No Christmas decorations, but it is OK when you have family by your side

For the first time, there will be no Christmas tree or decorations in my in-law’s place in Bau, a small town about 35km from Sarawak’s capital city, Kuching.

This came about as my mum-in-law had been in and out of hospital the past couple of months, including last week. Everyone was so busy and worried that they did not have time to take the tree and decorations from storage.

We also did not have time to get ‘Christmas clothes’ and will recycle those from last year – but that is OK, too.

All that matters is that my mum-in-law is back home and slowly getting better by the day – she even had time to go to the hairdresser!

Despite the absence of any nativity scenes, a tree and decorations, the spirit of Christmas is prevalent, even though it was a horrible Christmas Eve with a burst pipe rendering many homes in town ‘waterless’ for 18 hours.

My son, Owen, joked that we should check into a hotel so we could shower. Thankfully, we have a spare tank for emergencies – if you know what I mean!

Although there may be challenges, having the entire family together makes it Christmas.

Perhaps it was a good reminder that Christmas is not about the presents, the festivities, or the celebration.

It is not about the tree or the decorations, although gift-giving has become the “be all, end all” of Christmas, with the rampant commercialism invading our lives.

Christmas is about the significance of hope – the birth of our saviour – celebrating his life and having a meal with loved ones.

It is also a time to take stock and give thanks for the good things in our lives and what we can do to improve in the coming year.

Will you count your blessings this Christmas?


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