Christmas is home

even this horrible saxophone-playing Santa
Driving through Singapore one evening in November 2006, my shipmates and I noticed odd displays hanging from street signs. They were on the main streets, and we were on a cross-street, so we only caught glimpses of them as we went through intersections. Then, we turned onto a main street and saw the displays in all their glory: Christmas Lights. (It deserves proper noun status in my world.)

They were extremely cheesy and not particularly impressive, but we were filled with giddy joy as we made the realization simultaneously and cried out, "CHRISTMAS!!!"

My dad doesn't particularly like Christmas. He's been called Scrooge or Grinch, but I think he's more of a Charlie Brown. It's not that he doesn't like the birth of Jesus. I think what bothers him is the materialism of Christmas celebrations. He's not a holiday spirit or Christmas decorations type.

However, I love looking at Christmas lights. My birthday is less than a week before Christmas. When I was a kid, we would traditionally go for a drive looking at Christmas lights after dark on my birthday (or close to it). Just because I liked it. My dad would take us to the most over-the-top displays, which he undoubtedly had noticed earlier in the month.

It's funny what feels like home when you're so far away. 2006 was my first holiday season overseas. It would be the very worst Thanksgiving ever, and while Christmas was not fantastic, and it is so hard being away from loved ones when you know they're all together, there was something about the lights and merriment: Christmas feels like home.


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