I always imagined Christmas as a white festival. Sheets of snow was the first picture that formed in my mind. Then came Santa in his red & white attire, reindeers, turkey (yumm), home-made wine, snow-laden pine trees, bells and balls, etcetra.
Last year, when the husband was in Germany, he painted a bleak picture of Christmas for me. All shops closed, streets empty, no restaurants, no crowds or colours. Rather disappointed, I looked towards my friend in London. Whereas the weeks leading upto Christmas are rather full of excitement and festivities, the Christmas week and the day itself are rather quiet and mostly indoors.
This year, I spoke to a couple of my colleagues in Melbourne. They do not make wine at home, one of them had not even heard of such a thing. Melbourne celebrates Xmas in summer, so there is no question of snow or reindeers. The only reference to Santa was in the email which urged me to bill my efforts on the timesheet before the week was through.
In short, the last couple of years have completely trashed the picture of Christmas in my head. The only thing common across all places were the decorated pine trees and exchange of presents. Well, not all trashed I guess.
I have a short tree that I re-use every year (artifical because we don't exactly grow pine in India, for Christmas). I decorate it. I switch on lights in the tree in the evenings. This year, I also bought a star and a wreath. I plan to bake a cake (my office has stopped distributing the small plum cake we got every year, in the name of cost-cutting). Maybe I ought to buy some wine and make some chicken.
I have been a good girl, maybe somebody will buy me a present. Here's hoping...