Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas When I Was A Child

Christmas is coming next week. I thought we just greeted 1st of December not long ago but now it's already past mid-December. Sometimes time seems to be zipping by at an alarming speed and it does scare me!

Anyway, I have not much plan for Christmas this year other than spending it at my home town in Indonesia like I used to be. I have not been spending the last two Christmases in Indonesia and kinda miss it!

My Christmas tree this year.

My Christmas tree in my house in Malaysia is already up since early December (if I remember correctly). I put on the same small and thin Christmas tree that I used last year but I changed the decorations. I was so eager to buy a large Christmas tree that can be put on the floor but I decided not to upgrade my Christmas tree just yet. I could foresee how Naomi might have a little too much fun with a bigger Christmas tree and the tree would probably collapse even before Christmas comes. So no, no big Christmas tree for me this year.

Back to the main topic, when I was a small kid, my Mom always brought me to Christmas events for kids in some big department stores in my home town almost every year. We did not have malls in my home town back then. At those events, many children who registered to the events had the chance to sit on Santa's lap and received presents from him (the presents were actually prepared by each child's parents and submitted to the events' organizing committee beforehand). I would patiently line up for hours to get the chance to sit on  the Father of Christmas' lap, receive my Christmas gift from him and take one or two photos with him. My Mom must have still kept those photos somewhere in my parents' house but I bet they are pretty yellowish and dusty by now.

That's how my Mom tried to create Christmas memory for me (and my siblings).

Also, as I was raised as a Christian, my Mom sent me to Sunday school since I was in kindergarten. Every Christmas, we'd receive Christmas presents from the Church too. During Christmas celebration at the church, kids who had more attendance during Sunday school throughout the year would receive bigger presents and those who seldom come to Sunday school, like yours truly, still received Christmas presents too but not so big - or perhaps, small size presents. Anyway, I didn't mind a smaller Christmas present from my Sunday school teachers, though obviously the bigger the better, because what mattered to me most was the fact that I still received my Christmas present from them.

That's how my Sunday school teachers encouraged us to attend Sunday school more diligently.

In summary, Christmas when I was a kid evolved around going to the Church for Christmas service and celebration, sending and receiving Christmas cards to good friends via snail mail (my BFF, Lily, always wrote the same thoughtful wish/message on her Christmas card to me every single year "I hope you will be more diligent in going to church next year"), receiving Christmas presents from Santas at the local department stores, baking Christmas cookies with my Mom and sister, eating lots of Christmas goodies from relatives and parents's friends and watching Home Alone 1,2 and 3 because it's always played over and over again on the National TV station until now during Christmas. Strangely, I can't remember any particular Christmas celebration memory with my school.

And oh, as a child I often dreamt of having a White Christmas because White Christmas always looks so beautiful and special on TV and Christmas cards. I finally managed to experienced White Christmas once when I stayed in Amsterdam eight years ago. Although White Christmas was really lovely and beautiful.. just like what I pictured from my Christmas card collection, I guess I prefer the tropical Christmas better. Less freezing and slippery.

How about yours? How was your Christmas when you were a small kid?

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