Of Christmas & New Year

Kuala Lumpur is magnificent in December.

I have always loved December. The sweet melody of the monsoon wind lends me an immense comfort; the rain soothes away any pain imaginable; the gray cloud eases the glaring sun every once in a year. Life, once again, slows down to pave way for Christmas and the new year.

Growing up, I used to lay awake in the still of the night, listening to the rain drops drumming against the zinc roof of our small house. It poured and poured in Kuala Krai. Rubber boot would become fashionable, if not downright sensible, to wear during musim tengkujuh.

Back  in London, circa 1997, my friends and I rode the intercontinental train en route to London from Sheffield. The whole England froze you to the bones, the wind chilled and bitter, but our excitement knew no bounds.

Waiting faithfully at St. Pancras train station was Abang Pin, a distant relative, a close friend of mine. We camped at Abang Pin’s house in Bayswater from Christmas to new year.

On new year’s eve, Abang Pin drove us – the the three excited goons – around London. He then slid opened the rooftop of his aging Mercedes and snow flakes fell onto my face. I was young and alive. London was bathed with neon lights and leftover Christmas ambiance.  Kisses where recklessly thrown among friends and strangers at Trafalgar Square. The Christmas decor at Harrods and Whiteleys was still in full display. Drunkards took over the streets of London.

Even if I lived to be a hundred, there would be no other new year like 1997.

I wanted to marry Jefree on Christmas day until winged cupid got in the way, and married us on  November 24, instead. However, it looks like Daliya and Tajul have found love again. This time around, winged cupid decides to be  generous and marry them off comes this Christmas. Thank you Santa, for resurrecting the hope in Daliya’s heart.

As it is customary at the end of the year, I would temporarily leave the office, shut down the faithful laptop, set the blackberry on silent mode, to steal a moment or two with Jefree. Often, in our daily rush, we forget the things that matter: a peck on the cheek, a big bear hug, a little touch. As such, we are packing our bags to hide away somewhere at the fringe of the South China Sea.

Write Away bids you a thousand times goodnight and till we meet again on Christmas eve.

16 thoughts on “Of Christmas & New Year

  1. (I wanted to marry Jefree on Christmas day until winged cupid got in the way, and married us on November 24, instead.)

    ARE BOTH OF YOU CHRISTIAN?

    (However, it looks like Daliya and Tajul have found love again. This time around, winged cupid decides to be generous and marry them off comes this Christmas. Thank you Santa, for resurrecting the hope in Daliya’s heart.)

    ARE DALIYA AND TAJUL ALSO CHRISTIAN?

    Sorry I dont understand all these…need some explanations

    Dear Ali,

    There’s no need to be sorry, I encourage freedom of speech. If I may assist you in enhancing your understanding: rejoicing in other faith’s celebration does not, in any way imaginable, reflect one’s personal faith. Besides, I can’t get married on Hari Raya, nanti my family nak beraya…kena marah pulak sebab kacau daun. Kalau Christmas, semua orang pun cuti, boleh gitu?

    Extremist never has a place in this world, dear friend, be it in religion, politics or war. Would appreciate it if you could dispense off with the use of caps lock on your keyboard as it looks like you are shouting. Even persons closest to me never shout to yours truly and you certainly will never fit the bill to be one of those persons.

    I’ll make your misery short and sweet: how about you never read this blog again?🙂

    Have a nice day because I am certainly enjoying answering this comment in the bliss of my Christmas leave. Heh!

  2. Ah, december will always have a special place in my heart for december made me a wife, took me away from my motherland and see to it that I grow up with all the responsibilities of a woman, a wife, a citizen away in a foreign land.

  3. When you wrote about Raya and takbir, you touched my heart.

    Now you write about Xmas, you still touch my heart.

    Let’s see if you can do the same for CNY and Deepavali

  4. xmas period has always been tight. in fact, its the busiest of time in the schedule…of the premier league…hehehe….

    footie aside, am gonna get meself busy too nonetheless. book a room somewhere right in the middle of the town, burn some bills and just chill.

  5. Elviza,

    Might I encourage you to learn a bit about this Islam that you so profess to believe in. Specifically, the concept of ‘redha’ towards other religions.

    It is all very well and indeed there is nothing wrong in enjoying Christmas as nothing more than a holiday that we Malaysians are entitled to share. But not in the sense that you seem to espouse.

    What Ali A.S. was probably asking (cynically…and so angrily it seemed) is why are you seemingly so enamoured of the culture where religions intermingle as if they are equals. Do you really believe in Islam? If so, then you must know that ultimately, believing in all that Islam entails means that you would not redha anything about the Christian faith. And that includes Christmas! It is, after all, a religious celebration.

    What would your response be if I asked you where do you believe all the Christians would eventually end up after Judgement Day?

    Don’t worry about offending your Christian friends. They believe the same would befall you. How else would you explain the zeal of the missionaries? If THEY believed all religions are equal and the same, then why would they bother proselytising (did I get that right…?) ?

    Celebrating it means you ‘redha’ towards their faith and beliefs.

    Do not mistake modernity and open mindedness for simple waywardness. Islam does not conflict with modern life and has no barriers against what you enjoy in your life. But at the same time, there are certain aspects that we must be mindful of, lest our aqidah is sullied.

    Wishing ‘Merry Christmas!’ (or Happy Christmas in the south of England) brings with it all sorts of questions. Do not be so carefree with your faith Elviza. Being a modern woman, so in tune with all hip and trendy thoughts, does not necessarily mean you embrace all Western/Christian ideas.

    I am nobody. I am also not an Imam or anything like that. But I’d like to remind you, this is how our faith is eroded. Bit by bit. Starting with the trivial things, until what’s left of our core is nothing more than an empty husk.

    Allah knows best.

  6. U go girlfriend! Luv ur response to Ali.
    How can u expect me to send my kids to national school with folks like Ali. He’ll goes ballistic & run amuk if my kid was to bring his BLT sandwich to school.
    Cheers, happy holiday.
    PS – It’s a silly season the whole year round for ppl like Ali; no offence.

  7. Dear M’am,

    It’s so true ‘cos all I knoe, it’s time to paaaaaarty! he he. In my case, we(some close buddies and I) gonna have some intimate get-together somewhere next week. Can hardly wait!

    Plus December is a month for embracing our inner self, some sort of celebrating and reviewing our monumental importance throughout the whole year. Right?

    Happy holidays to you, M’am!

  8. I’m like you and ubisetela too – it’s the month that I love the most too. However, there doesn’t seem to be as much rain as it should.

    I’m trying to guess where you are, based on a previous post – CHERATING??

  9. I know if I proceed with this comment, many would think I am just backing up an old friend who is away in a holiday haven right now.

    But Asri,

    Elviza that I knew has never been carefree in her faith. In fact, she is rather faithful now to my eyes. Always in search to be nearer to God and to follow His guide.

    I think her writing is in line with the current festive season. If you have been following her blog since early days, she wrote with equal passion about hari raya and CNY too. Does that make her a Buddhist?

    And Ali,

    I think, to conclude or to insinuate a muslim as a christian is also the biggest sin in Islam. As Asri says, Allah knows best.

    If you found her writing disturbing, blame it on the insane writer in her. Other than that, she is just a girl who prayed and fast in school with me.

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