards.

Mom would take a week off before Christmas and that is the time for baking and frying savouries. Sponge cakes, Plum cakes, Coconut barfi, Murukku, Sweet Diamond cuts were the Christmas specialties. These would be distributed to neighbours and Dad would ensure that stuff gets neatly packed for the Postman, Gas delivery fellow, Municipal garbage cleaner etc. We had to control ourselves from finishing all the goodies cause my school friends would have murdered me if I had gone empty handed without cakes. Christmas day would mostly be a day of such fun with my school friends coming over for lunch-Mutton Biriyani with Raita, Appalam and Mango Pickle. Must say that I carry the distinction of making few of my Brahmin friends fans of my mom’s Biriyani and they would eat the Biriyani without the Mutton/Chicken pieces 😉 😈 . Yummmmmmmmm, makes my mouth water even now.

Goes without saying that baking grew onto me and I can proudly call myself a good baker. The tradition now is to send cakes for K’s colleagues, else they would murder both of us 😕 .

Looking back-some of the things that have made me happy this year…K and me completed 9 years together in wedded bliss (if you don’t count the times we’ve pulled at each other’s hair and tried to throttle each other) 😆 . Yes we both love the number 9, my birthday being the 18th and his being 9th, our car number totaling to 9 etc. It was additionally special because we got to celebrate it with family. We and mom had been to California to visit my sister, BIL and nephew and it was one big re-union. My nephew turning 18, he going off to college…I’m glad we could all spend some quality time together.

K and I are members of a Birdwatchers group here in Hyderabad and we did some good trips this year seeing and clicking birds. We have been in Hyderabad for 9years now (and he was born and brought up here) and never knew that Flamingos visited the city during their migratory tour. It was a surreal experience seeing them in hundreds at a lake here and going click click click. Our trips has made us appreciate nature more and hopefully next year our annual holiday would be spent in a Wildlife/National Park and we hope to capture some big cats and wildlife.

For K, one thing this year that has made him very very happy would have to be….getting his very own Canon 100-400mm IS L USM lens. Last year it was his Canon T4i camera which he upgraded from his Canon Rebel Xsi, which he has magnanimously loaned over to me, now that he’s got his bazooka. Who ever told you husbands are low cost maintenance????? 😯 🙄

The new year here in India brings about a political change too with the elections looming ahead.. hope the new Government brings in all the good changes we need.

Here’s wishing you all a very very Merry Christmas and a wonderful, Prosperous, Healthy and Wealthy New year. Meet y’all in 2014.