It’s Christmas! I love this time of year and even though it’ll be very different this time, I’m still embracing it fully and doing what I can to make it as fun and enjoyable for the family as I possibly can.
I took part in Blogmas in 2018, which I thoroughly enjoyed doing as a new blogger on the block. But two years on, I’ve picked up new readers so I’m going to revisit some of my favourite posts.This post is all about why and how I celebrate Christmas.I first came across this question at university: As a British-Indian, why do I celebrate this Christian festival? I was never faced with this question, growing up in multi-cultural Birmingham. It came up every now and then in general conversation with my fellow Asian friends and family.
But I was never asked this by anyone outside of my inner circle.I wasn’t offended. It’s a legitimate question to ask, I guess. I went on to explain that we had always celebrated Christmas in my household and in my extended family too.Yes, we don’t celebrate it for it’s true meaning – the birth of Christ – but I’ve always respected the reason and origin of the festival. Many British Asian families embrace the traditions and join in with the festivities whole-heartedly.
It was no different for me growing up and it’s no different as I raise my children now. If anything, we have gone further and do even more than I did as a child, around the festive season.My parents arrived from India as immigrants in the late 60s and started celebrating Christmas because it was an excuse to spend time with family and take on this very British tradition with open arms. My mum decided we couldn’t have our roast until after the Queen’s speech!
We started going really big on Christmas when I became a teenager because by then, my two older sisters were already in their late teens. That’s when we got a bigger tree and started exchanging presents.I used to spend my pocket money on 7″ vinyls for my sisters of whatever artist they were into at the time – Bros, New Kids On The Block, Kylie etc. Singles were only a couple of quid at the time but it was a lot back then – and for us, these were valuable and meaningful gifts.
It’s one of my favourite times of the year. I love decorating my house on the first of December. I enjoy planning my social calendar and having lots of friends and family round. I’m as excited as my kids are to open our advent calendars and make our annual trip to panto.Of course, a lot of this can’t happen this year but we’re making the most of the things we can do.
We cook a traditional Christmas dinner and look forward to exchanging gifts on Christmas morning. I love Christmas carols and songs. In fact, as young girls, my sisters and I would sing Christmas carols at the front of our house to entertain passers-by with the encouragement of my parents.When Shalini was a part of the Brownies, we loved visiting Church with the group, lighting candles and singing hymns.As a youngster, we would go to the local church service every Christmas with school.
For me, Christmas is about respecting a religion, even if that’s not the reason I celebrate it. I love it when my non-Asian friends join in with Hindu and Sikh festivals like Diwali or Vaisakhi. That’s the beauty of growing up in a multi-cultural city.I know there’s been negative press in the past about Christmas as a festival being diluted and I don’t want to go too much down that route. Many of my non-Asian friends only celebrate Christmas for the same reasons as me and they’ve had Christian upbringings.
They just enjoy the warmth of the season, the socialising and the excuse to be off work for a while and take some much needed rest with their loved ones. It’s about fun and family. Christmas has become a part of my integrated culture.I am proud to be Indian and I am proud to be British at the same time. I have very comfortably balanced both worlds throughout my life.
This year, there aren’t a lot of events on for obvious reasons. Normally, we visit Santa’s grotto, hit the Christmas markets, the panto is a must and I usually book tickets to various other things happening in my city. What the kids and I are doing instead is going on lots of winter walks and cuddling up under the blanket with Christmas movies.
I took them to a drive-in cinema at Hatton Country world last week and it was so nice to be able to take part in a festive event, yet with everyone’s safety in mind. If you have any ideas of other events/activities we can do, please comment below.
While you’re here, why not check out my Blogmas 2018 post on Christmas Makeup Looks?
And you can keep up with my daily life over on Instagram.