It was an average day, walking back home from school and talking with a friend… When he asked me what plans I had for Christmas I remember standing there looking at him totally confused for a couple of minutes before realizing that Christmas was the following weekend and I had been completely oblivious until he mentioned it to me.
In my defense, I was living in a major Asian city back then, and Christmas wasn’t such a big deal for the locals with whom I had been spending my time… I still felt terrible about it, though.
When I was a little girl, Christmas was this enormous production. It didn’t matter if we spent it with my mom’s family of my dad’s… It always included a day of traveling, but a bunch of cousins waiting at the end of it.
I remember there was always a big tree, covered with lights and decorations and surrounded my bunches of presents in all colors and sizes. There was Christmas music, lots of noise and, of course, insane amounts of food.
But now, I’m all grown up. Santa Claus doesn’t bring me presents anymore, and all my grandparents, and even some of the aunts and uncles, who we used to visit around these holidays have passed away.
This all means that if I want Christmas to be a big production, I have to make it so.
It has been some years already since that season that almost went unnoticed, and since then I have collected and set a few holiday traditions for myself. I don’t have children, so some of my traditions have a somewhat grown-up feeling to it, like my spiked hot chocolate, but most of the them are simple things like the Santa hat I wear for the whole week or the cookie baking that obsesses me.
This year, I wanted to add a Christmas book to my rituals, but the days seemed to go by without enough hours. So, I guess it will have to wait until next year. In the meantime, I’m watching Arthur Christmas and avoiding the soccer craziness that seemed to have corrupted my brother and brother-in-law.