Growing up, Christmas was always surrounded with joy, wonder and magic. As not everyone in the family was a Christian, and those who were, were taught and reminded to be Christ-like and have Christ in our heart on a daily basis; Christmas often took on a more secular celebration within the extended family, with love as its protagonist.
Christmas was pretty much the biggest occasion celebrated by my Eurasian side of the family. My aunts would busy themselves in the kitchen all day to cook up a feast, while the uncles would assume various roles of Bartending, DJ-ing and Emceeing. Relatives, closed and distant, would turn up and dress to the nines. And us kids, we’d put up a song and dance performance – which we’ll rehearse in the months prior – before leading everyone into an hour of Christmas carolling and counting down to Christmas at 23:59:50.
At midnight, we would have Santa making his jovial entrance with his big red sack of presents, handing them out to the kids before unwrapping mayhem began. For a few years, I would burst into tears the moment I heard a bellowed “ho ho ho!” followed by the loud jingling of the bell. Once, my uncle even had to remove his ‘beard’ half way through his appearance as Santa just to show me who he really was beneath that disguise because my incessant crying was proving too much to bear. Not quite sure if that’s the reason why we didn’t have Santa appearances in the celebrations after or because the men in the family weren’t too enthusiastic having to change in and out of a velvet costume while fending off annoying kids’ speculation all night long. Heh. Whatever the case, my fond collection of Christmases past as a kid were merry and magical. Little wonder, it became my favourite holiday of the year! I noticed and loved how everyone around me seemed to be kinder, and more forgiving too!
With the husband, Christmas took on a more homely meaning of just being with loved ones. His family weren’t big on celebrations, so most of the times he would join me in merry-making activities. Being the homebody that he is, he was also thrilled to know that I enjoyed couching in front of the telly, watching feel good holiday movies at Christmastime too.
When we had our very first family christmas with our little Chungkin, Christmas took on an entirely different meaning again. No longer could we just wanderlust to our favourite cities out of spontaneity and dance the night away without worries. I was adamant about spreading Christmas cheer to the kids…starting with the excitement of shopping for a tree to decorate just because!
In the last 4 years, we’ve started a few family traditions! Not sure which ones we’ll be able to sustain in the years to come – mama here can be rather ambitious in her wish list of family traditions – but try we will, such as ornament making, visiting as many wonderlands as we can, only allowing present opening to be on Christmas mornings and cookie baking as a family.
We’ve also been teaching Liam the spirit of giving, sharing and being a good sport. He’s been doing great, although sometimes with the expectation of receiving a reward in return. Oh well, baby steps.
This Christmas, as we continue to create new memories to hold dear and teach our kids to love with an open heart by leading in example, I hope to continue keeping the Christmas magic alive in our hearts for as long as possible, and not just at Christmastime. I look forward to spending some time catching up with good friends to let them know how much they’re being missed and also with mum, whose health has been worrying me in the recent few months.
Here’s to Faith, Hope, Love. Wishing you a Merriest Christmas from our family to yours!
I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.
– Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
This post is part of a blog train hosted by Prayerfull Mum.
Click to read more about how different families celebrate Christmas!
Next on the blog train is May. May is a SAHM of two children. The family is non-Christian but they celebrate Christmas because it holds a different kind of meaning for them. It all started when her mom celebrates the Yuletide season by assuming the role as a Santarina, giving out presents and watching the faces of little children light up. Find out how May had been influenced by her mom to do the same and more for her little ones this Christmas!