“Snuffles, our pet dog used to be so excited on Christmas. She would run to the tree and quickly mosey out a ball from a stocking and play with it. We miss her terribly during Christmas,” said Lisa Pinto who hails from Goa.
There are little animal figurines on the floor with red bow ties around their neck. Decked up in style for Christmas, these toys are testaments to Lisa and Kenneth Pinto’s love for the four-legged creatures.
The minimalistic decorations not only lend a warm glow to their home on Hosur Road, but also draw attention to the huge Christmas tree in a corner. “I hate taking down the decorations; it’s the most unpleasant part for me. So I keep them on for a month longer,” she added.
Christmas has always been a special time for the two because memories of past festivities are still fresh on their mind. “For me it’s the fun of it; family getting together, making sweets, decking up the tree and more. We all have something to do,” said Kenneth.
“Sweets were always the highlight for us. My sister would get angry with us if we made the kulkuls crudely. It was a whole day affair, and so painful but we loved it,” Lisa chips in.
The Christmas spread for them involves pork taking centre stage, with prawn and fish salad making an appearance that is special to their coastal roots.
Since many Hindus in Goa were converted to Christianity, an attempt was made to retain their original culture. “The baby placed in the crib would be dressed with chains, anklets, gold ornaments, just like Baby Krishna,” said Lisa. Even though celebrations now include other adopted traditions, there are still a few special to Goa. She said,
“Me and another friend distribute a plate of homemade sweets to our neighbours. And they distribute during Diwali and so on. It’s a community affair.”
Sharing their joy with close friends and the helpers around the house is an ideal Christmas for the two. “They are a part of our family too and that’s what the festival is about,” said Kenneth.