Definition of a miserable Christmas : the one just past.

The one wasted at Tribhuvan Airport, freezing our butts off, sipping overpriced weak tea, waiting for the skies to clear. Waiting for the plane to take off. Waiting, waiting, waiting for Christmas – the brilliant one we’d planned with exotic wild animals, and hot chocolate, and wine by the fireside, and elephant rides, and floaty hours on riverbanks – to finally begin.

But the weather did us in. And Christmas crept by, gray and drab and very cold. Frayed nerves and bad ventilation make a miserable combination. No one in the airport waiting room appeared terribly festive by the time the announcement came that the plane was finally ready to take off.

It was dark when we arrived at Chitwan National Park. The camp manager shook his head. “Too late now,” he said. “Even the elephants have gone home.”

And what is Christmas without elephants?

We sulked a little. And went to bed. And woke up to a glorious Boxing Day.

The elephant showed up, carried us deep into the wild.

We met a bunch of One-horned Rhinos.

Came as close as we possibly could to a Bengal Tiger.

And hung out with a host of other cute animals.

In the evening, there was a brilliant sunset and the best chocolate mousse ever. We kicked back, pigged out and forgave Christmas for being such a disappointment this year. So maybe it kinda disappeared on us. But Boxing Day? It was wild.