This was the very first time I spent Christmas away from my family. The last 22 years, every Christmas eve would be spent in one of the relatives' or at our house. We would have dinner, service, then take a family picture. There would be a lot of hassle. Mom would yap about cleaning the house, my room, help my sister cook macaroni schotel, pick up food, etc etc. And then all the big family would gather and we would spent a warm cheerful Christmas evening together.
On 24th December last week, it occurred to me that I would be alone at Christmas eve. Me and friends who were staying in Manchester had plans for Christmas day arranged already. But what about Christmas eve? Usually when I'm home, we would spent Christmas eve with family and on Christmas day we would be very busy with all papa's guest coming over.
So instead of surrounded by people as usual, I would be alone.
Got panic for a second.
I was considering to invite some friends over to cook together and had dinner, when an idea came. I am by myself. This would be the first time in my life to have a Christmas only to myself. Why not do something I would never done if I were home? No mommy and sister yapping, nothing to clean, nothing to hassle. Why not enjoy the very peaceful night by myself?
Of course, a lot of people say that Christmas is supposed to be spent with others. Flatmate invited me to join her and friends for dinner, but I didn't want to interfere.
I really felt that I had to experience this one alone. If it sucks, then I'd know in the future I should not do it again.
Well, I thought the idea was brilliant.
So I went out of the flat and sat on the benches near University place to download some manga. Then to Sainsbury's and bought wine, cheese, marshmallow, ready to cook pasta, and some snacks. In the afternoon, went to church with friends. Then back to flat and had my one self relaxed laid back Christmas eve.
Instead of my sister's macaroni schotel, I had microwaved pasta.
Instead of singing with the whole family, I watched Sound of Music and He's Not That Into You.
Plus hot choco, cheese, and wine.
It was OK.
Truthfully, it wasn't gloomy and miserable. It wasn't great, either.
On Christmas day, me, Bintang, Herman, Yunita, and mbak Indria went to church together.
Had a lovely Christmas service. There was a puppet show video, where the puppets sang the Nativity story using Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody tune. Then we went to Bang Gindo and Mbak Maria's house for a very big marvelous lunch. Bang Gindo and Mbak Maria are Indonesian family that held open house every year on Christmas day. So they had many other guests came. After lunch, bang Gindo took us and the other guests for a walk. We went to a big park, walked on muddy pathway, very British. On the way back, saw some houses having Christmas lunch. Where families sat together in a very big table and had dishes for hours. Then we had Irish coffee. Sorry, didn't took any pictures...
That day, it wasn't raining nor was it cold.
In the end, I didn't had a white Christmas in Manchester.
But I must say.
My one Christmas in Manchester was, in fact, merry and bright.
I hope you had too.
Happy Christmas and New Year everyone :)