Written by Nandini Sethi
December 1st. The day I had been waiting for since 11 months now. I couldn’t wait a second longer to sing and dance, all in Christmas cheer, and make sure everyone around was in festive spirit.
Making my way to the bedroom, I jumped on the bed, on top of my husband, waking him up with a loud, “it’s Christmas time!”
He scoffed and tried to push me away, but I was having none of it. I went to undraw the curtains, letting in the strong golden rays of the winter sun filter in through the windows. Little specks of dust floated around like flakes of gumdrop magic, and I sighed contentedly at the thought of my favourite season of the year.
The minute Rey was out of bed, I jumped straight into our annual traditions. Some might say I was a bit crazy and went overboard about the whole Christmas thing, but I couldn’t help it: I was just so in love.
We got out the stocking and hung them by the fireplace. After the fairy lights were put up, we threw the thickest quilts we owned onto the couch and set up two large glasses of hot chocolate on the table. With marshmallows, of course.
December was the month I made sure we did everything romantic. January through November, we never made time for teach, rather we never get time to make time for each other. Rey is working abroad for most days, and I work from home, daydreaming day and night of a time when we could spend every second of every day together. We have been married for 5 years, but I could still giggle and blush at every word he said.
Taking him to the kitchen, I decided on making my famous chocolate chip cookies. We even got the ingredients for the gingerbread house out, but one disaster and two splinters later, we decided to just purchase it from the supermarket. Soon, the house felt warm and familiar, the aroma of slightly burnt cookies wafting all around, as the instrumental version of ‘Jingle Bells’ played in the background.
Finally, we brought out the Christmas tree. The tip of the tree touched the roof and all the neatly wrapped fake gift were tearing at the edges. It was a bit of a mess, but this was tradition, and we took it seriously.
As Home Alone played on the television, I snuggled closer to Rey, to take a sip of his now cold hot chocolate. Resting my head on his shoulder, I closed my eyes, hoping that I could freeze time and savour this moment forever.
But there were other things on my checklist: Ice Skating. All the kids and their parents in the neighborhood make it a point to go together during this month, because like ours, their families too only get to see so much of each other.
I grabbed our thickest coats and warmest beanies and gloves and helped Rey get dressed. We took the final few sips of our hot beverage by the window as we watched all our neighbours get into their cars towards the skating rink.
The kids pointed and laughed at our winter accessories, but I didn’t give it much thought. It was my favourite season, Christmas spirit was in the air, my baby was in town, and I was going to make sure to do all our winter things, even if was about a 100 degrees outside and the tropical sun could kill us. Well, at least the Ice-Skating Rink down the road would promise us some snow.