It’s 39 days to Christmas, said a reminder in my facebook page and I am geared for it. This is going to be my first time welcoming Christmas abroad, and I want to ensure, I don’t miss any of the artificial. I bought three Christmas Cds, set a virtual Christmas tree (Thanks to technology) and enjoying Christmas decoration at Orchard.
And sometimes, while enjoying cool November rain outside my window, I make some hot chocolate and play “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”.
Do you know how such atmosphere will bring your imagination somewhere? Dreaming of white Christmas with every Christmas card I write? While I let my imagination wander, I can’t help but think of Christmas in Jakarta.
After so many European style Christmas cards I’ve seen and enjoying the privilege to be the majority here in Singapore, where people started decorate their shops by Aidil Fitri, I decided that I will always identify Christmas with my hometown, Jakarta, where 80% of its population are Muslims.
I’ve never seen snow in my life, but artificial snow in air-conditioned mall with red and purple decoration is good enough for me.
Initially having my Christmas here would be fun. After all, I am just a Catholic by surface, meaning that I don’t live up the spirit, THAT high. Christmas for me can be defined by nice Christmas decoration, singing all time favourite Christmas songs, posed dinner and midnight church. And I can get them all in Singapore, even better, minus the bomb.
But somehow, there’s something to finally see low budget-simple decoration hang at my neighbourhood mall, a week before Christmas, three weeks after Aidil fitri. It is as if it bangs me that “Hey, Christmas is here!” much harder than two months full blown Christmas light at Orchard.
And nothing beats singing Silent Night in my humid and damp church with a hint of worry from bombing threat.
The suckiest moment would be opening your Christmas present and drink last year’s wine under fluorescent light in your living room and sleep right away after that.
Or other option, going clubbing all night long, having good cocktails and get drunk, while realizing most of the people dancing never know it’s a Christmas night.
But it will be washed away the next day, once you wake up and for the last moment enjoy the Christmas buzz at a mall, before soon it is changed back to Islamic colours.
I guess living in Jakarta has made me appreciate Christmas more, just with the fact that it is so hard for us to have a peaceful Christmas. And I am afraid I could not appreciate Christmas the way I did. As I miss Christmas in Jakarta so much right now, I don’t know how to celebrate it other way.