I have no Christmas decor this year. I have no twinkling lights or garlands. I have no giant candy canes or stockings filled with chocolates and furry little toys. Or any ornaments made of silver or gold. Or any knickknacks in the shades of red or green (okay, maybe red, but not green). I don’t even have a tree. Although I do not consider myself a Grinch, I haven’t even thought about Christmas and all the shopping that comes with it…until a few days ago.
I hosted a small dinner party for Thanksgiving, and my friends asked me why I haven’t decorated. My answer was simple and quite nonchalant. I said, “I don’t know.”
I just haven’t found the time in my busy schedule to take out an old white tree tucked inside my storage closet and set it up by the window and surround it with garlands and lights. I just could not get myself to do it. And I don’t know the reason why…
Has the holiday spirit abandoned me? Am I turning into what I fear the most–a Grinch? Is it because my family is now thousands of miles away that I am suffering from some sort of separation anxiety? Or is it because I miss all the holiday cooking that they used to do when they lived just twelve minutes away from my apartment? Whether it is my parents or their cooking (I’d say both), there is no denying that there can only be one place in this world where the smell of pork roast, Cornish hens, ham, different types of stews, spring rolls, sweet rice desserts, custards, and cakes–and all homemade, by the way–can be the closest thing you’ll ever get to heaven.
I miss my parents’ old apartment. It was a place we used for special gatherings, creating memories, and yes, tons of picture taking. After dinner, we’d have dessert, sit in front of the television and watch holiday movies (although there was one Christmas, in particular, where we ended up watching horror movies instead, but that was pretty rare). Then we’d exchange presents. Needless to say, there’s a void in me that needs to be filled. I miss those days. But sadly, I can never bring it back, unless I move to the other side of the planet. That would be tough. Not to mention the amount of planning, sacrifice, and energy entailed to move my entire life there. But that’s what led me to think about making an effort to make the most of the holiday season here in my own little abode, in this little town of Brooklyn.
The tree was now out of the question, but there’s still time for other things. My best friend’s parents had bestowed upon him, before they moved to Florida, cookie jars for the holidays–a pumpkin for Halloween and a turkey for Thanksgiving. They used to have a ginger bread house reserved just for Christmas, but that one shattered into pieces years ago. As my roommate/best friend and I were talking about it one day, a light bulb appeared over my head. It was the missing piece to our cookie jar dilemma, and because it meant a lot to him…we decided that we should get a Christmas cookie jar instead of a tree.
Yes, I’ve searched left and right, high and low. I browsed every single jar available online from Crate and Barrel to Macy’s, but I couldn’t make myself to come to a decision. I even found a collectible, a rare holiday Charlie Brown cookie jar hugging Snoopy. But it was over my budget…way, way over. And the rest were oversized snowmen or Santas that would just be too big and fat. We needed something smaller, something simpler and inexpensive. I even thought about making one on my own to give it that personal touch, but I don’t have clay around the house and/or a kiln to bake ceramic. Obviously, that wasn’t an option. And so I went back to the drawing board.
Finally, after tons of research, and after days of worrying about which one is the best candidate, I arrived at the one that is pictured below. It is not too elaborate, but sweet enough to represent the holiday spirit. And, yes, I did get it online, and one that is definitely mass-produced, but for now it will do its job and add a little twinkle into our holiday experience.
THE COOKIE JAR