A Christmas In India

When I think of Christmas, white snow and twinkly fairy lights come to mind; Christmas crackers with ridiculous jokes; stuffing myself full with my nan and grandad’s yummy roast dinner; opening presents from under the Christmas tree; and getting into arguments over games with the family. But I had none of that this year.

This year Alex and I spent our Christmas in India. Instead of white snow we had hot sunshine, and the roast turkey was substituted with curry.

Christmas breakfast and dinner Indian style

Christmas breakfast and dinner Indian style

Instead of getting up early in the morning and excitedly waking everyone else up (yes, I am a big kid) so we can all open our gifts from Santa in our pjs (yes, Santa still visits no matter how old you are), this year we woke up in the Rajasthani desert to the sound of Indian music and it seemed the reindeer had been replaced with camels.

Riding an Indian reindeer

Our luxury tent in the desert

Our luxury tent in the desert

But to my huge disappointment Father Christmas didn’t visit me this year 😦 He must have had trouble finding me in the middle of the Indian desert because I’m definitely not on the naughty list!

We spent the day walking around the lovely city of Jaisalmer with its sandstone havelis, colourful alleyways full of market stalls where Alex got a shave in an Indian barbers so he looked nice and smart for Christmas day.

We visited the huge Fort on top of the hill and explored all its twists and turns, getting lost and walking down the same narrow alleys more than once, bumping into the same shop owners who repeated the same cries trying to tempt us into their little shops. We climbed up to a viewpoint to see the beautiful sunset over the city and watched the local children flying their kites.

Kite flying over the city - me and Alex are fighting over whose photo is best!

Kite flying over the city – me and Alex are fighting over whose photo is best!

It was a beautiful day in a wonderful part of India but it did not feel like Christmas in the slightest. Most people don’t celebrate it out here so it was just the same as any other day in India.  There were a few fairy lights around town and our hotel had a little Christmas tree in its lobby for those guests who do celebrate. I mostly forgot it was Christmas day until the locals called out “Merry Christmas!” to us as we walked past!

A little bit of Christmas cheer in India

A little bit of Christmas cheer in India

Although we are loving our travels around India I don’t think either of us want to be away for the festive season again. Christmas is my favourite time of year and this is the first time either of us has been away from our families for the holidays. I missed my nan and grandad arguing over the cooking of lunch; my mum getting tipsy on Baileys before we even sit down to eat; singing songs with my sister and taking lots of silly photos together; my cousin beating everyone at Boggle; and my small cousins pleading to open presents as soon as they arrive. That is what my Christmas should be made of and I’m looking forward to having a late Christmas with everyone when we’re home (please cook me another roast dinner nan!!).

But, right now, we’ve got the rest of India to explore. We’ve come to the end of our time in the bustling North, full of big cities, forts, orange sand and lots of cows, and today we head off to find out what the South of incredible India has in store for us.

21 thoughts on “A Christmas In India

  1. wisemonkeysabroad says:

    Merry Christmas to you both!! Sorry to hear that you missed your family & the traditions! At least you’ve done it once and now know it’s not to be done again 🙂 We love this time of year too so can definitely see us feeling the same as you if we weren’t home for Christmas too…. Have a great trip! Another great post – loved reading it.

    • Ayla says:

      Thanks guys, hope you had a great Christmas too! Was good to experience Christmas away at least once I think but I’m looking forward to next Christmas at home with the family!

    • Ayla says:

      It was still a great day just not a very Christmassy one! Maybe if we had been somewhere where they celebrate it would have been a bit better but it just felt like we completely missed Christmas this year!

  2. kazabena says:

    Awww, I wondered how you’d cope, seen as Xmas is your big family thing! I’m glad you’re not going to be away for Xmas this time of year, I’ve missed you & will miss our random New Years Eves together, when I spend it sat at home this year!! Glad you’re enjoying yourself, but come back soon!! ❤

  3. Rachel G says:

    I know I’d choose that Indian dinner over the traditional American Christmas foods any day! I actually had an unusual Christmas too, celebrating with my Mexican inlaws with tamales for Christmas dinner–definitely a different experience!

    • Ayla says:

      Oh yes the food was amazing but I did miss a roast dinner on Christmas Day though! Mexican would be very different as well! Hope you enjoyed it 🙂

  4. Helen pacheco says:

    Hi Ayla & Alex Merry Christmas & A very happy New year to you both,glad you are having a nice time in India and enjoying your new expirience. xx

  5. Bemused Backpacker says:

    Great post! Look at it this way though, you may have missed home and family and tradition because of the specific time of the year, but you got to experience how a different part of the world has Christmas (or not in most of India’s case), and that will enrich your life in ways you won’t know yet. Plus, the bonus is that you will definitely appreciate your traditional family Christmases more the next time you have one! ;D

    Enjoy the rest of your travels, the South of India is beautiful!

    • Ayla says:

      Yes, I’m glad we tried it once but I don’t think we’ll be doing it again at that time of year. Not in a part of the world that doesn’t celebrate Christmas anyway. The South was definitely beautiful – my favouite part by far 🙂

  6. Ceri says:

    I feel the same. I decided yesterday, after spending my 4th Christmas abroad (and alone) that I couldn’t do it anymore. From now on, I want to be home for Christmas with my family.

    I do like seeing your pictures and hearing about India though. I’m heading to India in 2 weeks on a 3 week solo journey. 🙂

    • Ayla says:

      That’s a lot of Christmases to be away from family! One was enough for me. Hope you have an amazing time in India! It’s an incredible place. I have plenty of other tips on the blog if you want any 🙂

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