A few weeks ago I ran the Macau Marathon. On the same day, Mia ran the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore. She brought JJ along. But because JJ would have been alone in the hotel room while Mia run her race, we decided to invite my sister, Bridget, to come along for a short holiday. After the Macau Marathon, I flew to Singapore to join them, and then together we made a visit to the Universal Studios the next day.
It was during that Singapore trip that Mia and Bridget started talking about celebrating Christmas this year at my place. I didn't think of that idea very seriously though. But shortly after coming home, the Christmas party idea began to gain traction. Very soon Bridget, Mia and Audrey put things in motion. They also brought Evelyn into the picture. We would invite family members; and everyone was encouraged to bring presents along. Mia and JJ set up the Christmas tree; and in the weeks ahead gradually bought presents.
The party was on Christmas day itself; and by then there were plenty of presents under the Christmas tree. I have to admit that even I did not expect to see so many presents!
Shortly before we started the party, however, my niece, Elysha, gave a short welcoming speech and Christmas greetings to the audience. But when she took the mike, she froze for a bit; JJ came to the rescue. Thus encouraged, she proceeded to finish her speech.
We were all kinda hungry by then, but of course the children were more excited about the presents under the Christmas tree. So Audrey decided to give away the kids' presents first. JJ, I think, had two bags full of presents. But next year, I'm determined to find ways how to detach her doll, Lulu, from her for good.
After that, we invited everyone for dinner. And everyone went round the dining table, taking food. However, some of the invited guests had not arrived. We went ahead with dinner anyway.
Mia ordered 2 huge turkeys for the party. Quite honestly, I'm not such a big fan of turkey. In fact, I prefer chicken. Besides, turkey is much more expensive than chicken as discussed here.
People were coming back to the table for second and even third servings, of course, and that continued on and on for a while. I think the amount of food we had that night was just ridiculous, but that's mainly because of Mia's paranoid fear of running out of food. So she played safe by preparing more. Except that in this case, she made sure that we had much more!
When everyone was more or less settled down after dinner, Audrey was back to the Christmas tree again. The first recipient was my stepmother, Mary, who seemed somewhat surprised that she had a present too. Either that, or perhaps it was the way how she had to figure out that the present was meant for her. She was happy all the same as can be seen in this photo below.
And this is the close-up shot of her present. I'm sure you'd understand why she was unsure—at first—if the present was really for her. Oh! by the way, the present was from my sister, Bridget.
My stepmother frequently refers to Bridget as simply Badut for many years now. And although it's not really relevant to this post, I feel a little compelled to explain how that name came about. Well, we have a curious kind of disease in my family, where we would refer to people indirectly by using the names of well-known people or movie characters. For example, "The Friday 13th fellow" means Jason. It's some kind of a riddle way of naming people, you see. Badut, by the way, originated from Brigitte Bardot, but I'm not quite sure how that Bardot could evolve into Badut somehow. I guess it might have been a case of overdoing it with the pronunciation; or was it because of the natural pronunciation by a Kadazan tongue?
Well, anyway, we continued with the presents one by one until everyone had his and her presents. And then the dreadful karaoke session began. We started off with JJ and Sha-sha singing some Christmas songs.
Some time during all this, I suddenly realised that Dennis' sons, Aqil and Arif, were also there. I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but you'd understand my grave concern that Arif, the younger of the two siblings, is a big fan of Justin Bieber. I mean, I consider it a terrible tragedy that young girls would actually become big fans of the Bieber boy, but how young boys can be his fans too is a big mystery to me! Maybe if you'd just see his hairstyle, you'd understand my concern.
Aqil, on the other hand, as far as I know, is not a fan of Bieber, which is a small relief. I'm not sure why, or how, his hairstyle came about. My best guess is that he had just emerged from a washing machine somehow, but of course I may be wrong. This photo is not doing justice to his hairstyle, of course. To give you some idea, perhaps you'd imagine a dense undergrowth at the floor of a jungle where insects could get trapped forever.
As I said, the amount of food was ridiculous, really. We had rice, noodles, fried chicken wings, vegetables with black mushrooms, sliced fish, two 7kg roasted turkeys, beef stew, and mushroom soup. And if that's not enough, we had Christmas cakes, plus an assortment of puddings. We haven't even had the opportunity to touch the watermelon, papaya and bananas in the kitchen.
Well, I'd say that the party was a success, with Mary's present stealing the show. But I had to go to bed a little early and let Mia take the sole role as the host for the rest of the night, as I had a 21km run first thing the next morning. It wasn't until the next morning while I was running when I suddenly realised that I have forgotten to apply for a special police permit for the Christmas party. I hope we've escaped detectation. Keeping my fingers crossed...