Wouldn’t you agree? Is it the cold, or is it the Christmassy feeling that hangs in the air, is it because people are packing their bags left right and center and going home? All of the above, I guess. This year seems to be colder than other years, and last night I took out a pair of warm socks which I wore to bed. But not before having a good laugh. My mother bought that particular pair for me the last time I was home, and it was one of those long socks which go until the knees. Whenever I wore it my brothers would ask me if I was going to play football and remembering that made me laugh out loud.
The sun is not too hot anymore, and the afternoons are lovely. The sun’s warm golden rays stream in through the window, fall on my bed, making me wish I could just lie in bed and enjoy the warmth. But alas, afternoon is when I go to work, and on weekends the weather turns cloudy as if the gods are scheming to deprive me of my sunshine. The light is just perfect to take a picture, so if you’re naturally ugly or hopelessly non-photogenic, afternoon is the right time to get your picture taken.
With the festivals following one another since September there is an air of festivity all around. Every shop is having a sale, each one more outrageous than the next (Buy 2 get 10, buy 1 get 1 free etc). Very soon the Santa caps will be out on the streets, with hawkers wearing and selling them at traffic signals and busy street corners. The big malls will again put up their beautifully decorated Christmas trees. The stores selling Christmas stuff will be opened once again.
Back home, the month of December will be packed with activities. The markets will be unbelievably crowded, the shopkeepers will be super busy selling their overpriced wares and people will still be buying them because we are a fashion crazy tribe who do not know what we can and cannot afford. Okay I am not going down that route. The schools will be closed and kids will have the times of their lives roaming about playing with friends (or stay at home playing computer games), Christmas Carols, Santa Claus Nites, this-and-that concert in aid of so-and-so, a flurry of weddings will be seen, singletons will run around in a tizzy looking for someone to spend Christmas and New Year with, and people will be travelling to go home to be with their folks.
I will not be going home this Christmas. My eight-year-old niece couldn’t understand why. She wants me to, not because she missed me greatly but only because she wanted the gifts which I always bring for her. I saw right through her. Whenever we speak on the phone she always asks when I’ll be home, so when I told her I would be home only in April or May she was very disappointed. "But that is so far away," she said, and counted the months (this conversation took place some time in October) .
"Six months! But why are you not coming home for Christmas?"
I told her I had to work.
"But you always come home for Christmas!"
Six months will go by very quickly, I said.
She wanted a remote controlled Barbie which I always promised to get her next time, and of course next time never comes.
Three weeks to go. I am not really looking forward to it. Christmas has lost its shine and glamour as we grow older; it has become just another excuse to shop and spend money. I envy the innocent children for whom Christmas means new clothes and toys, fun and excitement; it is at times like these that I wished I was a child again.
Three weeks to go.