This is where I live. For now at least. Have the Christmas lights set up outside. Was at Walmart this morning, and I had to refrain myself from buying those cheesy lawn Christmas lights. There were 5-foot lighted snowmen, candycanes, etc. Some houses in the neighbourhood have already put up beautiful decorations. This is where the Malaysian kiasu-ism kicks in. Need to be bigger. Better. Brighter.
Or, I could stalk the neighbourhood with a good pair of wire-cutters and snip away everyone else's lights!
Have always been a sucker for X'mas. This is a magical time of the year. Snow. Cool clean air. Tinkle bells, mistletoe and santa. Eggnog. Family and friends. Love. End of the old, and start of the new. Warm fireplace.
Strangely enough, I hated Christmas in my early childhood. All because of a girl.
My first crush was Elaine. That was way back in 5th grade (11 years old), when the hormones started raging. She was dad's good friend's daughter, and I never noticed her until that one Christmas when she performed in a X'mas show. Ahh, you never forget your first love. (But do people ever remember their first 'like'? Or hate, for that matter?)
The little boy was in love. Never said more to her than "Uh, hi Elaine, mumble mumble." All while trying to look cool and walking past her and appearing uninterested.
At that time in life, girls and girlfriends weren't in the picture yet. We were into gangs, with our own codenames, passwords and hideouts. Digging mudholes, exploring. Bikes were our chariots.
Girls were another species and never allowed in. Worst than the great plague, we'd rather eat a worm than kiss a girl. Oh, how have things changed!
Anyway, Elaine was my secret love. I imagined her in trouble somewhere, and I'd swing down in a rope from my helicopter and save her, or something to that effect.
However, my world came tumbling down when I found out a few months later than she was to migrate to New Zealand with her family. And they left sometime near Christmas. And so, for many years after, Christmas songs would always make me feel blue. Especially "Hark, the herald angels sing". That was the song she danced to the Christmas before.
After some years, I guess I finally got over my heartbreak. Last I heard, Elaine's somewhere in New Zealand still and working as a pharmacist, and recently married. Elaine, wherever you are, I'll never forget you, girl!