Well, I’ll be off this week, so expect an extremely short hiatus.
I was on the phone with someone this evening, when someone called in. Since I wasn’t done with my conversation, I kind of ignored that second call.
Turns out it was my brother calling from Hawaii, right after his mass. It was only a few hours into Christmas Day for him, and he was calling to wish us a merry christmas. Obviously my parents weren’t too pleased with me not answering the second line, because heck, THEIR SON WAS CALLING THEM!
Goodness. At 8 p.m. yesterday evening, my brother had already called us once, just like he promised to. And throughout dinner, my dad kept looking at the clock and going, “Eh, still got 15 more minutes.” Then later, “Hmm. 5 minutes left.” Then a little later, “Eh, past 8 already la. How come he still hasn’t called yet?”
Seriously, that phone call was almost the only thing they talked about the entire afternoon. Like, “Eat dinner earlier. Later your brother call.”
So when the phone finally rang, my dad practically jumped out of his chair and hurried to the phone. He didn’t want his precious son to have to wait, ya know?
Now I know how much a phone call home from a student studying overseas is so very much anticipated. Next time I study abroad, I’ll make sure I’ll call home every single week. Provided my dad pays for my calls.
But getting to talk to my brother was VERY nice. Apparently, he had “a lot of Christmas gifts”, and Christmas was very much celebrated over there. Well I wouldn’t be surprised, him being in a Mormon school and all.
He got our hopes real high earlier this year when he told us he would be coming back for Christmas, but then “something came up”. Even my cousins were thoroughly disappointed when we went over to our aunt’s for Christmas gathering. “Why your brother didn’t come back wan..”
Anyway, my turn on the phone with him came after everyone else already had their turns. And when I was done and went back to the dining table, the food were already gone. In fact, the dishes had been cleared, too, save for my plate.
By the way, did I mention we had roast lamb and big bowl of mashed potatoes and gravy and fried giant clams and roasted caramelized baby carrots (which I thought were weird but tasted great) and salad and chocolate dipped cheese sticks (which I also thought were weird, but my sister is weird like that), all home cooked! Add mango sorbet and bottles of sparkling juice, and we’ve got a near perfect Christmas eve dinner!
Last year my brother made us all go for Christmas eve dinner at church. I say made, and make us sound reluctant, because home cooked Christmas eve roast lamb has always been a tradition for us. It wouldn’t feel like Christmas eve if we didn’t have roast lamb and potatoes. So it’s nice that this year we went back to our tradition.
When my aunt spends Christmas at our place, Christmas eve was even better. We’d have better food, like turkey stuffed with glutinous rice. Delicious. But the best would be when she would bring out this large Christmas pudding, pour wine over it, turn off all the lights in the house, and set fire to the wine-drenched pudding. Beautiful, really. The entire place would be dark, save for the flames of the pudding. The fire would kind of burn the alchohol away, so what would be left is this really sweet taste. Gah. Nice.
Over at our aunt’s, we had this Christmas cake, which was basically blueberry cheese cake with “Merry Christmas” piped on top. Apparently my cousin had been so fussy over the cake and the writing, the girl on duty at the confectionary shop actually just shoved the pipe over to him and told him to pipe the words out himself. But the cake was lovely.
Did I mention that Christmas seems so much more celebrated than Chinese New Year? At least, judging by the amount of Christmas-greeting SMSes that were going around on Christmas and Eve. I guess everybody just gets into the Christmas spirit.
So anyway, I’ve got to go pack. Anticipate my return, people!