Merry Christmas

We had Christmas come early this year, when husband came here on holiday.

Hope all of you are having a wonderful Christmas too:)Wishing all of you a wonderful, joyous Christmas!

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Memories and Yearnings

The place we live in for a number of years, leaves it’s own mark on us. Marks that may fade, marks that may become faint memories or just photographed memories in the years to come. Initially, however, they remain fresh for a while, and come back to make you yearn for them.

Christmas time is probably one of the times when we will miss UK a lot. All the lovely winter weather in India, doesn’t seem to make our yearning for the Christmas fervour any less. The lit up high streets, Santa’s Grottos, Christmas food, the school Christmas play, writing out Christmas cards… So many things… I’m hoping that by next year, we would have moved on, and forgotten about it all.

Daughter especially seems to be missing Christmas and snow! The other day, while talking to husband, I casually asked him if it has started snowing there. Only to find daughter in tears. Apparently, she’s been missing snow the most. She even wanted Daddy to cancel his holiday so that we could travel there instead! Just so that she could have Christmas there, and play in the snow. Some expectations some people have, eh?

CR’s comments on this post, made me yearn for all the trappings of winter back there. Coats, scarves, hats and boots! I miss my boots! And there is no way I can wear them here, unless I want to look really pretentious and crazy 🙂 I would be happy enough if it got cold enough to wear some scarves.

Although, I have to say, Bangalore has been trying very hard to make me feel at home. So what if it can’t give us snow, its sure very successful in making us cold and wet! Now, if not boots, how about some wellies?

Just because some things need to be recorded – 3

December comes with all the Christmas cheer and excitement, and of course the all important Christmas Concert at school.

From mid-November, concert practice happens in full swing, and all I get to hear is Christmas songs, and Christmas stories and other related stuff. And every year, I end up teary eyed at the actual Christmas concert. Tell me, you older parents, will that ever change? Will we get used to our children performing on stage? Or will it always bring tears to our eyes, lumps to our throats?

Yesterday was Poohi’s Christmas Concert. She was one of the narrators. Needless to say, I was teary-eyed, and full of emotion, as were most parents. And I can’t thank the teachers enough for the wonderful job they do. Every thing beautifully coordinated, wonderfully organised, and they manage to get the children perform so very well! Nothing short of a miracle, in my books.

She has two ballet performances lined up, and all of us are equally excited. Husband is missing all this because he is away, but we have pictures and videos ready for him. Just makes me glad that at least one of us can make it to all her performance.

In other, related stuff, her Christmas concert was all about how gifts(like hugs,kisses, cuddles) from the heart are more precious than all the riches in the world. So I tested it on her, telling her that maybe this year, Santa would get her a hug or a kiss instead of toys and stuff like that 🙂 Needless to say, she was not impressed.

By the way, at what age do children figure out that Santa is not ‘real’? Poohi came back from school the other day, saying that some children in her class told them that Santa was not real, and their mums and dads buy them the presents. ‘That’s not true, is it?’, she asked. Not knowing how to answer that, I hedged asking her if she believed Santa was real. ‘Yes!’, she said. ‘That’s it, if you believe, he is real for you,’ was the best I could come up with. I suspect though,  that very soon, this answer is not going to work..

Talking of Christmas, I still have not put up the tree. We’ve been rather lazy around here. I had planned to put it up today, but managed to not get it done again. Tomorrow, hopefully.

Leaving you with Poohi’s favourite Christmas song.. And oh yes, I finally updated the ‘Poohi Speaks‘ page – after people started threatening me with all sorts of consequences 😦

Be careful what you wish for..

..so they say, and with good reason too, as I discovered today.

Yesterday was a mad rush. I had loads to do before going off on our holiday, and with almost everything left to be done, I could help wishing that I had more time. Turns out, I did. Guess what happened?

Our flight got canceled and we got rebooked on a flight for Sunday instead of Saturday- which was when we were supposed to leave. What made it even worse was that we got no notification of it. I just happened to log in to do an online check-in, when I discovered that the date of departure was 2 days away!

I certainly have a lot more time to pack and get organized now. And we have just 4 days of holiday, unless we manage to change our return dates – fingers crossed. 4 days just does not feel enough! One more day would make it so much better 🙂 In the meanwhile, we spend our time with the phone glued to our ears, in an effort to get through to the airlines.

