Friday, December 24, 2010

All I want For Christmas

Christmas has never really been about presents for me. It's nice to give and receive great gifts, and I do put a lot of thought into what I buy for people, but I'd be perfectly happy if the day was simply about getting together. When I was growing up it was the one day of the year we all put aside what we were doing and got together to celebrate. My dad's family is so busy all year that even though they live within a 2 kilometre radius of each other, they never get together, except at Christmas. I would much rather just be with the people I love than have them worrying about what to buy me. We're hoping to instil this value in J as well, and have not bought him much at all. The tree is surrounded by gifts from grandparents, aunties and uncles and we're happy to let others spoil him this year. We figure it'll be the only year we can get away with it!

Until J was born I took responsibility for buying birthday and Christmas presents for our friends and families, and sending out cards. Last year I went out early, knowing our baby was due in December, and bought cards and presents for everyone. Wandering around Stanley Markets, 8 months pregnant, I vowed never again! To top it off, my husband disapproved of a number of my selections for his family, and promised to go out and buy more gifts later. Needless to say he didn't and his mother and step-mother received, in February, the gifts I had bought for them. So this year I bought a few small things for my family, sent out an e-card and left the rest up to D. As yet there is not a single gift under the tree for anyone on his side of the family, and I'm trying really hard not to care or nag, but it is Christmas Eve and I know I'm going to feel really guilty opening presents from people who have not received anything in return. I also know if I have any hope of teaching my son that Christmas is about more than presents, I'm going to have let it go.

My husband and I are pretty practical people we try to buy each other things that we either need or have specifically asked for. This year I wanted pearl earrings and a luxurious facial. As I sit here looking at our beautifully decorated half-dead tree, surrounded by beautifully wrapped presents, I've started thinking about what it is I really want (or need), but I'm struggling. Apart from the usual global-sized wishes like world peace, that everyone wishes for, I can't really wish for anything more. It sounds cliched, and I don't generally like to admit out loud that I'm perfectly content with all that I have, just in case the universe hears me and takes something away. But I have a husband who has put up with my pre-Christmas madness all month; eating all my baking attempts, even the burnt ones, listening to endless carols and watching tacky holiday movies with me each night. Today he drove us around Central and Kowloon all day trying to find a car park, all because I insisted on leaving the grocery shopping to the last minute. He even went to IKEA and spent the evening putting together a table so we wouldn't have to eat our dinner on the sofa tomorrow. He did all this without complaint, expecting nothing in return. My gorgeous son was also dragged around the shops all day, fed fried rice for lunch, and denied his afternoon nap, and not only did he not complain, he entertained us and other shoppers the whole day. He makes me smile every day, and the way his face lights up when he sees me is a gift in itself. I feel very blessed this year and my wish list is surprisingly blank. 
    In the end what I want this Christmas is for my friends and family to receive what they wish for, and all the love, happiness, success and peace that they deserve. And, just so we're clear, I might be happy with what I have, but I won't knock back a present or two if they appear under the tree tonight!

    Merry Christmas everyone, and thanks for reading xx

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