Merry Christmas, everyone! Normally, Christmas at my parents’ home is a small affair (I do look forward to mom’s yearly gift of funky knee socks, matching underwear, and dish-washing gloves.) From time to time, we gather our extended family in one place and herd them towards a movie theatre. This takes serious cowboy-like skills, which is complicated because we’re Indian. This year, managing high stress levels, short tempers, and a 3-mile long to do list means that our carols sounded something like this. I kid you not – that video is a true and accurate representation of Christmas eve. We argued over Bollywood music, daughter-possession, in-laws, the caterer’s butter chicken, and the immigrant experience.
Each of our family members spent the day working. We decorated our house, finished making and packing reception decor (for transport to the venue), shopped for new wedding makeup, and cooked up a storm. I dragged my poor aunt to almost every cosmetics store in Cincinnati. My hands appeared beaten to a pulp after testing countless shades of long-wearing lip colors. Luckily, the fading lipstick matched the bruises from wielding scissors too heavy for my small hands.
Even though this Christmas wasn’t exactly a holiday this year, each of these hectic days has ended with all of us together in one room, perhaps working on our own projects, as we share stories, songs, and arguments. I’ll admit it – I secretly love curling up with my mom, grandma, aunt and sister with a giant fleece blanket and sweatpants. And every day, I treasure our afternoon breaks around the kitchen table, complete with steaming cups of spicy chai and aurally overwhelming discussion.
After all, these tiny moments of family time, isn’t that what the holidays are about?