In other news, Santa visited our home today, because we were supposed to leave tomorrow, on Christmas day. Someone, thankfully, is very happy with Santa’s gifts 🙂

I just finished reading and re-reading ‘Daughter of Shame’ by Jasvinder Sanghera. Remind me to post a review, because it is one book which needs to talked about. But probably not during the festive season.

So, all going well, we should be away till next year.

Wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! Have a wonderful holiday season! See you in 2011!

 

Christmassy fun!

It is nearly Christmas, and usual, we are made aware of it in more ways than one. Everything is lit up and the holiday feel is already here.

Our Christmas tree is up, and someone is very busy singing Christmas songs and all pretend-play is based on the ‘special baby Jesus and Mary and Joseph’. All the after effects of the Christmas concert at school.

Today was the special day. She woke up all excited. We had been issued instructions on how we needed to be early, and how we need to be in the first row(which we could not make, there were parents who were quicker than us). But we did make it to the second row. It was Husband’s first Christmas concert experience, he did not make it to last year’s performance. I don’t think he is going to miss any more Christmas concerts(or any other concert that daughter takes part in), ever again.

I was reading through what I wrote last year, and surprisingly, it was exactly the same this year. I was still moist-eyed at the end of it, despite having seen it all last year. Can we as parents, ever have enough of seeing our children on stage? All of us parents were buzzing with excitement, and the sight of our children had us waving, in delight and excitement. The excitement levels were so high that they first had a ‘big wave’ to get it out of the way!

The performance was so beautifully executed! The teachers gently getting the children to follow the cues, they managed small hiccups like a little boy getting upset beautifully, without making him feel worse, and the children, they were so cute! They just gave it their all! Singing, performing..just having a wonderful time!

Every time I attend an afternoon like this, all I can do is be thankful for the loving environment that Poohi has at school. The genuine care and concern of the teachers makes me count my blessings. I just hope that daughter gets a happy and safe environment everywhere she goes.

And now she has the school Christmas party to look forward to – what a fun life! I want to be a child again! I wonder if they would take kindly to a mother gate-crashing?

Happy Memories are made of these…

I know I have no business writing a post, when I have not answered the comments to the previous one(s) and have not even reached half way on my packing, but some moments need to be recorded, don’t they? It is not everyday that one’s only child participates in her very first public appearance, after all!

Yesterday was Poohi’s Christmas concert. She had been away from school for the last 2 weeks and I was a bit worried if her part would be taken off or given to another child since she went missing. Thankfully, it was not. Each class puts together a nativity concert and every child had a line to say or a song to sing. I was amazed at the wonderful way it was all put together. Getting all the little 3/4 year olds to say their lines in perfect coordination and sing and clap where-ever required. Even the set was gorgeous! The amount of effort the staff had put in getting all this together was evident. As the play progressed, I was all overcome and teary-eyed and feeling a wee bit foolish at the rush of emotions when I saw another dad, wiping away a tear from his eye. I was not the only parent feeling all emotional at the sight of her 3.5 year old in the play.

If that was not enough, after the play, they played a little compilation of photographs taken at the nursery of the children during various activities. It was so well put together, with lovely songs in the back ground, so very touching. The teachers love and dedication was so visible in the way they had put it all together. I think there was not a single dry-eyed parent in that room at the end of it.

For the children, the fact that their parents were there watching them perform, I think, was great. Each little one’s excitement at seeing his mum/dad in the audience was so sweet. It brought back memories of my own childhood in so many ways. It also made me thankful that I was able to experience all these milestones with her.

The enthusiasm, love and concern, the staff showed to each child made me so very grateful that Poohi was lucky enough to have such lovely, considerate and caring teachers. After parents, it is after all, the teachers who play a huge part in the lives of little children. A teacher could single-handedly make or break a child. I just pray that she continues to get such lovely teachers all her student life.

‘Tis the season of giving.

There is something about Christmas time that I really like. The whole atmosphere changes. The bleak winter evenings light up with Christmas trees peeping out of every house.The malls and shopping centres buzzing with activity. There is a feeling of anticipation, excitement in the air.

