Yesterday was Christmas Day. For me it is the culmination of an annoying time of the year when I avoid shopping centres and am surrounded by a peculiar sense of cheer that is predominantly about gift-giving, family coming together and consuming food and wine. It doesn’t seem to me to be a time that most care to reflect on what it is they’re actually celebrating. Not that most these days would want to.
It’s not a time of the year that evokes any fond childhood memories in me, and in fact aside from the pleasure gained from having learnt some of the more traditional Christmas carols at the state primary school I attended, Christmas then was actually a time of the year that made me feel awkward. This was because I had to tell those students at school who got all sorts of fabulous gifts for their Christmas that I didn’t get presents from Santa because my family didn’t celebrate Christmas, a completely incomprehensible concept for them.
I saw my first white Christmas yesterday, not that it mattered an iota to me, although it was unusual for an Australian summer. There was a violent hail-storm over much of Melbourne mid-afternoon. It was stormy all day, and in fact from first thing, before I got up to go to the gym at 7:30am there had been rolling thunder looming. I quite enjoyed the tempest, but I was concerned that my car might have been damaged by the hail. Fortunately mine escaped unscathed, unlike others that I saw had holes through their windscreen in very telling fashion.
Annoyingly, I found my driver side window had been down and a lot of water had come into my car during the storm, which is really weird because generally I don’t leave my windows down when the car is unattended. Today I’m trying to dry out the car’s interior.
What I did enjoy about yesterday was the quality time my partner Gregory and his children spent with their mother Jennie, giving and opening presents in the morning, and then at lunch with Gregory’s sister Angela and her family. It’s been a lovely tradition that I’ve shared in over the past four Christmases.
I had to laugh though, earlier in the day, as I went to collect a cake for a Chanukah party this afternoon that I’m helping organise. I went to Danish Nosh, in Glenhuntly Road, South Caulfield. It’s a cake shop that sells traditional Jewish / Eastern European cakes and delicacies to a predominantly Jewish / Eastern European clientele. Disappointingly, the shop was closed today but it was open yesterday on Christmas Day, so I went yesterday. As I walked in I was greeted with the sound of Christmas Carols on the sound system. After paying for my pear and cinnamon cake the delightful assistant of Asian background wished me a merry Christmas. I suspect the irony of her actions escaped her. It made me chuckle, and made my Christmas Day.