'We Celebrate from the Beginning of the Month'

For the Hawkes, an Anglo-Indian family from Jayanagar, Christmas celebration is not restricted to December 25; it starts in the beginning of the month with music and decorations.

Published: 25th December 2013 08:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th December 2013 08:29 AM   |  A+A-

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For the Hawkes, an Anglo-Indian family from Jayanagar, Christmas celebration is not restricted to December 25; it starts in the beginning of the month with music and decorations. And for them too, the festival is not just about the midnight mass or the feast, it is about getting together with loved ones, sharing food and happiness.

"We sing carols and decorate the entire house with colourful buntings," says Savanna Hawkes, an MNC employee and daughter of the house.

The Hawkes date their family tree back to the 1920s. When asked about their Anglo connect, after a quick check with her grandmother, Savanna reveals that her grandmother's grandfather was an Irish man with the last name Macready.

At the Hawkes residence, after the initial merriment subsides, Christmas baking begins. The family gets together to bake the traditional plum cake and cookies. But besides the usual, they also prepare a classic sweetmeat called Kul Kul, a fried delicacy made especially for Christmas with flour, sugar and butter.

And as the festival draws closer, the preparations become intense. Gifts are bought, invitations are sent out and the menu is decided.

Christmas eve is reserved for the midnight mass at the St Patrick's church, after which comes the best part, opening gifts lying under the Christmas tree.

Christmas day begins with an elaborate breakfast spread with bacon, ham, egg, cheese and sausages.

"It is also my grandmother's birthday on the day, so the celebrations are huge. We invite all our relatives and friends, so our house is full of people. We have at least 30 guests each year," says Savanna.

For the main feast they have the traditional turkey, biryani, chicken curry, assortments of salad and a date and walnut pudding.

"We usually get the turkey from outside but the other dishes are made at home. It takes nearly three hours to prepare the entire meal," she adds.

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