This Is Horribly Awesome

Ida and Saga are big fans of the Christmas holiday, and why wouldn’t they be? Santa’s elf, Nissen, visits every night for the first 24 days of December and leaves little gifts in the girls’ shoes. School’s out (at least when they’re enrolled in school) and the whole family does fun things together. And of course there are gifts.

We’re far from home and wanted Christmas to be a special time. When we  were looking for a place in India that would throw a good Christmas festival, we were drawn to Kerala. The State has a population of about 33m people. Of these, 55% are Hindu,  27% are Muslims and 18% are Christians. Kerala’s 6m Christians make up more than a fifth of India’s Christian population.

One of the first things we saw were the Christmas lights set up all over the city. They make a great show.

Entire streets are lit up.

image

The houses look fabulous.

image

image

image

Even the more modest homes.

image

The churches put on a big show too.

image

Christmas Eve dinner is typically a lot of fun. We get together with family, eat great food, sing songs, dance around the tree and open gifts. We found a restaurant in Kochi that arranged a special menu for us and let us install a tree on the dinner table. We don’t have a lot of room in our bags (weight and space constraints) so we’ve been careful when it comes to thinking about gifts. Here’s Saga’s wishlist:

  • Earrings,
  • Clothes,
  • Coloring book (small please).

Louise had a brilliant idea of giving each other redeemable cards. See below. This has given us some leeway in terms of balancing satisfaction and space and time.
image

By dinner time we were able to fit it all on the table (Ida and Saga’s hair is by Linda).
image

We returned home from dinner with full bellies and happy hearts.

There’s no snow here. We traded in water for snow and spent Christmas day at an amusement park: Wonderla is located an hour away by rickshaw from Fort Kochi. Lots of rides and lots of attention (we were the only white tourists).

We were impressed by a couple of things.

The food was excellent. And healthy. At an amusement park.

Here’s a shot of the chai wallah.
image

Not a soul wore swimsuits. People went fully dressed into the water rides (you can see it on the link for Wonderla, above). Everyone walked around soaked from the rides, wearing saris, salwar kamise, kurtas, athletic wear. It was hot out and wet clothes were kind of refreshing.

There was a band that toured the site. See the picture below (it captures the whole band). image

And here’s a clip of the music they played. Terrific sound.

Listen to wdrla3 .wav by User 666885694 #np on #SoundCloud

At 5pm today:

Saga: ‘This is the best Christmas ever’.

Ida: ‘This is horribly awesome’.

 

 

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “This Is Horribly Awesome

  1. ‎Merry Christmas Biggaroos!

    Your celebration sounds absolutely wonderful and horribly awesome! I love your adaptations.

    Sending all our love and Christmas joy!

    We had a lovely Christmas eve and Christmas morning at our place in Oalville with all the Henderson clan which was such fun with the Biggar boys, Ruby and Rennie tearing around (both age 3.5)‎ and little Auggie (3 months) with his wide eyes and big smiles!

    Christie

    Christie Henderson, FCPA, FCA, CFP, TEP Managing Partner P: (905) 829-3701 ext.224 | F: (905) 829-1454 | chenderson@hendersonpartnersllp.ca

    Client Service Manager: Shannon Maguire, CPA, CA P: (905) 829-3701 ext.241 | smaguire@hendersonpartnersllp.ca

    Executive Assistant: Juliet Noronha P: (905) 829-3701 ext.235 | jnoronha@hendersonpartnersllp.ca

    This email and any attachments may contain PRIVILEGED and CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION and is intended only for the addressee(s) named above. If you are not the intended recipient of this email or the employee or agent responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that the dissemination or copying of this email is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please immediately notify us by telephone to arrange the return or destruction of this document

    Like

  2. By now it will be Boxing Day with all of you. We have had a lovely day surrounded by love and warm temperatures. Sending each and every one of you special hugs xoxo

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  3. Hi Biggaroos: we have just had Xmas dinner and are now tucking ourselves in to bed. Beautiful relaxed day with Biggarsons joining in around 5:00 pm .
    Finlay got the almond and a huge Toblerone as the present.
    Duncan swore that he did not get a present last year for winning the almond so he got a small Toblerone.
    I am now taking detailed notes!
    We missed you but kept you close in our heartsknowing you had had an awesome day. Safe travels to the next destination. Will look forward to the new blog
    Big hugs ……..

    Like

  4. Well our Xmas was mild and green and sunny. First in our 30 yrs in Caledon. Santa was very good with stockings and presents – we included friends for dinner and also went for a long walk. The day was relaxing and peaceful, despite the expected cacophony of 11 people. Today we have awakened to quite cold and frost??? More timely but what a swing. Lots of love, Mp

    Mary Pat Armstrong 95A Roxborough St. E. Toronto,ON, M4T 2J9 416-922-4812

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

    1. We are certain that you had a terribly awesome Christmas – for the pictures.
      We also had a warm Christmas – 6-7 degrees here in Humlebæk.

      We went to Church in the afternoon – and lot of greetings to Louise from Hans Henrik – our favorite priest – who has gained self-confidence little by little and will celebrate 25 years at the church next month. Also greetings to Louise from Lone Kühlmann.
      Christmas evening we had Marie and Henrik with Carl (6 years) and Molly (4 years), and Henrik’s parents – enough to have a chain around the tree and sing together when we went around the tree (imported form Bastberg and decorated by Henrik’s mother). Very cosy and fun – and neither tragedies nor mishaps. Molly is very bright and already knows the clock – Carl did not until he had a wristwatch for Christmas present – then he learned it in 5 min and told us the correct time repeatedly for the rest of the evening.

