This coming Christmas will be the quietest Christmas in my Life. Many times I celebrated Christmas far away from my big family; only voices of my parents through telephone could chase my loneliness out. But that loneliness is incomparable with that I am feeling this time. My loss of beloved father will change everything in this coming Christmas. If in the past I still could celebrate Christmas with him, or heard his voice on the telephone saying Merry Christmas if I couldn’t go home, this time, everything will be very different, he’s gone; I will welcome this Christmas only with my mother. It will be very very different!
I know this will be the saddest Christmas for my mother as well. Though far from her children, mother was never far from father in Christmas time. So, it’s going to be very difficult for her without father. I am preparing myself to be the best companion for her in this Christmas, will comfort her as much as I can.
Going through this Christmas also gives many experiences to me. Although this is not the first time for me to spend Christmas time in my hometown, it makes me realise how different celebration Christmas in my hometown with that in other cities is, such as in Jakarta where I am working or Bandung where I was studying. Christmas in my little hometown, Balige, means a lot for people. If you go to Balige at Christmas time, people will celebrate Christmas almost every day during December. It is common that a person attends more than five Christmas celebrations, if not ten. It is because my hometown is a town that still keeps tradition and custom tight. There is an ethnic group dominant in the town with tens of its sub ethnic groups. Each ethnic group will have their own Christmas celebration. Moreover, almost every school, from primary to senior high school, and every suburb also has celebration. So, you can imagine how many celebrations held in that little town. You might think that these celebrations look very private, but I tell you, everybody is welcomed even though not coming from the same ethnic group, or the same suburb, or the same school.
Besides Christmas celebration for particular groups, there is also a public celebration held in a football field where people from surrounding areas also come. In this celebration, it is common to hold big celebration and invite guest stars to entertain people. This is the very best time for many people to willingly give much contribution to cover costs of these celebrations, so generous!!
Besides learning from the generousity of the people, another thing that impresses me is that people are willing to give not only money but also time. Taking part in a Christmas celebration’s committee surely consumes lots of time. On the other hand, people need time to do other responsibilities. To avoid a clash between routine activities and the new responsibility as a member of the committee, most of meetings are held in the evening. Again, Christmas time is the best time to realise that time in this world is not only for something that brings profits ‘for me’, but also for something to serve others.