Day #273 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Part 2…Christmas wishes…Chanukah wishes (belated)…Kwanzaa wishes…Boxing day wishes!..

In an old vehicle, Us is located at the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, as in the movie of the same name. For that post, please click here.

Today’s photos are from the post on March 7, 2020, the date of our 25th wedding anniversary, which we celebrated while in India on a private tour, before the lockdown, with several photos of us from other dates. For that post, please click here.

Are we celebrating Christmas? It’s a distant memory for us. The last year that we celebrated with all the family, decorations, baked goods, gifts, and numerous social events was in 2011. We left Minnesota on Halloween in 2012 to begin our world journey. Do we miss all the commotion?

We’d be lying to say we don’t miss many aspects of it all, particularly the part when we were all together. But, over the last few years, while in Minnesota, Tom and I often found ourselves alone on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, a reality of the extended families of our three grown children and the creation of their own Christmas traditions.

But, even so, Tom and I created a series of traditions of our own, including special meals we prepared, always steak and lobster on Christmas Eve, and other such special treats for Christmas Day. Our home was filled with the intoxicating smells of scented candles, potpourri, and the burning wood in the fireplace. Christmas music played in the background. Our hearts were filled with the anticipation of seeing everyone soon and enjoying the festivities.

With Tom’s birthday on December 23rd, we added another reason to celebrate and that we always did with aplomb! We often visited with friends, and they with us, on the days before and after the holidays. Of course, our close neighbors played a vital role in adding to the Christmas spirit with numerous celebratory occasions,

And now? Not so much. Over the past several years, we spent two Christmases in Marloth Park, once in 2013 and another in 2018. There was no shortage of parties and celebrations surrounding the holidays, particularly at the bush home of friends Kathy and Don, on their third-floor veranda, overlooking the Crocodile River. The views were exceptional, the food fantastic, and the companionship and celebrations divine.

When it’s just the two of us in any international location, we will prepare special meals, enjoy some low-carb snacks, wine, and cocktails and listen to Christmas music. But, there’s no tree, no decorations, no baked goods, and getting together with locals. When staying in a country for three months or less, it isn’t always possible to make many friends quickly enough with whom we’d spend Christmas.

But, we’re pretty fine during these periods, and we’ve made the best of every day, every holiday, every anniversary, and every birthday finding ways to feel a sense of celebration while on our own, often laughing over the irony of our situation, so far removed from our old lives.

On our way in December 2019 to the Vegas Golden Knights game with son Richard. Thanks, Richard, it was an enjoyable night! Here‘s the post from that night.

With Tom’s birthday upcoming in two days, I racked my brain trying to think of something special for him. He’s been working hard to lose weight, and although slowly, he doesn’t want to “eat cake” and gain it back after all his diligent efforts over the past month. So special food or drink is out of the question. There’s nothing the cooks here could make that would keep him on track. Also, we don’t leave our floor with many unmasked guests here, so there’s nowhere to go, certainly not to the dining room or bar.

I considered buying him some type of gift on Amazon India. But, as mentioned in a prior post, we’ll be unloading “stuff” from our luggage when facing some strict and costly baggage fees, not adding to it. He’s OK with this reality as I am, too, based on his positive attitude.

Our primary concern right now is getting on that flight to South Africa in 22 days and arriving safely and healthfully in Marloth Park in 23 days. This morning, there was news out of Germany stating that all flights to and from South Africa have been suspended. Hopefully, we won’t see such information from India before we can depart.

Have a safe and healthy holiday season!

Photo from one year ago today, December 21, 2019:

With no new photos taken on a year ago on this date, we’ve included this photo from 2013 while on the way to Nelspruit with our driver and dear friend, Okee Dokee. She stopped to buy lychee nuts from this adorable girl, who was selling them on the side of the road with her mom. For the story from one year ago, please click here.

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