Saturday, December 15, 2012
My Christmas Memories
Dad was a staff in Singapore Polytechnic, and all of us kids were invited to a Christmas Eve Party every year.
During my childhood (before I entered secondary school), I like and look forward to Christmas every year. It was a day filled with fun and joy. That was also the only day I can enjoy many cartoons in one run and eat many types of candies, cakes and chocolates at the full day Christmas party organised by the Staff Welfare Club or Association.
Singapore Polytechnic was the only polytechnic I knew when I was in primary school, and we could only follow our Dad there on Christmas Eve. The whole family went together, and enjoyed good food and entertaining programmes all day long. In addition, we were given colourful balloons and wonderful presents to bring home.
The highlight of the day was the present-giving time. Santa Claus in white and red, wearing a warm smile, gave us presents one by one. We lined up and were very obedient in this present-giving parade. Unfortunately, we were not rich enough to own a camera. I do not remember having any personal photos taken on Christmas Eve with Santa Claus at the Poly. Yet the Christmas pictures in my memory are so clear that it could have happened yesterday!
Santa Claus is always a round-faced Westerner with a white beard! I have never seen one Chinese Santa Claus when I was a kid, and it matches what is found in the story book illustration pages. So, I believed Santa Claus is from the West, and it is only white Westerners who are qualified to dress and act like one. I will see this group of Santa Claus as the real ones. The Chinese ones I see in the later part of my life, cannot be the real one in my mind! I am not kidding, I mean it!
That is perhaps the result of colonisation, or just the fact that the Staff Recreation Club at Singapore Polytechnic make it a point to have the role of Santa Claus acted by overseas senior or teacher staff.
Many of us take it for granted that a Westerner will be chosen to play Santa Claus. I as a kid, just take what I see as real and undeniable!