Christmas is that time of the year when merry making begins; the year comes to a close and prepares for a wonderful new start. Its always special in so many different ways, be it for the children because its school break and they get to spend time with their family, or for the grown ups as its time to take a break from a long and eventful year, thus making Christmas the best holiday season in a year !
I planned for this family holiday a while back and kept counting days leading upto the occassion. December is usually the best time of the year for everyone in my family. My son is the most excited to step into the Christmas week related events as it starts taking shape by putting up colourfully lit stars, decorating the Christmas tree and prepping up the nativity set for baby Jesus.
My holiday plan was to drive to the backwaters of Kerala, a place called Kumarakom and spend the New Year’ at a beautiful resort by the lake. As silent as things were this year with COVID in the air, it was interesting to see how quickly reservations got through for this particular holiday period. I hastened my bookings atleast a month back to secure our trip to Kumarakom. Time flies during this month, and before I knew it, schools (rather online classes) were shut and I began my break from work. A slight detour to spend time with close family and cousins on the way to the lake, was an addition to the trip. Its been ages since my son’s seen people beyond the ones within the four walls of our home, so this detour will certainly be a detox for him.
Christmas week was here, and the fun-filled family events started stronger than ever before, maybe because its been a lot of family togetherness at homes this year during the lockdown months. For whatever reason, the festive feel was much better that ever before. The 3 most important things for the week was planned out well. The first one began as we stepped into the month with the Advent calendar keeping Ketan (my 8 year old) busy all the way till Christmas Eve. Followed by this was a family Christmas cookie decoration session which was perhaps the best event that happened during the month. And the last one which was the traditional family dinner on Christmas night with close friends with a surprise twist this year with two Santa clauses (Dad and son) to grace the occassion with gifts for everyone.
Soon after the merry making that lasted a whole week was time to drive over to the backwaters, the lake where you see floating houses on boats. Its a beautiful place to spend a family holiday and even better when its New Year’s eve. Kumarakom was welcoming with a 15 minute boat ride from the car park to the resort and a refreshing coconut water welcome drink as we checked in. A beautiful lake side resort (Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom) with a mesmerizing view that will keep your stay warm and cozy through out your time there. The property is built with relics from the time of the Maharajas (aka Kings back in the time) with cottages filled with heritage. What was very interesting, although a little irritating initially was the fact that none of the rooms in the resort has televisions. It became interesting later to me when I heard from the resort staff about the logic as to why they dont have TVs in the rooms; if we wanted to watch TV we were better off sitting at home, making this place meant to enjoy every ounce of the holiday and nature rather than creating another space similar to home.
I would recommend such getaways for everyone. In the busy schedules that we are engrossed in, these breaks are much required. Not just once in a year, but more frequently depending on when you need that most deserving break in between to save your head from exploding.
The better part of such relaxing time offs include how adventurous you want to become. I had my schedule packed trying out various boat rides (Canoe, speedboats, Shikara boats, Houseboats etc). The property sits on 25 acres of land, then why not explore the nature a little better. I was fortunate to see a variety of birds which you dont get to see living in a city and was a pleasing experience for my camera lens too.
A special treat and one of its kind experience from this trip that I haven’t seen anywhere else was a Butterfly garden. Imagine those few random butterflies you see once in a while out in your garden, now imagine hundreds of them flying around you in a garden, the experience was unmatched although I managed to click a few pictures to share this experience with you all.
And I sum up… When you are ready to go and grab that much awaited break from work, my suggestion is to pick a place where there is no TV and pack in as many adventures as possible to try out something new every time. This helps refresh your mind as nothing beats a change to the old fashioned monotonous way of life.