It’s Christmas eve, actually early hours of the Christmas morning and I am finally sitting down with my feet soaked in a tub of hot water and a glass of rosé that I’ve taken a liking to lately. It’s cooled down considerably and there’s a breeze enough to gently sway the wind charms on Suruj‘s back verandah. The lavender scented epsom salts that I picked up from Newworld last week has slowly started to work away the day’s wear.
This is the thing about Christmas, yaar. We all know it’s going to be on the 25th like every the other year since Jesus was born. We know all the traffic will be chokers on the 24th, the carparks overfull and the shops packed like sardines but noooo we all gotta leave our shopping till the last minute. There’s the mad race in the supermarkets where we all proceed to throw everything in our trolleys as if it’s the end of the world and that we’ll run out of food. I was out and about since 3pm today. Wax appointment, then the liquor shop (which was dumb move for first stop because then I become paranoid everywhere I parked. $200 worth of beer and wine in the back and my mind that convinced me that someone was gonna break in and run off with them!), then an airport pickup (poor Nadi International had 5 flights landing one after the other!), then a supermarket spin (because I had rather foolishly announced on the family viber group that I was going to make a trifle cake this Christmas and I had since morning got 5 messages to remind me of so), then I forgot the pineapples and watermelons, and then…areh yaar don’t know why I didn’t do half the things few days earlier. But then that’s Christmas eve, we all give in to it and let the crazy, silly season drift us through.
Late evening, everyone started arriving with bulging bags and home suddenly was bursting with happiness and energy. Suruj’s rather modest Christmas tree was plucked from the corner and given a more prominent place in the living room. More bells and jingles and fairy lights were added. Everyone had their latest stories to top one another off. Yes we have an unspoken competition in the household on who has the best yarn.
Dinner was a failed affair tonight because suddenly there were too many people in the house and it was hot and my father got drunk a bit too early. Suruj kept trying to change the menu on what to cook and finally sausages were thrown on the BBQ and a pack of dalo was boiled with leftover chicken curry in the fridge and a carton of beer was consumed. Then a national search was called, to look for the cellotape in the kitchen drawers. Quickly then half the people disappeared into their locked rooms. To wrap presents I guess. Leaving last of the kitchen duties to me. Fuck.
By the time, I got my hands on the dwindling roll of cellotape, no one had any gift wrap to spare. It took me a total of 10 minutes to come up with a jugaad. It won best packaging! (yes another unspoken competition in the house.) Though I don’t think I’m going to win the best gifts this year with my broke budget.
With all presents sneaked under the tree, the house is now finally quiet with a deep sigh. Christmas is hardly a contemplative time. It’s always been about others. Friends, family, colleagues. A time once a year we take to thank others for being a part of our lives. Either done in a business context or personal, it’s a pause for us to stop and care about how everyone around us is going. (Such a materialistic planet we are but hey.)
No wonder emotions run so high on Christmas day. Me and Suruj usually have a fight within 3 hours of a festive morning! We all try to please each other. Show our love and affection. Get their attention and gratitude in return. Which I guess we overdo. Sprinkle that with alcohol, what happened last year and this year’s full moon – it’ll be a party alright!
But you know what, we wouldn’t have it any other way, right? 🙂 But amidst all this while Christmas is a time to be grateful for the people in your lives; their support and the difference they make…Don’t forget you. Before Christmas this year is over, do peek into a mirror somewhere (even if it’s the one in your mother-in-law’s house!) and wish yourself a Merry Christmas. Because you made it to another Christmas. Had it been a shitty 2015 or an awesome one, nothing stops short of the fact that you rocked on and made it to Christmas morning. And even if you’re not celebrating tomorrow or not with family or life is at Point FuckedUp right now, you still deserve all of the gratitude and love of the season. Don’t forget to be celebrate you as well. Merry Christmas.
In gratitude, Shyamni.
ps. And don’t loose hope in humanity yet.