Every year, this time is spent shopping. Shopping to go to India. Most of our India trips used to be around this time, Christmas  being one of the less busy times of the year, when it came to work. Hours are spent in selecting the right gifts for people. I just love that bit. I love finding the right gift for all my near and dear ones. It gives one so much joy, doesn’t it? When one chances across the perfect gift for a person. Sometimes,  I end up shopping for far too many things. Sometimes, I would not get that elusive gift until one day before we travel. I love the whole gifting process. Selecting the gift, wrapping it up – I actually love gift wrapping – some people think that I need my head examined, but I really do like it 🙂 Daughter, seems to have caught the bug too – she loves wrapping gifts as much as I do 🙂 Although, I have to say, that her ‘help’  does  rather hampers my wrapping style 🙂

This year, since our yearly trip has been postponed to July-August, I miss that shopping bit. Even the chocolate shopping used to be so much fun. There are so many varieties of chocolates and sweets that you get only around Christmas time.  Just as I was taking it easy and missing shopping for gifts, I was reminded that I needed to buy Christmas cards and gifts for Poohi’s classmates and friends in the nursery and teachers! Poohi had not been well for the last 2 weeks and it had completely slipped my mind. So on a week, when I had loads of work pending, I had to go and do some Christmas shopping too.  Writing out cards and wrapping up gifts, express speed, so that they are ready for school tomorrow – not my cup of tea, but the joy that it gave my daughter, made it all worth it.

Today’s experience just reminded me of how the gift shopping might actually be stressful for a lot of people. Especially when there are expectations tagged to the gifts. When the expectations might exceed a person’s capabilities. Or when people are disappointed by the gifts given by a person and do not even try to mask it. Or when the person receiving it, feels overwhelmed by the gifts he receives. A joyous time could just be marred by undercurrents of unhappiness, resentment and disappointment.

Which is probably why, the best gifts are not the ones bought with money, but those give from the heart. A kind word, a little help when most needed, a thoughtful gesture, a shoulder to cry on, any time of the year, might give far, far more happiness than the most expensive of gifts given during the season of giving.

On about nothing..

I have always admired people who blog on schedule or daily or even 2 or 3 times a day – on a regular basis. For me, these days, doing a post is becoming more and more difficult.

I have ideas for posts running around in my head, but they all disappear as soon as I get to the laptop. Of course, it does not help that daughter wants my attention right then or she would have dropped yogurt on my carpet, making me jump a mile high and forget all about the post until I have scrubbed out every sign of it out of the carpet and have given daughter a verbal scrubbing too. By the time I am done, a post is the last thing on my mind.

If nothing of this sort happens, farmville, of course, is there to distract me. My crops might be ready for harvesting or the animals ready to collect milk, down feathers or truffles. Goodness! This game is even increasing my general knowledge. I had no idea that farm animals had so many uses! I am sure all this farming will come in use, when I buy a farm after retirement. See, I have my retirement plans all chalked out – I am even practising it – virtually 🙂

Anyway, I was talking about how blogging just does not seem to be happening. Sometimes, when I have a post all chalked out, in my mind, a friend would call. And off I go, chatting away, until I run out of time, and then before I know it, it is dinner time, and then night time! Where does my time go? I really need tips from you guys. How do you manage it? Most of you manage while holding down a job and playing games and being on twitter! I seriously need lessons on time management!

Did I mention that I watch that reality show – Pati, Patni aur Woh? Hitchy, please don’t throw your shoes at me – I had not intended to. Really! I started watching just to see what it was like – and then got hooked in.  But this is it – I am not even looking at another reality TV show ever! I have had my fill of them. My husband has been teasing me that I will sit through that Rahul Mahajan one as well – so I have to prove him wrong.

One of the things I have always been on about has been confirmed by Jairam Ramesh, Minister for Environment and Forest, we would get a Nobel Prize for Filth! Maybe, they need to create a prize for it. Then maybe, we might change our ways. But it was refreshing to hear a govt minister admitting it rather than the opposition saying it.

Talking of the opposition – do we have an opposition in our country any more? They all seem very busy in ‘internal matters’. Do you think our next election might have Congress winning all seats because there was nobody to contest against them?

Christmas is already here. The shops are all decked up. I am forced to walk to the shops to gaze at a huge Father Christmas holding loads of presents. Poohi thinks that if she stares long enough, he might just take pity on her and hand her one of the presents. They certainly have the right idea though. With all the festive decor, my daughter is not going to let up until we get a Christmas tree, which we had anyway planned to do, but she wants a pink tree – which I certainly don’t fancy. And can you believe it – they do sell pink trees! There must be plenty of little girls in this country pining away for a pink Christmas tree!

I guess I had better end this aimless rambling of mine. Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!