Where’s Christmas?

Walking around Redmond Town Centre yesterday, I realised that Christmas in the States is – shockingly – not as festive as it is back home.

The decorations are not loud and assertive. The music is played down low. There are NO shoppers thronging the streets. In fact, there is a subdued, almost depressing mood everywhere we went.

In Malaysia, Christmas is a time for nightlife and shopping. Although perhaps only half of us buy gifts for others to celebrate this Christian/Western tradition, most of us STILL shop because it is this time you get all the best stuff and sales (I think), or because there is little else to do.

Here, not so much. Just check out these empty streets, both during and after office hours. Each shop has no more than two or three people in it (except for EBGames – video games are very popular during this time of the year, I guess). Where is everyone?

“Probably at work or home,” answers Lokes. And he may be right. We know that during Christmas, the real tradtition involves travelling home and spending time with your loved ones, which is why the shops may be empty. But before?

“Christmas is pressure,” says Melissa, the Avignon lady who was showing us around on our first day. “What to get for whom, will they like the present…urggghh” she mimics pulling her hair out. This was odd to me because I always enjoyed getting stuff for people (even budget items) ‘coz in Malaysia, any present you get makes you happy perhaps because you don’t really get a lot of opportunities where you get presents. Your birthday, anniversaries, and then Christmas – that’s all.

Hmm. Learn a new thing everyday.

Anyway, yesterday evening was REALLY cold. Lokes and I were all wrapped up tight!


  1. Asther said

    Hmmm… The TV movies and TV ads that we’ve seen portrayed happy Christmas celebration with busy people bustling down the streets of malls. Hands full of shopping bags and wrapped up boxes. Christmas song playing to add to the festive jolly feeling of these people. Guess it’s just all SHOW then?

  2. Asther said

    But I remembered my Christmas days in Hawaii. The decorations are BEAUTIFUL and everywhere, people will wish us “Merry Christmas” in addition to the usual “Aloha” greetings. Shopping complex will be full of decorations and sales. Guess it’s depending on which state you’re in. Too bad we don’t get snow in Hawaii.

  3. simmie said

    That’s because the Day-After-Thanksgivihng sale is over. That’s the biggest shopping day of the year. Also, it’s a weekday. People gotta work, you know 😛

  4. Kelantan Girl said

    Christmas is not big in the US. Thanksgiving is HUGE. But I have to agree that we Asians know better at throwing a party and painting the town red.

    Oh yeah… in case no one warned you… can’t say Merry Christmas anymore… have to be PC… say Happy Holidays. WTF… They should learn from us Malaysians… just create new words like DepaRaya.

    Anyway, there’s still a warm feeling during Christmas as friends and family gather together.

    Have a safe trip.

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