I don’t think I ever believed in Santa Claus. Sad, I know. As much as I would have liked to believe there was a jolly bearded man in a red, velveteen suit who brought people gifts every year, I was a realist from early on and my parents never encouraged my imagination otherwise. For starters we didn’t have a chimney (because, you know, how else would Santa get in?) and then, being Asian and not of any particular religious denomination, we didn’t celebrate Christmas in any way so there were no gifts to be found under the tree.
Oh, but yes, the irony was that there was a tree! (Not the one pictured to the left – that’s a current tree.) And a tall one at that, which I enjoyed prettifying with the same set of decorations year after year but never was a wrapped gift to be found underneath it. It smelt of cheap plastic – and I will never forget the first time I smelt a real, pine Christmas tree (albeit in Asia) many years later – but it was still our tree, which bore many sparkly adornments and only made a limited annual appearance.
So Christmas for me now, as an adult, means all things shiny and sparkly. Although highly commercialised, it is nice that there is a time of year where people do at least think about what to give others. The husband and I have never been big on giving each other gifts, choosing instead to share food outings for celebrations. As there is nothing open at Christmas, it serves as an excuse to prepare something celebratory myself and a chance to try something a little different from the usual and get a little bit fancy.
But back to gifts. I received a lovely package from the ever-thoughtful Anna which suits my interests perfectly. Every girl needs pretty pink, polka-dot cupcake cases and a purple shoe bag with pink embroidery in the shape of a stiletto! I will definitely make use of those paper cases, so keep your eyes peeled for their appearance here soon. Thanks again, darling!
Not specifically for Christmas, I received souvenirs from Mistress from her recent trip to Japan which were, no surprise, food-related items. A tin of M&Ms (I love tins!), a mobile phone strap from the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum and cute-as Japanese chopsticks – a pair for my husband and one for myself. Thank you, you know me well.
And lastly, again not specifically for Christmas, my husband got me a book that I had lusted after ever since finding out it had finally been translated into English. Although it didn’t come gift-wrapped, I have purposely left it in its shrink wrap to ‘open’ on Christmas day. Can you guess what it is?
As Mademoiselle Délicieuse, this is the only book it could be! I may like French things, but my French language skills don't stretch that far.
It will be a quiet one this year with just the husband and myself, whilst various family members are holidaying overseas. I hope Christmas finds you spending time with the people that matter, rather than having spent too much money and battling those in the stores. Be grateful for these people and the gifts which they bring, especially those which cannot be bought, wrapped or bagged.
merry Christmas, happy cooking, happy sharing & happy eating!