Thursday, December 15, 2005

Christmas Spirit (or the lack thereof)

My son commented that I had lost the Christmas spirit this year. This was triggered by the fact that till today (count:10 more days till Christmas!) I have yet to put up a single Christmas decoration, let alone buy a tree!

"Why?" you may ask.

Well, first of all, I think that in the local context, getting a real tree is such a hassle, as there are no garbage trucks that pick up the used tree for recycling when the season is over.

Secondly, I have not felt that Christmas magic in a number of years. This is magnified by the fact that in the local context, the original meaning of Christmas has pretty much gone down the drain... I thought that Christmas was the celebration of the birth of Christ? For many (especially kids), it's just another excuse for giving (getting) presents. Oh, I know that there are Christians out there who know that there is more to Christmas than the presents & the tree, but I would hazard a guess to say that if you go out on the streets & interview one of the many shoppers thronging O. Road asking them what Christmas means, 8 out of 10 will tell you "Getting Presents".

I plead guilty to being one of those indulgent parents who tried to bring the magic of Christmas alive, with the tree & the stockings by the fireplace (we actually did have a fireplace while living in the US) & the cookies/milk for Santa etc. etc. Moving back to this tropical clime, this was hard to maintain (how does santa come down the chimney if we don't have one???). Believe you me, I tried to delay the inevitable Truth About Santa from my kids (they believed till they were 9 & 7 respectively!).

Sadly, with growing up also comes the loss of that faith in the magical (there goes the Tooth Fairy). And being caught up in the rat race of life has also resulted in a certain jadedness & a realisation of the hypocrisy over the whole Christmas rigmarole.

Perhaps I need to dig down deep inside & examine what Christmas has really meant to me all these years. Perhaps it has become more than just a religious celebration. Perhaps it is also a chance for us to celebrate the love & togetherness of a family, and a willingness to give joy & happiness to our loved ones. This does sound like it is getting all mushy, isn't it? Perhaps it means that I am starting to feel some of the Christmas spirit after all...

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