A New Christmas
I remember when I was little, my sister and I would jump out of bed long before anyone else was awake and race to our Christmas tree. It was decorated by almost everything imaginable, from typical ornaments and Christmas lights to paper snowflakes and expired candy canes. Growing up in San Jose, California, we never made snow angels or built snowmen. Thus, I was always amused by this blanket of cotton my parents spread out beneath the tree, used to trigger our imagination into believing that the living room carpet was actually snow, and bringing us into a winter wonderland. Sitting on top of the “snow” were presents and goodies, all neatly wrapped in colorful paper, topped with ribbons and bows. By the time our parents woke up, we would have already unwrapped every single one of them. Then we would help ourselves to a heart-warming cup of hot chocolate with a ginormous marshmallow floating on top.
Today is Christmas. But this year, Christmas has a whole new definition.
Christmas is a long bus ride only halfway through our journey from Houston to San Francisco. No hot chocolate with marshmallows. No Christmas tree with phony snow beneath its feet. No stockings for Santa to stuff. No chimney for the jolly old man to squeeze out of. Not even a rooftop where he can park his sleigh. It means sandwiches for lunch and groggy eyes from watching Chinese TV dramas. Only the occasional rest areas and gas stations provide us with respite, evasion, and a fleeting opportunity for some sort of physical activity.
Despite the lack of comfort, everyone still seems to be in good spirits. There’s something special about spending Christmas on the bus. We are like one big family, taking care of each other, sharing food, laughs, and stories. It doesn’t matter where we are, as long as we’re all together.
Christmas is about giving, not what you get, and I think this holiday season, we’re giving it our best.
December 26, 2010