      On the 25th Perle went to work in the morning at 8 a.m., and I invited Henrik and his father to set fishing nets in Øresund at 2 p.m. before it was dark and the wind and waves were manageable. This morning (26th) at 730 before I went to work we (luckily) found the net and took it into the boat with 4 cods and 35 flat fish. We release and clean the fish at the corner of the Camping ground where the boats are parked during winter. Just at the Øresund and throw pieces to the crowd of gulls. Molly and Carl watched and enjoyed how the fish were released from the net.
      Henrik had the biggest cod and his father the rest, and we all shared the flatfish. Perle has already promised some of her friends – and that is actually the best joy of the fishing.
      Carl has a vivid imagination – and has been captured in the world of the nordic gods for the last months. He found Thor’s hammer (Mjölner) at the harbor – and we follow his fantasy.

      At work today (26th) I made a difficult cesarean section – and it is very enjoyable, gibes me a lot of satisfaction. Perle and I will certainly miss the appreciation form staff and patients in the future. But we have to leave the work before we get too tired, and in time to be with our grand children – to travel etc.. I am also certain the Perle (the strong character in our marriage :-)) will see that we make the best out of it and that we do not regret.

      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

      Jens and Perle

      Like

  5. We are convinced that it was horribly awesome – just by the pictures.

    We also had a warm X-mas – 7 degrees plus.
    And spent the afternoon with a start at the church – greetings from Hans Henrik – and celebrated the evening with Marie and Henrik and Carl and Molly – as well as Henrik’s mother and father. A Christmas tree from Bastberg that Henrik’s mother decorated, dinner and carols – really cosy and no tragedies of any kind. Molly (4 years) knows the clock and Carl (6 years) did not until he had a wristwatch for present – and then after 5 min he proudly tells us the time repeatedly – and correct.

    Perle vent to work in the morning at 8 a.m. and I invited Henrik and his father to set the nets for fishing in Øresund at 2 p.m. when it was still windy but the waves still manageable.
    This morning at 730 we went out to collect, and had 4 cods and 35 flat fish. We emtied the nets and prepared the fish down at the camping ground, where the boats rest for the winter; and shared. Carl and Molly were thrilled to watch the fish being released. Carl has a vivid imagination and has been living in the universe of the Nordic gods for the last months. He was convinced that he found Thor’s hammer, Mjölner at the harbor.
    I went to work at nine a.m. and performed a difficult cesarean section. I am certain that Perle and I will miss the response from staff and patients – but we also need the time for travel and grandchildren. We made the decision and Perle (the strong character in our marriage :-)) will see that we will succeed and be happy with the decision.

    Merry X-mas to all of you.

    Jens and Perle

    Like

  6. We are certain that you had a terribly awesome Christmas – for the pictures.
    We also had a warm Christmas – 6-7 degrees here in Humlebæk.

    We went to Church in the afternoon – and lot of greetings to Louise from Hans Henrik – our favorite priest – who has gained self-confidence little by little and will celebrate 25 years at the church next month. Also greetings to Louise from Lone Kühlmann.
    Christmas evening we had Marie and Henrik with Carl (6 years) and Molly (4 years), and Henrik’s parents – enough to have a chain around the tree and sing together when we went around the tree (imported form Bastberg and decorated by Henrik’s mother). Very cosy and fun – and neither tragedies nor mishaps. Molly is very bright and already knows the clock – Carl did not until he had a wristwatch for Christmas present – then he learned it in 5 min and told us the correct time repeatedly for the rest of the evening.

    On the 25th Perle went to work in the morning at 8 a.m., and I invited Henrik and his father to set fishing nets in Øresund at 2 p.m. before it was dark and the wind and waves were manageable. This morning (26th) at 730 before I went to work we (luckily) found the net and took it into the boat with 4 cods and 35 flat fish. We release and clean the fish at the corner of the Camping ground where the boats are parked during winter. Just at the Øresund and throw pieces to the crowd of gulls. Molly and Carl watched and enjoyed how the fish were released from the net.
    Henrik had the biggest cod and his father the rest, and we all shared the flatfish. Perle has already promised some of her friends – and that is actually the best joy of the fishing.
    Carl has a vivid imagination – and has been captured in the world of the nordic gods for the last months. He found Thor’s hammer (Mjölner) at the harbor – and we follow his fantasy.

    At work today (26th) I made a difficult cesarean section – and it is very enjoyable, gibes me a lot of satisfaction. Perle and I will certainly miss the appreciation form staff and patients in the future. But we have to leave the work before we get too tired, and in time to be with our grand children – to travel etc.. I am also certain the Perle (the strong character in our marriage :-)) will see that we make the best out of it and that we do not regret.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

    Jens and Perle

    Like

  7. What a beautiful sight to see your smiling faces and all those fantastic Christmas lights around Kochi
    We could feel the warm glow all the way over here on the pacific coast where we gathered at Nick’s house for a fantastic feast including 13 adults, 6 kids and 2 dogs! The chaos played out like a symphony of near misses and almost calamities which miraculously resulted in a lovely harmonious celebration.

    We have scattered to usher in the New Year. We are home in Madeira Park with Dan & Erika and the twins. Nick & Michelle and the girls are with Matt & Lindsay at Whistler enjoying the new condo and spectacular, fluffy ski conditions. We are blessed with crisp, clear weather so both the mountains and the seaside are brilliantly sparkling.

    We will be eagerly awaiting the adventures of 2016 as you navigate your way through India and on to Africa. We wish you all a very Happy New Year!
    Love from the western Biggar clan

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s