Deck the halls with boughs of holly…

… fa la la la la, la la la la!!! 

So the Holidays are here. Imagine – five whole days of vacation with no agenda at all! Initially I thought we might get bored but I couldn’t have been more wrong – we are having the time of our lives and right here, around home!

The Christmas cheer started a while back when we put up our Tree.

Decorating the tree

(Picture re-used from last year since I didn’t get a good shot this year.)

Then there was the shower of gifts that decended upon us in office on Monday and Tuesday, the only two working days this week. Candles, chocolates, home-made tree ornaments, freshly baked brownies and cookies… the list was long and humbling. Especially since we had no idea what to expect and had not planned gifts of our own. (We were new to the workplace last year and weren’t really part of the social scene then.) Anyhow, I think we’ll stick to our plan and get back gifts from our India trip in February instead. 

Wednesday was spent mostly lazing around at home, the best way to start a vacation in my opinion! We had some friends over for chai and poha in the evening, and at night we accompanied a Catholic friend to Church for the Christmas eve service. 

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The church was beautifully done up and the service was moving except for one small detail we found confusing and somewhat amusing – the priest kept asking everyone to stand up and sit down every few minutes, at least ten times through the prayers. We asked our friend about it but he didn’t have a good explanation. Do you?

On Christmas Day, we headed out to the City. (And don’t you dare ask a New Yorker, which one – there’s only one City with the capital C, okay!)

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Santa Claus was out in the City too and had gone all high-tech, with a car decked up as his sleigh!

dsc05183There were gorgeous Christmas Trees adorning almost every other doorway.

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Our first stop was for candle-lighting and some heartfelt prayers at St. Patricks Cathedral on  51st and Madison.

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Next stop, the Rockefeller Tree. Can you make out how huge it really is?

We sort of wandered around after that, on foot of course, the best way to explore a city I always say! Bryant Park, Macy’s, Time Square and Broadway, stopping to take in a movie (Valkyrie) and a breather at AMC, yummy Kathi Rolls at the Indian restaurant nearby and interesting sights on the way…

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A store-front display I loved – a sari-clad doll!

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Skaters at Bryant Park. No, I am notorious for my lack of balance and did NOT dare try my hand (or rather feet) at this extremely scary (for me) sport!

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Another Tree at Bryant Park.

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One of the famous store displays at Macy’s.

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And finally, an innovatively decorated Tree at Grand Central. Can you make out what the decorations actually are?

And on that note, I’ll bid you adieu, until next time. Happy Holidays, Merry Xmas and a safe and joyous New Year to all!

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18 responses to “Deck the halls with boughs of holly…

  1. The tree looks lovely!
    Merry Christmas and Happy New year to you!
    I loved the photos Devaki, gave me a slice of Christmas in NYC!
    And I went to the midnight mass too and did the kneeling/standing/sitting routine. From whatever i understood, when there was a prayer/cofession we kneeled. We stood when they performed some sort of ritual( for the lack of a bettr word). We were seated when they sand the carols etc.

  2. Wow! A sunset walk at the Golden Gate Bridge is on my dream destination lists S! And the decorations – they were television screens, can you believe it!!!

    Hmmm… okay Jira – thanks! I know there must be some pattern to it since everyone else seemed to know when to stand up or sit, just that our friend didn’t seem to be able to explain it well.

  3. I went to Mass every week with my family until I went off to college. I don’t have a clear explanation either for all the standing, sitting, kneeling, etc.

    My best explanation is that it shows different levels of respect. For the most sacred parts of the Mass there is kneeling. For the most informal, there is sitting. For everything in between there is standing.

  4. Wow! Christmas makes for such great photo-ops with its decorations and lights and the red, golden, white and green combinations.

    And are those TV screens on the tree?!

    Anyway, Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year!

  5. I totally flipped for the trees. They are so – are so – well christmassy, for lack of better words. The car doubling up as a sleigh is fantastic too. Great pics. Merry Christmas

  6. Exactly, which is why Xmas and Diwali and my two favorite festivals D! And yes, they are tv screens!!!

    Thanks POJB and Ritu – Happy New Year to you!

  7. Beautiful photos 🙂

    My take on the up and down thing through Catholic services is that it’s to keep people from falling asleep. But maybe that’s just me.

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