Thursday, December 25, 2003


It feels like Christmas crept up on me this year.

Guess that’s a rather fatuous claim when the signs of its advent were unmistakable. Store windows decorated with stockings, reindeers, snowflakes and whatnot… Mailers from credit card companies advertising their ‘Christmas Offers’… Cell phones ringing with ‘Jingle Bells’ instead of ‘Mission Impossible’… Department store clerks wearing fluffy Santa hats (over brown smocks!)… Even the neighbourhood carollers who came a-singing the sole carol in their repertoire, ‘Saantha Close is coming to town…’

Still, I missed all the cues and with two days to go, discovered I had no presents to show. The tree, usually resplendent by this time, was still on the loft, awaiting its annual resurrection. And Mother was turning out all the goodies by herself. If Santa was making his list of naughty and nice, I knew whose name would head the former list.

Come Christmas Eve and all’s well. Alleluia! The presents are wrapped and tagged with cutesy messages for the cousins and niece. No plastic tree this year. Tinsel and crepe streamers bedeck a surprised shrub in the garden in front of the house. Soft carols waft out from the neighbour’s apartment. Droplets of wax gleam and fall from the candles around the house. The aroma of freshly-baked cake fills the room. And the star outside the window glows with contentment.

Peace on earth…

Goodwill to all…

Wish all of you wonderful people the warmth of Christmas!