December 7th, 2010
Merry Christmas… where’s the snow? It’s two weeks till jolly, fat bearded-guy is supposed to come down my non-existent chimney (well, not mine of course because I’m too old to receive gifts OR Halloween candy – argh) and there’s no white on the ground. I walk down my street and everyone’s got their colourful lights going and their plastic glowing reindeer out front… frankly, without the fluffy cold white stuff, it still feels like November; hence, no sense of urgency to buy gifts or send out cards, or put up my tree/nativity scene. I think this is a shared feeling, as I still work in the gosh-forsaken mall and the shoppers are really quite scarce. Perhaps instead of buying presents, people have decided to donate to charities on each other’s behalf… that’s what my mom has decided to do this year (guess I’ll be opening an envelope on Christmas morning). In all seriousness though, that is a genius idea! Not only do you avoid the mall altogether; the long lines, the insufficient parking lot, the bruises from strangers bumping you in the halls and the frantic wrapping sessions in between all other holiday preparations; you also get to feel good about helping someone in need without spending any of your own money. Those people you’re shopping for who already own everything, will definitely not own this: THE GIFT OF GIVING.
Anyway, it just doesn’t feel like Christmas anymore… I remember when I was younger this holiday seemed to last forever. I suppose the anticipation of Christmas morning and un-wrapping all those bright packages created the illusion of never-ending bliss. Now it’s a bunch of stressful days leading up to the BIG DAY, which goes by in a couple of hours and then you’re on clean-up duty for the following three evenings. Does age just naturally make you more cynical? Everything turns into a chore as you get older. Hey, if Santa isn’t coming with presents, snow is one of the only things I have to look forward to! I want to roll around in it and make angels. Pile balls of it into a snowman. Build a fort. I want to feel it falling on my face as I skate in city hall… scratch that… I want to watch it fall through my living room window as I sip soy hot chocolate, no whip.
Baby Jesus is born! There’s something else to look forward to (for us Christians anyway)… except his birthday party lasts a whole 5 minutes; it strikes midnight, you toast Him, you move on.
In my old age, I can still appreciate the holiday tradition known as receiving. A gift to me says, “I thought of you as I was elbowing my way through the mall buying presents” and “Based on how well I know you, here is the item I thought would bring you the most joy”. No pressure.
Guess I should start putting up my mini tree and assembling my manger. Gift shopping can wait till tomorrow.
December 24th, 2010
It’s 2am… just finished taping the colourful glowing bulbs onto my window. The tape seems to be holding. My two-foot tree is gleaming in the corner with its tiny little lights and ornaments. Underneath, some bigger than the tree itself, are the gifts I finally finished wrapping a few hours ago. Baby Jesus is looking all dapper in his manger. I’m prepped for Christmas. Bring it.
PS. Still no snow.
December 25th, 2010
The festivities began last night at the stroke of midnight. Gifts were exchanged, hot chocolate was home-made and slices of two-storey apple pie were distributed. Fast-forward to this evening: I’m still eating. My stomach is shaped into a volley-ball and I can know longer inhale deeply. In fact, my intestines seem to be having a fiesta of their own…with fireworks.
BRAND NEW LUGGAGE, two necklaces, a jewellery box, a box of vintage teas, organic edibles and Monopoly Deal…the gift opening has now come to an end. On to watching a holiday flick…”Sneakers” (not a holiday flick), a film from the early 90s about computer hacking. Not a bad movie.
Next, off to a friend’s house where a group of us play Family Feud and Monopoly Deal…turns out the former game mentioned is quite addictive. Let’s just say, we welcomed in Boxing Day.
PPS. This was a white-less Christmas.
December 26th, 2010
Never dawned on me why the day is called “Boxing Day”, until I was standing shoulder to shoulder with strange women shoving to grab at the piles of merchandise I had just organized. I was about to punch out every single one of them.
A stroller was parked in the middle of the swarm and inside lay a baby with a furrowed brow. No mother within a 2-meter radius. Finally, a lady in a bright red parka emerged holding a couple of sale items and looking proud of it. I asked if she would mind moving the stroller against the wall so that the lunatics wouldn’t bump the child to death. She complied, then turned to me and asked, “Is this ok?”. As soon I smiled and nodded a “yes”, she was off again.
The word SALE might as well be the word FREE, the way some people react. I love discovering a good bargain, but not in places where the body heat levels are intolerable.
Well, Christmas is officially over.
December 27th, 2011