I’m listening to my ‘Emerald Christmas’ CD again because I love the mix that I put for the Christmas dinner at Sean’s old apartment in Emerald Garden, Singapore. The house is very quiet because my housemate is off to Melbourne to visit his prospective girlfriend, so I’m here all alone, enjoying my solitude. Some children are making some noise from the house next door, taking advantage of the nice weather outside. Adelaide felt really quiet today because no doubt everybody was busy celebrating Christmas in their respective houses.
One Christmas track that always gives me the warm and fuzzies is Chris Rea’s Driving Home for Christmas. It was in December 2002 when I travelled to England for a holiday – I worked in Singapore then, and some of my expat friends thought that I was crazy to head over to the UK for a holiday in December, just when the Brits were heading elsewhere to avoid winter. I heard the song the first time on the way from Corfe Castle back to Poole, near Bournemouth in my friend Mike’s car. It’s just one of those simple moments that are etched in your memory for no particular reasons. 🙂
I’ve had a pleasant Christmas – it was a good service today at church. I shared a short testimony and sang the song that had blessed me so much in the last couple of days – Katherine Jenkin’s Rejoice. Afterwards, we had a sumptuous Indonesian dinner – great food, great company. I’m still full at the moment! I didn’t feel like going home after the service, so we went to Chinatown and looked for any cafe or restaurant that was open. At the end we went to a Chinese restaurant to have some cold drinks and some chat. Afterwards we accompanied my housemate so he could take the bus over to Melbourne, and I took the bus home.
In a way I’m sad that Christmas is nearly over – this year’s Christmas feels different. It’s less festive, but it’s sweeter, subtler – I learned to appreciate the more delicate meaning of Christmas. Christ could’ve chosen to come as a mighty warrior, but he came as a helpless babe, a vulnerable child. I could see myself coming to worship him, not in a huge fanfare, but in quiet reverence and awe. When we visit the maternity ward to see a baby, we don’t make a lot of noise. We show our love by giving tender touch, smiling, and showing our love through quiet gestures. That’s one side of Christmas that I have discovered this year – the baby grew up to be someone who healed the sick and performed many miracles and redeemed me – but on Christmas day, I showed my reverence and respect quietly. I will always remember this Christmas as the time when I discover the meaning of vulnerability. It’s good to be vulnerable when I can cry and rest myself on my Heavenly Father’s strong shoulder.
In a moment, I’m going to sit outside under the party lights and just enjoy the quiet evening outside – with a glass of cold Sauvignon Blanc, a thick slice of Panettone (traditional Italian Christmas bread), while listening to my Herborg Kråkevik CD and enjoy my Yuletide solitude. 🙂