It’s that time of year again — if you consider something running on for nigh well two months a single time of year. But no matter, Cat and Nat tell of their Christmas celebrations.
Photo Credit: http://mairedubhtx.wordpress.com
Christmas is upon us again! It seems to arrive earlier here every year. In Asia, Christmas is increasingly widely celebrated as Asians become wealthier and more westernized. All in all, everyone likes the materialization and commercialization associated with Christmas. Sadly, to many people Christmas means shopping, gifts, Santa, Christmas tree and turkey!
The annual Ploenchit Fair in Bangkok is usually the first warning sign that Christmas is just around the corner. However, I don’t go to the Ploenchit Fair any more, as it hasn’t been the same since its relocation from the British Embassy.
Mind you we don’t exactly need the Ploenchit Fair to remind us Christmas is coming. With major hotels putting up their Christmas trees in November, and department stores wrapping their buildings in fairy lights and Christmas decorations, one can hardly forget it is Christmas again.
My daughter’s school had its Christmas fair on 2 December. It was a nice time for the school community to share a bit of the Christmas spirit. When I asked my daughter to tell me what she knows about Christmas, she came up with a list in the following order: Birth of baby Jesus in Bethlehem, Santa Claus, Christmas trees, presents, stockings, Christmas crackers, poinsettias and Christmas cards. Well, I think she almost covered everything associated with Christmas, cards being the least important!
Speaking of which, I have decided not to send Christmas cards this year. One can keep in touch with friends and family via e-cards, email, SMS and Skype, so why waste paper? I prefer to be more environmentally friendly and save the trees and forests.
With the amount of Christmas tree decorations available everywhere, it is tempting to put up a Christmas tree as early as possible. Well, I did mine on 1 December, which is not at all customary, but why not, as it adds extra colour and festivity to my home. Since it takes a lot of effort and time to put up a fake tree, I might just well make it last.
Buying presents is becoming an increasingly difficult task in today’s materialistic society. Even buying presents for the family is getting harder and harder each year. My children no longer write to Father Christmas asking for presents; nowadays they make a wish list and hand them over to their mother — trying to make everything a surprise is even harder this way! There are normally only one or two items on my son’s list, but an endless list from my daughter. The female of the species is definitely more materialistic than the male. I don’t think my husband would even want to know what is on my wish list!
‘Traditional’ Christmas food is another important part of the Christmas celebration. I love English mince pies. One can get them everywhere now. Villa supermarket offers a good selection. However, the most delicious mince pies to be found in town are definitely from the British Club; they are even better than most people’s homemade ones.
Christmas puddings are best homemade, but if you can’t make them, stop by Central Chidlom, where Marks & Spencer offers some of the best ready-made puddings. And don’t forget the brandy butter, which is easy to make at home by simply blending butter, sugar and a few tablespoons of brandy.
I also love the season’s Italian panettone, German stollen and English Christmas cakes. These are high-calorie treats I look forward to when the holiday arrives.
For a traditional Christmas lunch or dinner, consider roast goose rather than a turkey for a change; it is delicious with red cabbage and other trimmings.
Well, Happy Christmas. Don’t forget Christmas carols and church services, and remember the true meaning of Christmas.
Ah it’s that time of year again. I love the holiday season because of all the stuff I get. I know I’m not supposed to think this way, but I do. I usually have something special I want but, this year I’m happy with anything. Gimme, gimme, gimme.
Oh, and Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Chinese New Year to you, yeah, yeah, yeah.
I know this is a deeply meaningful, religious time for most of the people in the world, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have any fun. And, from the Christmas lighting to the meaningless decorations, this is all about fun. I mean, when did garden gnomes become a part of Christmas?
No matter, my social calendar is full. I’m getting most of my shopping done on the internet so I don’t have to deal with all the stressed-out shoppers who have a deadline and the gawkers who go to malls to look at competing Christmas trees.
In fact, most of the pain of year-end celebrations has been taken out of the equation by enterprising businessmen. I know we’re all meant to lament the commercialisation of a religious holiday like Christmas but, if all one has to do to get presents for everyone is go online, it frees up time to eat.
I like to cook so I’m quite looking forward to making Christmas dinner, but if I find I don’t have time, I can just get my turkey and trimmings done for me. There are all sorts of home catering services that will make the turkey for you. Villa Market has one that’s quite good but I’m sure there are others.
The important thing is that if your year-end preparations start to impinge on your year-end celebrations, do the smart, utterly commercial, lazy thing: outsource.
Okay, I agree that a turkey that comes from a grocery store might not be as good as one I’ve made myself, — that’s why I’m still planning to cook Christmas dinner myself — but if I start to get stressed because I have to plan, shop, prepare and then serve it all myself on top of having to work and go to all the parties that I positively must go to this time of year, well, getting someone else to do the cooking is not a bad idea.
So nyah, nyah, nyah to all the spoilsports who want to make me feel guilty because they’re stressed and I’m not.
No one can object to my buying stuff online, however. It often is cheaper and requires only a bit of advanced planning. Nowadays, they even send things in as short notice as three days. It depends on where you buy the stuff. If you’re really in a pinch, I suggest Singapore and Hong Kong websites. They’re closer and can process your order that much quicker.
And if people are getting too annoying, send them away as a present. I’ve bought several Nok Air tickets for people I really, really love, especially when they go out of town. These are people I love enough to give something as expensive as a plane ticket for Christmas. At least that’s what I tell them. And, I don’t even have to see them to give them the present, I can email the tickets to them. Good-bye!
But what about last-minute gifts for people I’ve forgotten? You know, the people who come by with a box of something that demands reciprocation. Well, that’s why I’m happy to get anything. If what you give me doesn’t suit me, I can always pass it on to someone else.
22/12/2011 - 13:28