last Christmas

I‘ve realized after writing my Thursday Thirteen for this week and after seeing a comment saying my list had more awful Christmas memories than not that it is true. I’ve written it without really thinking and after putting up the post and reading it again after a few days I was surprised.

This year, I didn’t want anything in particular for Christmas. December 25 is a usual normal work day here in Dubai. My family celebrates Christmas at midnight on December 24 – much like how people would celebrate the New Year. It’s work day the next day so no big parties for us. After coming home from work on Christmas eve, I had to cook our Christmas dinner and wrap gifts for the family members. The gifts were not much and I can wrap them in milliseconds with three pieces of cut tape so no big deal there.

Around 10 pm, Pristine and I were curled up in the bean bag, in our dimly lit small living room enjoying the white lights that my mother had put up by the window. We talked about Christmas and why we celebrate it, to which she delightfully reacted, “Jesus and I have almost the same birthday!”

We also watched the movie, The Polar Express. We have bought the DVD some weeks back but I have never really seen it. Pristine has seen it more than twice and swears it’s a good movie so who am I to contradict that? I loved Polar Express! You know those feelings when you thought you’d sleep through a movie or show yet finish it with your eyes still wide open and having that warm fuzzy feeling all over? The Polar Express did that to me, despite Tom Hanks’ ducky voice.

clutching her Christmas gift while watching The Polar Express on Christmas night

The movie finished just a minute after midnight then Pristine and I hugged and wished each other a very Merry Christmas. My mom was there too. However, my husband was not there – swamped with work. Christmas eve and Christmas mean nothing to him, according to his beliefs and tradition but I have accepted it and have nothing against it. We were incomplete on Christmas eve but I am not shattered into pieces. After all, Christmas has a lot more meaning than that. (He came home 10 minutes after midnight, though and had a quiet dinner, the three of us)

Sounds like this year’s Christmas is not so fun for me, you reckon but it’s definitely going down the memory lane as another memorable Christmas. I was happy to be able to spend it the way I wanted it to, at home, with my daughter, looking at the stars outside, feeling warm and fuzzy after a movie, sharing the story of a baby who was born long ago. These fleeting moments made my Christmas more precious than any gift I could ever receive.

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