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Thursday, December 25, 2008

"Christmas time is buzzing in my skull"

Will it let me be?
I cannot tell."

So I love the Nightmare Before Christmas. And before I had the chance to blog about this much celebrated holiday, Christmas is upon us.

"There are so many things I cannot grasp
When I think I've got, and then at last
Through my bony fingers it does slip
Like a snowflake in a fiery grip"

As I have mentioned before, I am a member of a Christian family. Even practically all of my extended family are Catholics. When I say practically all, I mean there is literally one and he's married into the family, who is a non practicing Hindu. This, then, is the reason so many are surprised that we barely celebrate Christmas.

My parents will give my sister and I gifts, yes, but barely. It is more often than not in the form of money, which doesn't make for the most interesting of presents, although I can always do some more. What other presents we received were almost invariably actually given to us post-Christmas, thanks to the mid-financial year sales. Smart, yes. The only reason we actually do get presents is so "we don't feel left out". At least, this is what my parents used to tell others.
We also go look at Christmas lights, but that's about it.

The reason we don't celebrate Christmas is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. When missionaries first came to some large country, or possibly Europe; yeah I'm not too sure; anyhow the native people had lots of celebrations for their gods; the missionaries, not wanting converts to feel left out and become dissatisfied with Christianity, decided to designate this day as Christmas, "the birth of Jesus". And no one really knows which date Jesus actually was born on. So according to my parents, it's stupid to celebrate because of its origins. By my reasoning, it doesn't matter what the origins are, what matters is what it means to you as you celebrate it. For all the non Christians who celebrate Christmas, its a good time to spend with family and give each other gifts, and be joyful and all that jazz. In the same way, it can be to truly celebrate Christ's birth if we so wish.

One thing about me, I love traditions. I love the idea of heirlooms and I have tried to construct family trees, I love old things that continue on. I love the idea of Christmas, the festive spirit, although we all know it has been completely commercialised, but as I said before, I believe that its what you make it. Not even necessarily the idea of Santa; I never believed in Santa Claus either by the way. Not sure I'd want to, you'd be so disappointed when you find out he isn't real lol. And I'm not too keen in believing in something that isn't real. But Christmas in general seems like such a fun idea.

When I have my own family, we will celebrate Christmas. I determined this a long time ago. We will put up a tree and decorate it, and lights around the front of the house. Our family has put up a Christmas tree once during my life.

Another thing. My parents actually used to celebrate Christmas, when they were Catholics. When they became Christians, it was to become part of what some would call a "legalistic" church, that is, they wanted to abide by every possible law in the Bible, so it was very strict; they believed that women shouldn't really wear pants due to a Biblical passage stating that women shouldn't wear men's clothing; although my mum, my sister and I still did, but not to church. So that is where this idea came from. We have changed churches now, although there was actually much to admire about the beliefs of this former church of ours, but there is time for that in another post.

So anyhow, I hate that we don't really celebrate Christmas. I think my parents have finally begun to grasp that, although my mum worked this Christmas morning and the last one too; my mum encouraged my dad to take us out to The Pancake Kitchen for breakfast this morning, and we're having turkey for dinner, even though my mum thinks it is bland and disgusting ;P
Indians and all their spices >.<

I wouldn't mind celebrating Christmas the Indian way actually. It's amazing. Most people live in lanes or apartments in very small estates or apartments in Pune, where my family is from. Around Christmas, they hang huuuuge Christmas stars and other decorations right across the lanes and in the estates. There are Nativity scenes just as big placed around. Motorbikes and / or scooters are the preferred method of travel rather than cars in the city. So these things are so large they are practically fully blocking the streets and bikes can only just get through. They have Christmas shows in these lanes and almost everyone who lives in the lane or the estate, whichever, will participate. And there are fireworks, of course. There are so many people, everywhere. People sell fancy balloons by the road side, which admittedly happens most days of the year anyway. Beforehand, for weeks, people make handmade Indian sweets of all shapes and colours. /shrugs
It's good.

My surprise which I mentioned briefly the other day is that I finally got my Learner's. If you're not Australian, or South Australian, that's for driving, which you have to pass a theory test for. You have to do 50 hours of driving and hold it for a minimum of 6 months. During this time you can only drive with someone with their full license next to you in the passenger seat. You need to have a certain amount of lessons with a driving instructor also. After this, you can get your P1's. This is your provisional license, where you display P plates on your car, but can drive without a fully licensed person. After this, you can get your P2's, where you can take your P plates off, and after I don't know how long of this, you can eventually get your full license.
I failed the test the first time I went for it on my 16th in June, I got really confused on the give ways lol. So it took me this long to go back for the test, since I was so scared I'd fail it again. (You have to get all the give way questions correct, which is the first part of the test. The next is a bunch of multiple choice questions which you need to get 32 out of 40-something correct) But I only got one question wrong on the multiple choice this time C: I'm happy. I've already been driving a bit, I drove on the roads straightaway lol. I have driven before, but not on roads that are used by anyone else and not since last year. But it's fun (:

And I don't think my parents are so opposed to celebrating Christmas anymore, Mum is thinking of buying ornaments after Christmas for next year, and saying we could put our tree up next year, we still have our old one in the garage somewhere. I just find it sad that I missed Christmas properly, all these years. I would have loved to experience the excitement of waking up on Christmas morning, opening gifts that we had all given each other, spending the day together, having fun and doing family things. Although, we did a lot of family stuff when we were little. But the anticipation in a present being a surprise; it's been a long time since I've felt that. For years I've always known exactly what I was getting for my birthday or Christmas, have even been there when its been bought. In a way, it's good, it ensures that I will like it; but it doesn't have quite the same feeling...

That said, I think too much emphasis is placed on gifts with Christmas these days. Like I mentioned before, Christmas has been commercialised. Retailers place importance on how you need to get presents for other people, need to buy all this new stuff. The stress of this can make Christmas completely worthless. If you feel like you need to get someone else a present because they are getting you one, that is missing the point. You should be giving gifts in love, because you care about the person, and want to express it.

Mmm anyway, I'm done for now, may come back and add to this later, but as you can see, my thoughts are scattered and not well put into words. I need some more sleep. Ah well.


  1. I can't wait!

    *Holds on in anticipation*


  2. This really puts into perspective for me just how much I (and others I'm sure) take all of that Christmas stuff for granted.
    We celebrate Christmas every year and I guess I've become... bored of it.
    It makes me think.