last christmas

forget about snowmen. if there’s one thing i strongly associate christmas with, it would have to be wham!’s “last christmas” assaulting your eardrums the moment you step inside the malls.

not that i mind. I LOVE THAT SONG! love it every single day of the year. is that weird? that song makes me happy, for some reason. or it could just be the catchy tune. i don’t know. all i know is, the moment i start hearing it in public, DAMN RIGHT IT’S OFFICIALLY CHRISTMAS!

now, i’m not exactly a christmas person per se. not even a halloween one. and easter? nah. i obviously can’t be bothered with all the hoopla because i’m antisocial like that. BUT… that’s not to say that i don’t admire people who really make the time and the effort to coordinate their ornaments with their cushions and candelabras right down to their place mats. that’s dedication!

it gets me jealous, even. but then i’m also the type of person who sort of hates getting flowers for the basic reason that they die and you have to watch them slowly go through their quiet demise. it kind of borders on the same principle. taking the decors down once the festivities are over is, in a way, kind of depressing. but it was good while it lasted, hey?

however, it’s different when kids are involved. because christmas is for kids. and now that i have a kid of my own, i wanna start a tradition with her and make her look forward to that one day santa slides down everyone’s chimneys even though it’s rare for houses here in australia to have one. maybe just the really old houses. like captain cook’s. even then it would probably be infested with a lot of deadly red back spiders. that is, if the heat doesn’t get to him first, with his thick red suit and beard and all.


so, yeah, we had a tree last christmas. used the one that has been standing in our lounge room for 3 years now instead of buying a proper one. a twiggy, but vibrant, tree with LED lights at the tip of its branches. you know, like E.T.? anorexic as it was, i say it was a very happy tree because we hung the ornaments with a lot of love. my nieces and sister and i even made some of them. the blue-haired styro dude i’m particularly proud of. that one i made. arts and crafts the shit out of it.

the other styro head that seems to be bleeding all over the face must have been aeva’s or adie’s. can’t remember now. but the paper star on top of the tree with a red ribbon around it? definitely aeva’s. she took the liberty of making one when she noticed our tree was lacking the traditional star.


but hands down, my most favorite “ornaments” would have to be the polaroid pictures. see, el2 gave adie a yellow polaroid camera to document her holiday here in australia. wasted a few films here and there but it was interesting to see the world from her perspective — her dada’s arm; the glass doors; some random object that caught her fancy but you couldn’t tell what it was because it came out black because her fingers accidentally covered the lens. can’t blame her though. the camera itself was as big as her head but it was so cute to watch her try.


come christmas morning, aeva was up unusually early. she barged in our bedroom to say, “janjan, santa didn’t really eat much of the food i left for him last night.”

she left 6 timtams. jeff ate one and bit off a portion on another piece as an added effect to make it more convincing somehow. the leftover vegetable salad that was supposed to be for the reindeers remained untouched. he wasn’t game enough to eat the wilted lettuce and watery cucumber.

“that’s alright. maybe he wasn’t that hungry. did he leave you a note though?”

(oh, he left a note, alright! i freakin’ spent one night writing her and adie and raven letters. her one was the longest. she asked for it to snow on christmas but this is australia, mate. her parents got her a tiny snow globe instead and i was tasked to explain why she’s getting fake snow inside a plastic orb. i reckon i wrote a pretty good reply. i mean, i definitely sounded smooth as hell. i forgot what i actually said but mainly i was talking about how christmas is about family and that for as long as she keeps christmas special in her heart, it doesn’t matter which part of the world she’s in or if it snows there or not… blah, blah, blah.)

told you i was smooth as hell.


i have to say aeva’s mature for her age, though. she’s very thoughtful too. this christmas and the last, she never really asked anything for herself. she tells the big man what to get for her little sister, though. it’s touching. almost kind of makes me want a sister for raven too. operative word: almost.

once the opening of presents were on a roll, i oftentimes found myself watching the kids and how happy they looked, especially if it was something they particularly liked (anything peppa pig for adie).

but on the flip side, i thought about the rest of the kids in the first world getting heaps of presents and felt that at some point, christmas can get a little too materialistic. and i wondered how i could make it different for raven someday, somehow. because i want it to be a meaningful experience for her. beyond receiving, i want her to appreciate the gift of giving. i don’t know how i’m gonna go about it yet but i’m pretty sure i’ll come up with something. i have 3 years to plan so for now, i’ma just let the concept brew.


my mom and dad were obviously delighted to have their grandkids around. that visit was the first time they saw raven in person so it was pretty much a big deal.

just as having my whole entire family over for the holidays was a very big deal because it’s such a rare occurrence for all of us to be together in the same place at the same time. the last time we were complete was two years ago so of course a photoshoot was in order!

however, trying to cram us all on the stairs was particularly challenging. there were definitely a lot of takes and some repositioning because may-ann and dennis at the back looked miniature or aeva was caught wrestling with raven who was trying to squirm her way out.


in the end, we settled for these because we couldn’t be bothered anymore. may-ann and dennis looked like they were on a time-out but what can you do? group shots are about as wacky as they can get even with the best of intentions.


and when all was said and done, our little santa had to have her rest. chewing on wrappers must have been exhausting.


*raven at 7 months old

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