Choose your parallel universe

It's always weird, how we get images of a snowy, chilly Christmas despite being in a tropical country.

Take today. Anyone who (still) plays Animal Crossing would know that today is Toy Day, which boils down to a reindeer character enlisting you to distribute gifts to the folks you have so meticulously curated on the island you have so meticulously curated. Now, sure, toys are universal, but today is also a really snowy day on the island, which makes sense until you look out of your real-life window and realize it's, like, really sunny. Like, blindingly sunny.

Sure, we could perhaps rip a page off the folks in the Southern Hemisphere, where Christmas happens in the summer and - at least judging from the Australian and Antipodean examples - the day itself is punctuated by barbeques and beer by the beach. But it doesn't quite work either. The beaches are far away (I say this as a city dweller) and we pride ourselves on being a family-oriented culture, so we all instead gather in a big house and deal with distant relatives and their inappropriate remarks.

Still, it's a hot day, and our Christmas songs are about long non-existent cooler climes, and we're bombarded by images of snow.

But then, the images we get don't always correspond with the realities we live. Like, right now, it's very likely we won't have any big family reunions. At least there won't be on my part. I'm just meeting with my immediate folks today - I'm writing this from the old home in the dirty south - and with Shalla's folks in the new year. No big family reunions. No dealing with people who are keen to shove antiquated social mindsets and political beliefs. No sticky, stinky, sweaty feeling. No feeling left out because nobody thinks you'd want to engage with them, and really, you don't want to engage with them, either.

Yeah, I'd rather be in this parallel universe where we spend time with the folks we truly choose to be with. But, again, the images we get don't always correspond with the realities we live. Maybe I'll be quietly disappointed next year.

And your responses...

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