Previously when my brother was still around, we'd celebrate Christmas at his place - a round of makan to be followed by the gift exchange routine for the kids. Nothing fancy, they always got those cheap toys which they got bored after 5 minutes or so. And very often, we'd bring out a cake for gooly as his birthday is just days after Christmas.
So, if you asked me, Christmas has been quite routine for quite a number of years.
This year, we celebrated Christmas in Bangkok. On the very first day we arrived, decorations at the malls has already put us in the festive mood. We took loads of pictures like what tourists normally do.
The first gifts that we received were by papah's accountant. She gave me a shopping bag (knowing how much I love bags! Papah must have been telling them stories! *frown*), a pretty dress for lolly, and a bouncy lion for gooly. Now, i must say that i am always anxious when someone gives gooly pressies by surprise. You know, what if he gives a bah! when he doesn't like it? And when i saw the stuff toy, i was thinking that he has outgrown cuddly cutey toys, and got really apprehensive about his reaction. But thank goodness, he gave a big genuine smile and started laughing while bouncing the lion away. He said thank you and gave the lady a hug. She is obviously smitten by his actions.
I know the lion wasnt really his "thing" (he wants soldiers and army stuff now) but he was really being nice and polite and most importantly, thankful for the present he received.
And then he told us that he really wanted a set of those tiny soldiers with tanks and missiles and other cool stuff. He has been eyeing it at the 7-11 nearby our place. We bluffed and said we are not getting him any. He didnt whine or complained much. And then we got it for him, secretly. For 129 baht. Lol. He woke up feeling on top of the world when he saw it the next day. And started to believe in santa, cos we just wanted to magicked the whole thing. And for him to truly believe that he has been a wonderful child. We tell him that all the time. I guess when santa says it, its even more special. :)
And then today was papah's company dinner - a food and karaoke affair. Quite an experience for us to be surrounded by happy jolly locals belting out isaan songs. Lots of clapping and dancing. Wanted to shuffle but didnt think it was appropriate. Again, we received presents. This time, we got a set of tshirts for the four of us, with the kingdom's animal icon - the elephant sewn on them. I was really touched, and to show my appreciation, quickly changed lolly into it, and asked gooly to do the same. I am so glad he obliged. He was strutting proudly in it- so happy to be wearing an identical shirt as his baby.
We also had the gift exchanging program which was a bit complicating, imho. There were electrical aplliances, ang pows, hampers and a huge panda (as tall as gooly). Before that, Gooly was really serious about choosing the right gift for the program. He really wanted it to be special, hoping that the someone who gets his gift will be extremely happy. I thought that was awfully sweet because its so darn hard to buy a present when you dont know who is it for.. So i was really getting bored and just wanted to get it over and done with. Like, here, buy this tissue box and go! But nooooo.... He gave his heart and soul into it. And chose a watch instead for that lucky person. :)
And he got a set of comforter in return. In pink! Dissappointed of course. But graciously decided to give it to his beloved sister or someone more needy.
And so it has been a simple affair - one that tells the meaning of christmas in its own way.
One that shows how easy it is to make my son happy.(note: his birthday is just days away. I havent planned anything, bought anything..in fact thought of anything related to it. And he hasnt either because, he will be happy no matter what we do on that day. I know he will be thankful with whatever gifts, parties, cakes. Or without, i hope)
One that highlights his big, gracious and thankful heart.
One that i wish to remember.
How was your christmas?