Xmas in Goa: BYO Grinch
If taking off for India means missing the yearly round-the-clock viewings of Christmas "classics" like "Miracle on 34th Street" and that horrible cartoon "Frosty The Snowman," we'll be packed and ready to go in 10 minutes. Instead, keep Christmas the Goan way, in honor of the west-coast state which maintains enough of its Portuguese roots to honor the holiday in the majority-Hindu country.
The streets are decorated with lights and elaborate paper stars, pictured. A Goa Christmas typically begins with Missa de Galo, late-night masses that bleed into the early morning hours, after which party-goers eat cashew cakes and a baklava-esque pastry with coconut called bebinca. Since there's no snow, your only worry is how long you'll have to wait after eating to hit the beach, although that's more of an adopted-tourist tradition than long-standing Indian rite.
Note: While the terrorist attacks in Mumbai have dampened tourism all over India, we're standing with Peter Greenberg and defending a visit to the country, on the grounds that common tourist haunts are on high alert. This could also translate into some mean last-minute deals on the ground. Still, travel at your own risk.