This Christmas was the first that Brian and I have ever spent together, and an unusual Christmas it was. Christmas Eve, we feasted on Kentucky Fried Chicken. Yes, you can get KFC in India, but instead of providing mashed potatoes, gravy and biscuits in the “Family Feast” menu option, the chain offers saffron rice, salsa and “Indian” gravy. To top it off, KFC sells mojitos (not sure why, since mojitos are neither Kentuckian nor Indian) with REAL mint and lime. Holiday joy in a cup.
On Christmas Day, Brian and I went to surrogate-mom-in-Delhi Christine’s house, where she and her family threw an absolutely delicious holiday luncheon, complete with a Western meal that nearly made Brian cry with joy. (Plus we tried our first Christmas pudding, which Christine rechristened as Brian’s birthday cake.)
Once back at home, we exchanged presents, some which Brian had brought back from the U.S. and some from Lajpat Nagar. The jug of peanut butter filled pretzels from the Cook side of the family and the peppermint bark from the Wardell side also almost made us cry with joy. For dinner, we had yummy and cozy mutton stew and broccoli, prepared by Erica, a Fulbrighter visiting for the holidays. For dessert, we celebrated the most important holiday of all…Brian’s birthday….with birthday-candle topped donuts. Brian donned a very becoming Spiderman birthday hat.
While there was no snow, no apple pie, no “It’s a Wonderful Life” (which Brian was happy about), no illuminated tree, our Indian Christmas made for a memorable first noel together.