Posts tagged with "Christmas"

Holiday Observer '06

Thumbnail: The cat
Thumbnail: Salad
Thumbnail: Tidbit

On Christmas day, I felt like doing some­thing low-key, with­out the large gath­er­ings usu­al­ly asso­ci­at­ed with this time of year, so I decid­ed to spend it with Joel’s fam­i­ly. Hanukkah had already passed for them; it was just anoth­er day. Charlotte, who learns from Nigella Lawson, cooked a tremen­dous meal of roast beef, beans, and secret pota­toes. Even the dessert was a fan­cy form of choco­late pot mousse, made from 70% cocoa Lindt and all­spice.

We set­tled down with a lit­tle Gamecube, and I taught them Dutch Blitz, which we played well into the night. By the time I left, my spir­its were up again.

It was a nice mix­ture of young and mature. A place where I could shut off my brain and be a kid, but have a thought­ful con­ver­sa­tion too. They real­ly made me feel like I was one of the fam­i­ly.

I arrived with hand­shakes and hel­los, but left with hugs and kiss­es.

Christmas Observer

Thumbnail: Shirley's mantlepiece decoration
Thumbnail: Braden with Shirley
Thumbnail: Christmas observer
Thumbnail: Ginger the cat
Thumbnail: Julia
Thumbnail: Snoopy the cat
Thumbnail: Braden opens a DS
Thumbnail: Nicole is happy
Thumbnail: Nicole's got attitude

Stepping back to the 25th, I awoke to the sounds of ebul­lient whis­pers com­ing from down­stairs as I lie in Julia’s bed, which she’d care­ful­ly made for me. I checked my watch, noticed that it was 6:40 a.m., and remem­bered that Shirley put her foot down about not open­ing any presents until sev­en. The kids were already up, of course, their inter­nal alarm clocks set to spring in antic­i­pa­tion, even after we stayed up late the night before, play­ing wrestling games until the threat of Santa not com­ing put them to bed.

Instead, Santa went all out this year, from Nintendo DS, to mp3 play­ers, to box­es on box­es of clothes, to DDR dance pads, to portable DVD play­ers, to games for every sys­tem. He also left me a mini remote-con­trol Mercedes SLK, and I’d nor­mal­ly say that he should­n’t have so he could spend more on the kids, but he also left Braden and Bill a mini Hummer and mini Mustang GT respec­tive­ly, so I had to accept the gift in order to race them.

Just being there was enough of a gift. As the kids ran around, unable to decide what to play with first, I start­ed to con­sid­er stay­ing so I could spend the day, but the respon­si­bil­i­ty of pri­or engage­ments and time with the par­ents kept me in check. We had a big greasy break­fast of bacon and eggs, but ____ was there to pick me up for the four hour dri­ve home before the turkey din­ner.

Next year, I decid­ed.

It Doesn't Feel Like Christmas

This does­n’t feel like Christmas to me. I’m not sure why, but the fact that it’s so close to the 25th still has­n’t clicked in yet. Maybe it’s because I decid­ed not to buy presents for any­one this year. Maybe it’s because this is my first year work­ing full-time and I’m used to hav­ing a longer run­ning break before the big two-five. Maybe it’s because I’ve been too busy to relax, run­ning around, mak­ing plans at the last sec­ond. This is usu­al­ly my favourite time of the year, but I haven’t had any time to enjoy it.

I had the hard­est time decid­ing on what to do for new years. At first, I was just going to spend it by myself at my apart­ment. I don’t real­ly have a rea­son to cel­e­brate, and if I was, it would be with my five clos­est friends ONLY so that I would­n’t have to deal with ANY moron­ic peo­ple. The only prob­lem is that three of them won’t even be in the city, and the oth­er two are too social to be spend­ing it with me and my select com­pa­ny. Perhaps one year, my friends will indulge me (after tir­ing of large par­ties) and we will have an inti­mate gath­er­ing. I think I’ll start plan­ning for next year before every­one moves off to start their careers and their fam­i­lies.

Aaron expressed his desire for my atten­dance at his new years cel­e­bra­tion and I even­tu­al­ly agreed. I was hes­i­tant at first, because, to be hon­est, I haven’t enjoyed the com­pa­ny Aaron has had over for his din­ners late­ly. I’m one who’s always believed that it’s the com­pa­ny that makes things enjoy­able, not the activ­i­ties. Stick me in a room with my friends and we can have fun doing any­thing. Stick me in a room with a sin­gle per­son I dis­like, and I’ll be mis­er­able no mat­ter what. The agi­tat­ing guests aren’t Aaron’s fault, of course, or the fault of the guests them­selves. I’m an intol­er­ant per­son.

And I’m work­ing on it.

Why I Shouldn't Receive Gifts

I always open Christmas gifts, espe­cial­ly from fam­i­ly or fam­i­ly friends, with a lit­tle trep­i­da­tion. It’s more of an oblig­a­tion than any­thing else for many peo­ple to give me some­thing, and I’m of the firm belief that if some­one isn’t going to like or have use for a gift, one should­n’t give any­thing at all. There’s no point to giv­ing some­one a stu­pid present, and it just ends up being worse than if one gets noth­ing. There are a few excep­tion to this rule, being the thought or effort put into the gift, although there is gen­er­al­ly none of either if some­one does­n’t like the present any­way. Sometimes it just ends up being the fact that the best inten­tions are used, but a gift isn’t need­ed to fig­ure this out.

Of course, I’ve been known as the hard­est bas­tard to shop for any­way, since I usu­al­ly buy what­ev­er I want. As soon as an idea is in my head for some­thing I’d like, I’ll research it for a few days and then go out and buy it. It ends up being very rare that I want to get some­thing I don’t have, main­ly due to the fact that my inter­ests are fair­ly sim­ple and afford­able.

Christmas In Hong Kong

This is where every store has a set of Christmas lights, thou­sands of sparks dan­gling from the awnings. This is where the sub­way is packed with peo­ple, all wear­ing their par­ty clothes, try­ing to meet up with their friends and fam­i­ly. Where the cross har­bour build­ings have gigan­tic, mov­ing pic­tures on their sides, cre­at­ed from intri­cate­ly set lights and timers. Where there’s eupho­ria in the air and shop­ping bags in hand. This is where the jew­ellery store guards have trad­ed in their berets for san­ta hats.

This is Christmas in Hong Kong.