Recently, someone asked me if I was excited about Christmas. Honestly, the question caught me off guard. Upon some introspection, I realized I wasn’t particularly excited, nor was I sad. As the French would say, I was in a state of “ça m’est égal” – indifferent.
Here’s why. I didn’t grow up with the traditional Santa Claus and Christmas festivities. For us, Dec 25th and 26th were regular working days. We “waited” for Moș Gerilă (The Frost Man), who “arrived” on Dec 31st. My family bought a tree just a day before, and my brother and I picked up our gifts from under the tree the next morning.
I eagerly anticipated the day of Dec 31st into my final years of university, even though the magic of Moș Gerilă was short lived for me. It’s still amusing to hear my mom telling the story when, at the age of three, I saw my father’s pajama pants coming out his Moș Gerilă outfit and excitedly screamed, “That’s dad, I can see his pajama pants!”
Like I said, for me the real fun was on the day of Dec 31st. I received my gifts in the morning, had brunch (or rather an all-day feast) with my parents and brother and spent the New Year’s Eve with my brother, after watching our parents dress up and leave the house to celebrate the New Year’s Eve at the Army Ball. And as we grew older, we eventually ventured out to party and celebrate the New Year’s Eve with our friends.
You might say, “Yes, Ella, but that was a long time ago. What has happened since?” A lot has transpired since – so much that, looking back, I feel like I’ve lived quite a few lives. And, throughout the myriad chapters of my life, I found myself getting excited during this time of the year when someone close to me was excited and feeling down when they were down.
With all that being said, this year I’m cherishing my past memories and excited for the new ones to come – while imagining everyone happy and celebrating this time of the year with their loved ones!