Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Ho ho ho
Have been Christmas shopping, and went quite predictably overboard doing so. Walked down Hill Road, compared price tags with those in Phoenix, and then beamed, as I handed over the debt card to be billed. Somewhere, I could hear somebody sing in television perfection, 'tis the season to be jolly, and I tranced along tralalalala lalalala...
It's something about the season, I swear!
Hill Road reminded me a lot about New Market, back in Calcutta, though it's a much smaller version of NM. They have the same devil-may-care attitude. People of so many ilks, rummaging for something that someone will be thrilled to bits to discover under their Christmas tree. Christmas baubles exorbitantly priced in an airconditioned store, but so much better and cheaper in a tiny stall just around the corner. Cards being sold by a harassed old Christian lady in a shop called Pinky's Pat; the irate customer (another harassed old Christian lady) threatened to return the cards if there turned out to be even one less than the fifty she had paid for - and I wished them both Merry Christmas! after I paid for my three cards, and left.
But I miss the old days, and these are times when I get wildly, sappily hopeless. I miss the times when I would string wreaths over the windows and doors, sprigs of mistletoe here and there in places you'd never expect, drape coloured lights around the cardboard rendition of Nativity on the mantlepiece. I miss the Christmas tree, big, green - REAL. Shining with lights, antique English bells, stars, and angels that belonged in my antique grandmother's era, that lit up and glimmered and sparkled, when the lights were out. I miss being scratched by twigs, cursing when the damn tree refused to sport a particular trinket, sighing when the wisps of cotton wool fluttered and settled down on the dressed-up tree like soft little snow-flakes hijacked for my personal pleasure, exhaled when I collapsed on the couch opposite the tree, thereafter.
All that drove me to Hill Road, to search for a tree. I found one. Plastic. Cones. Green, not really - more like ugly green. Smaller. Expensive. Very expensive. I've decided to do without a tree this year.
I shall buy a Santa cap from the road-intersection, instead. The one with the flashing red lights on the white border.
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