I don’t know what I want for Christmas. I don’t know what I don’t have at home to want people to buy it for me. I’m not much of a shopper, and I don’t really give off vibes that I need something and therefore, someone should buy it for me.
Actually, I’m not a Christmas person. I don’t celebrate it. My husband is a Christian but he doesn’t celebrate it either. We don’t do the carolling, or the turkey-roasting, or the pudding-baking, or the stocking-stuffing. We don’t give presents, nor do we receive any to put under our Christmas tree. Heck, we don’t even have a Christmas tree! Ah, I can hear you now, whispering and calling me a Scrooge. No, I’m not Scrooge. I’m a Buddhist by birth, so naturally Christmas isn’t on my mind. Chinese New Year is, and it’s in two months time! But that doesn’t mean I can’t embrace it and send wishes to my friends.
But what is it about Christmas that puts every household in a frenzy? The idea of fighting with last-minute shoppers for Christmas presents isn’t very tempting. The idea of fighting with last-minute holidaygoers going somewhere isn’t very tempting either. And the idea of fighting with anyone for whatever reason at the last minute is not tempting at all.
A White Christmas
Well, here’s what I think about Christmas. I like the concept of a white and snowy Christmas, with tea and crumpets around the fireplace, and Santa Claus scaling down my chimney with a sackful of presents for me gently placed under the Christmas tree. Turkey stuffed with goodies, bathed in gravy and complemented with a host of dishes that decorate my dining table. Christmas fruitcake and treacle pudding, sweets and candies, the air of festivity becoming the atmosphere in my home. Friends and family alike enjoying the food while conversations and laughter fill the cabins of my home.
What Christmas really is about
Ha, dream on. In reality, Christmas isn’t exactly what I described it to be. Overheard on the radio just a few days ago, a deejay told her tale of a white Christmas in New York. The first couple of days were blissful. Snow falling like sifted sugar icing on a beautifully-baked birthday cake. The sounds of children playing in the snow, making snow angels and getting involved in snowball fights. Parents cautioning their offspring on the icy surfaces of the pavements, falling over themselves as they desperately try to regain control of their feet. The days after that, however, the novelty of a white Christmas faded. According to the deejay, because of the dirt and trash that New Yorkers left behind, the soft white snow had turned to dirty gray sludge. Cars were buried under layers of snow. People falling over and getting hurt. Shovelling companies charging sky-high prices just to clear a short driveway so that residents can go about their daily lives. It just didn’t feel so special in the end.
Hollywood movies and the media paint white Christmasses to be a well and truly remarkable event that one should experience for themselves, at least once, before they die. I’ve never seen snow myself. I’ve never travelled anywhere far enough and long enough to see snow. No, National Geographic doesn’t count. Seeing it on television and seeing it in person are two different things. But I do have dreams that I will one day be able to travel to a place with snow and Christmas trees and Christmas turkeys and puddings and gingerbread men and stuffed stockings and presents… And all the things in the world that I never got to enjoy as a kid.
What are YOUR plans for Christmas?
I have no plans for Christmas this year. Just the idea of being at home, curled up on my sofa with my book and some coffee, with LiteFM playing in the background sounds like a good plan to me already. Besides, just this once, I’d like to stay at home and not fight with the crowds of holidaygoers to anywhere in Malaysia or in the world. What about you?