Christmas Decorations

Corey writes:

Gina and I are feeling in a Christmas mood lately. I think everyone should have to celebrate one major holiday in a different country at least once in their life. There's no Christmas music on the radio, no candy canes in shop windows, no parties to attend. No co-workers asking about your holiday plans. While it would be nearly impossible to ignore Christmas in the U.S., here the amount of build-up and celebrating is entirely up to us.

While that might sound like heaven to you Grinches out there, we do like to celebrate here. Maybe even more than at home. It helps us connect with our culture, it marks the passing of time (next Christmas we'll be home!). But it also reminds us of what we're missing. I've personally been blasting the Ultimate Christmas Album all day every day in the month of December. It will promptly go back into storage on January 1st. In addition to musical observations, Gina surprised me recently by decorating our whole house for the season. It was a really neat thing to come home to:

To decorate the Christmas tree, Gina used mini-CDs for shiny silver ornaments, wrapped green yarn around red bangles for other ornaments, and knit some miniature mitten creative!

This isn't to say there's no celebration in Koraput. Starting the week of Christmas, there will likely be the same two little Christmas stalls set up near the post office as last year. They will be offering outrageously tacky decorations and we will buy a lot of them. Many shops will also offer "Christmas Cakes". I don't know the origin of this particular tradition (maybe fruitcakes??) but they will be all over the place. And half off in January. Sweet.

What is really raising people's spirits more than Christmas right now is wedding season. Most Hindu weddings are held at auspicious times according to the Hindu calendar, which is tightly linked to astrology. This means that in big cities like Delhi, you have 10,000 families trying to hold weddings on the same day. Or that your wedding ceremony is timed to culminate at 12:46am on a Tuesday.

There was a wedding next to our house on Saturday evening (at 11:23 p.m. according to the invitation). There were red and green lights lighting the whole neighborhood, so we pretended it was for Christmas and not for a wedding.