It's that time of the year again. Christmas used to be a very special time for me. It was one of the busiest time when I was with the Catholic church, what with going from house to house singing Christmas carols, getting the altar boys ready for the midnight mass and getting the church decorated for one of the most festive of its fest days. And like most kids growing bombarded with western idea of Christmas, I dreamt of a white Christmas too, of families gathered around the fireplace and Christmas trees surrounded by family and loved ones.
Eventhough I had left the church and Christmas has no other meaning than commercial, I still felt that at this time I would love to be among loved ones. These 7 christmases past hadn't exactly fulfilled that wish and at times I felt that I had sacrificed a lot in the pursue of my travel. Somehow one way or another, I still ended up with some friends somehow; 2 years ago it was a group of backpackers thrown together by fate in the same hostel in world's southern most city. Last year it was with a couple of friends that I had just made as I had just arrived in Colombia. I was never alone, I guess subconsciously I was afraid to be alone at this time of year, even guilty as if I'm not holding up my side of a societal bargain.
This Christmas however I am alone. And I'm ok with it. Strange... maybe I'm finally at peace with solitude. Maybe I don't care about others' expectations. Maybe I've stopped feeling sorry for myself. Walking down the streets I can sense the christmas-ness in the air, and I see happy faces carrying their shopping bags walking hand in hand, etc. I don't feel the need to partake in their ritual, I don't feel that I'm being left out, nor do I feel the joy and excitment of this festivity. I just feel... normal. Strangely I guess that's how vampires feel when they walk among humans, alike yet apart.
Do I want to be somewhere else? No, I'm where I'm supposed to be. It's a Christmas where I can strip down to basic... I walked into a church today just in time to hear the priest said the consecretion prayer and I automatically said "amen". Habit dies hard; and one of my habit at this time of the year is writing emails to all my friends, a rare time where I allow myself to travel down memory lane and be nostalgic. A Christmas present for me... from me.
Merry Christmas everyone