Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time


It may have been the iconic John Lennon who originally coined these words, but of late it’s been me who has lived its weight. Yes, I’m talking about the infamous Christmas holidays which has got every radio station crapping its pants with Mariah jingles and non-religious cab driver wishing passengers with seasonal greetings.

Christmas this year was smashing fun. The Wongs’ Annual Christmas Eve Party invited – as usual – the neighbours, the cousins, and the weird friends. The night started relatively slow, picking up once the cousins made their fashionable way into the house and the games of Heads Up and Psych commenced.

Funny how some things never change, even after more than a decade of attending your parents’ parties. The most distinct being the clear dissection of ‘adult’ and ‘kid’ areas, which still prevailed even though I was soon approaching my mid-twenties. I found myself more drawn to Arthur Christmas playing on the telly, as compared to the forced conversations happening on the patio outside. #StillNotAKid

Then came the main difference between parties as a kid versus parties now: The washing up.

Unlike my adolescent counterparts, clearing the wine glasses (even though I don’t drink), packing up the leftover food (that will be tomorrow’s lunch), and wiping up spilt messes became mandatory. An action of my own volition – yes, I surprised myself there too – even though it was 2am and my head was spinning from the fatigue.

I personally felt drained from the night’s festivities. And if that was how I felt, the occasional shake of the hand withstanding, I could’ve imagined how my parents’ felt – what with the night’s entertaining and non-stop food/drink refills.

Looking back, I felt great respect for my parents, who not only spent hundreds out of their own pocket to host a party that everyone will enjoy but also be cleaning up after our messes, never asking my sister and I to lift a finger. From rearranging the furniture in preparation for the party to doing a 3am mop post-party, it was all them.

Christmas parties are always a ball at the Wongs, and I’m incredibly grateful to have loving parents who embrace every bit of the season. In defiance of the lethargy that follows, it made for a terrific childhood, if anything.