It’s just starting to look like Christmas is on the way here in Bangalore. One of the Malls has a Christmas tree and some of the hotels have decorations or a tree or in the case of the Marriott in Whitefield, both. Advent isn’t recognised in Bangalore (I’m not going to generalise about the rest of India as I have a sneaky suspicion that the predominantly Catholic Goa will be different). Some of the neighbours children have been fascinated by our decorations and have asked to see the Christmas tree and asked questions about Christmas. Trying to explain an Advent calendar to a child who has never seen one before has been unusual and interesting. They certainly like the idea of a countdown to Christmas with a treat everyday.
The lack of enthusiasm for Christmas was a relief from the constant consumerism in the UK but when Advent came and there still was nothing it was a little perturbing for me. Whilst in the UK the shops are emailing ideas for “last minute” gifts, here in Bangalore the shopping doesn’t start until the week before Christmas. We gave up trying to find a hotel that was doing anything special for Christmas. We’ve bought a turkey and hope the power lasts to cook it!
It was therefore a great relief that the Marriott in Whitefield put on Gingerbread House decorating for the children as it is one of only two Christmas related activities for children. (The other being breakfast with Santa at a different hotel). We didn’t know what to expect when we arrived but we were pleasantly surprised. The chefs had made the gingerbread and made the houses ready for the children to decorate. Each decorating station was ready prepared with icing bags and bowls of sweets. There were a lot of very excited children!
After briefly meeting the creepiest Santa I’ve ever seen (full face mask), Zahra popped on her apron and the chef put on her chef’s hat. All ready to go. After a countdown, the children all started decorating the houses. The excitement was palpable.