It’s beginning to look at look like Christmas….except it is between 85 and 90 degrees everyday and 1200% humidity. Now some people are going to call me crazy, but I am missing the season change a lot right now. It just doesn’t seem right to be walking around in shorts listening to Christmas carols. We are decidedly not walking around in a winter wonderland. I actually like winter, well I like winter in Austin which is pretty mild and only lasts like 3 months. In spite of the weather it is December and it really is looking like Christmas around here.
I was quite surprised when after Halloween the Christmas decorations came out and Christmas music started playing everywhere. I was not sure that there was going to be much Christmas around since Christianity is not even close to the primary religion here. I believe it only makes up 5 to 10% of the population. I was wrong there is Christmas everywhere, but it doesn’t quite feel the same. It’s all bright, shiny and pretty but doesn’t have quite the same spirit. There doesn’t seem to be any religious context. There is not a baby Jesus in sight (unless you go to one of the churches of course). I haven’t noticed any charity toy drives, or a bell ringing Santa or food drives. When you are at a store there is no Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays after you pay or ever for that matter. It just doesn’t quite feel right, so I have been trying to create my own “Christmas spirit” the best I can.
When we packed up to come here, I included a box of decorations. I included our stockings and a few ornaments that would’t break, knowing that we probably wouldn’t travel back to the States our first year here. There is a company here on the island that caters to expats. They sell and deliver live Christmas trees among other services. I ordered a small tree knowing I didn’t have much to put on it. I really don’t know what I was expecting but I was quite disappointed when it arrived.
After moping a little, I decided that the only way I was going to enjoy myself this Christmas was going to be having a sense of humor about it. So I found a sequined Santa hat and stuck it on the top and then we decorated. B had such a good time decorating this little tree, it made me love it.
This is our end result, it went from being my sad Charlie Brown Tree to the best tree ever, because B LOVES is.
Now I mentioned the decorations in the malls. They are very pretty and festive. It seems that they pick a theme and decorate accordingly. The mall that our building has gone with is Madagascar.
They have set up big bounce houses and slides in the middle of the mall in honor of Merry Madagascar.
They also have some very pretty Christmas trees in the mall.
The Mall next door has chosen Snoopy as it’s theme.
The malls in KL had some very pretty decorations.
Now when I saw there was a stage show for Christmas I was expecting more of a Christmas theme, not this.
I would love to close with a picture of B with Santa, but the Santa in the mall as we know it doesn’t seem to exist here. I saw that Santa was going to be at the mall this weekend, but it was a mall wide meet and greet. Which means, if you happen upon him as he is walking around the mall, we didn’t see that Santa anywhere. We did find this Santa outside of the electronics store. We sort of got a picture with him but B ran away as he was terrified of him. So I got a shot of him buy himself.
So like everything else here, Christmas has been a learning experience. I have learned that things are different and that it is okay. It is very, very easy to be incredibly home sick this time of year. I miss our families very much. I have had to learn that the spirit of the season really does comes from within. We have to make new traditions while we are here, maybe we will take some of them home with us maybe not, and that is okay too. We have plans to spend a family day on Christmas eve watching movies and making cookies. Christmas Day will be spent with our good friends. It will be great, Santa will come and B will have a great time, and ultimately that is what is most important. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas from Malaysia!