By Anthony Dylan

In a blink of an eye, the season of Christmas is yet again at our doorstep. The year 2021 has passed so fast that you wonder where time went.  Each of us has gone through a year which is felt in general to be quite trying; sometimes even challenging to a point that you do not have much time for your own self.

Nevertheless, time waits for no man. We cannot turn back time as the time lapsed would be time in memory. In saying that, the future is still uncertain. We do not know if 2022 would turn out better than 2021 or even 2020. The two years have flown past. These events within the last two years would be etched in our memory based on individual reasons. We can only proceed with the current times heading into the future.

This would be the first time in as many years that I have last set foot in Kuching. The last time I was home was for the Christmas of the year 2019. I missed last year’s Christmas of 2020 due to the Covid 19 Movement Control Order. There are many things which I cannot undo or relive as some things are just not possible. One must just face reality and to celebrate life as much as one could.

It would a sentimental homecoming for me this Christmas of 2021. I look forward to a Christmas I missed. There will be the traditional roast turkey as well and hopefully even a leg of lamb. A small family get-together it will be this time. It has been a while since I had taken a flight. I do not know what to expect. Before me, only my two brothers have gone back using either MAS or Malindo. I would be using AirAsia. Already as of now, AirAsia is up to their usual self of changing their flight times. They have revised my flight to an hour plus later. Let us hope they do not yet again go back to their habits.

I am looking forward to seeing the Christmas decorations in shopping centres around Klang Valley yet, still cautious as the infectivity rate as I write this is still above 1.0. Many shopping centres have started to dress up their common areas in the hope of adding a much-anticipated cheer after a whole year of tiring movement control orders. Perhaps this would spur some sort of consistent normalcy leading towards the Chinese New Year on 1 February 2022.

Christmas would be a huge thing for many returning home to Sabah and Sarawak this year as the easing of movements have allowed so. I could just imagine the crowd at the KLIA and KLIA2 airports as well as many other airports within the Peninsula heading to Sabah and Sarawak.

The local airlines have now started to offer more and more flights and hopefully the costs would go down instead of going up. As we are all aware now, the Sarawak elections is looming near, and this would require eligible voters to come home to vote. The result may surprise many. The key agenda in Sarawak for the coming elections would be the Malaysia Agreement 1963. There would be some who would also tout the possibility of independence.

It would be interesting indeed as the SOPs for the election campaign would also change the way how elections are run. I dare say that they would use the last Melaka election as a guideline. However, Sarawak is a large place and with many rural areas with poor internet connection and mobility infrastructure. This situation has not improved much since 1963 though Sarawak is one of the largest tax revenue providers with oil and gas.

How do many of us spend Christmas? It would revolve around the family circle. Christmas Eve will be one where family would gather for the reunion dinner followed by the Midnight mass. Those who could not stay up for mass would do so the next morning. Previously, we would also expect open houses but at this moment, caution is in the air. There is still too much risk.

It is better to already celebrate the ability to come home to celebrate with family after two years and missing Christmas of 2020. We look forward to that smile on everyone’s faces and the warmth of being welcomed home. I am sure it would be a very touching moment for all of us. It is a long way home. It has been a hard long wait. Some of us missed very important events due to Covid 19.

The Christmas tree has been set up and lighted. The turkey is in the freezer. It is time to seek out some more presents to bring home. There would be lots to talk about. I do not discount that messenger, telegram or zoom calls would still be used.

Let us look forward to a wonderful Christmas of 2021.Let us Celebrate Life. Here is wishing everyone a Blessed Merry Christmas 2021.