Monday, December 18, 2006
influenced by the spirits
Don't get me wrong. I'm not referring to spiritual beings or ghosts. It's the spirit of Christmas. I can't help it. It's too tempting. It's everywhere. 9 days to christmas and the the crowd is busy getting their shopping done. I always wonder, what are they rushing for? How many presents are they getting: Mom, Dad, Uncle A, Uncle B, AUnt A, AUnt C, Cousin J, Friend X, Friend XX, Boyfriend/girlfriend/ partner/ spouse, and probably a handful of other people. There can't be too many. You don't give everyone you know a present. So, I sometimes just stand by the counter of a department store and watch what they put on the cashier's conveyor belt: candles, bowls, napkin rings, cushions, and the list goes on. Their shopping bag does not only take presents but like Malaysians, they prepare to decorate their houses and themselves with beautiful and trendy items: clothes, shoes, make-up, and anything they can sneak an excuse for. One would probably expect that shopping baskets/trolleys at the food department is always full - you guessed it right. Wine, champagne, mouth-watering desserts to the dozen, more ready-made meals and anything that is worth serving for christmas.
Since it's a weekend, time when I indulge in my 3Fs: fun, family and food, we spend almost the whole day window shopping. For one, it's always carboot sale on Sunday. This time, I was looking for curtains and anything for the house. You see, we're moving into a bigger house the weekend after christmas and there won't be any carboot until way after new year. Got my bargains: a clock (50p), a square vase (25p), gorgeous green curtains (3 pounds) and some remnant vinyl carpet for 50p. Not too bad. Then, we went further down to Leamington Spa - a smaller town but more chique. Along the highstreet were stalls selling interesting objects most suitable for gifts. Well, most of the items are asian. They are probably imported from Thailand, India, Vietnam, China and Hong Kong. There were stalls selling jewellery, decorations, candles, hats, jackets, you name the lot. That was where and when I was influenced by the spirits of christmas, and related to what some of my blogger friends mean when they say they love christmas in the UK. In the background (on the sidewalks) were a band in santa suits, a guitarist singing to his tune, and a balloon-man with a bunch of beautiful metalic balloons of all sizes and shapes. We even stopped for some spud - today's special of baked potato with cottage cheese and chives. My husband had never tasted baked potato and I have been wanting him to taste some. You must try what the British love. The stall was the first we came across that only served vegetable-based topping. He enjoyed it. I'm glad.
At the end of the day, I wonder, is it wrong to take in the spirit of another celebration, even though we're not celebrating it? Is it also subahah? It's just the shopping part, innit?