During our time in Boston, daytime temps started out in the comfortable, blissfully cool 60’s and ended in the frigid, wind-whipped 40’s (which, with wind, felt pretty damn close to freezing). During our layover on the way home, Chicago was blanketed by white, with visibility of about a mile.
As a native New Englander, I associate winter and Christmas with freezing temperatures and spent my childhood years thrilled to my toes when I got a white Christmas (and cursing as I dug out my car as an adult when we did, in fact, have snow). The Christmas I spent in Bombay (2006) was exotic beyond belief—hot enough to hang out in and by the pool of our hotel, and with few things closed.
(I’d insert a photo here of Curt, Love and I by the pool…but the hard drive people haven’t gotten my photos back to me yet, so you’ll have to use your imaginations).
In 2007, to celebrate my starting a new teaching job when I was ready to return to work after my miscarriage, Ravi and spent Christmas in New Orleans. It wasn’t hot, and after an “okay” dinner at a hotel, we wandered Bourbon Street sipping addictive sugary alcoholic drinks.
But, apart from those two Christmases, I associate winter with lush pine trees as opposed to palm trees. With boots and bundling up…not flip flops and tying my hair back to get it off my sweating skin. Where songs like “Baby it’s cold outside” are accurate portrayals of reality.
It’s somewhat surreal to see all the Christmas decorations at various malls. There are ginormous, multi-storey Christmas Trees (with the “danger, stay back” signs on them). Orchard Road is done up fancier than most brides on their wedding days (more pics to follow…I need to do some night-time shots). But walking around in shorts, sweating, while hearing “I’m dreaming of a white christmas” is almost farce-like. Like I’m in sort of surrealist painting, or that I’m waiting for the reality-show host to jump out and tell us we’ve been had.
Last night, we put up our Christmas Tree. I’d had my heart set on a live pine, until I caught a glimpse of price tags; one hundred dollars and up for what were essentially 30-40 dollar trees. Plus delivery and take away fees, as Singapore isn’t going to be down with just tossing your tree on the side of the street for the trash men to pick up. Instead, I picked up a modest tree at Carrefour (think baby Walmart) for $11 SGD (call it 7-8 USD). While it was a new (fake) tree, I had lots of decorations from home to pretty it up with. I hung the stockings and affixed some window gels I’d picked up on the recent trip at a CVS (I miss you already). Voila…our very own Christmas in Singapore.
One of my holiday-themed “mom made” decorations. (Hey Mom-it needs some of your surgery on our next trip home!) For the record, the crafty gene skipped me entirely. Ask my mom some time about when she tried to teach me to knit and ended up laughing so hard she cried.