Welcome back for our last little post of the year. How was your Christmas?
Ours was subdued, cosy and a little chaotic. Louise and I decided to gift each other DIY curtain bangs at 11.30pm on Christmas Eve. We didn’t feel festive at all, but it was kinda nice to stay up and belly laugh and follow a YouTube video to casually cut a new FRINGE.
We scheduled a few festive Zoom calls, as we’re in a Tier 4 area in the UK, meaning we couldn’t mix any households at all. Odd as it may have been to celebrate Christmas with my brother over a video call, to hang with our cousins each having solo Christmas Days, and open presents with Harvey over a video call, it was certainly a day to remember. And I think that’s also what Christmas is about – making memories and starting traditions.
I usually feel a little… anxious? Stressed? Self-conscious? when it comes to Christmas Day, mostly since I began sharing some of my life online. But this year, it was different. Everybody’s Christmases looked different to usual. So we woke up and ate dumplings made by Mama. I played on my Nintendo Switch. Gobbled some chocolate. I drank coffee, not Buck’s Fizz. We had our Christmas dinner, a random roast that none of us Chai’s really know how to prepare for we never cook or eat roasts. We watched the Queen’s address, then some episodes of Mama’s TVB drama. We made bowls of glutinous rice, because it’s weird to go a day without rice. No crackers or centrepieces or those swish only-for-Christmas crockery sets that I see on Instagram.
Christmas as an immigrant family is joyful, but for some of us first-generation immigrant children, it can feel plagued with anxiety as you notice how different your Christmas is to white Christmases on Instagram. This year, I felt that I could shake my own insecurities and embrace how we do it.
Anyway, wasn’t that quite the festive ramble?!
As we home in on the final week of 2020, I wanted to share some more of my (positive) reflections from what has truly been a collectively grim year. We did it, y’all.
The world was shaken and stirred. For many of us, the way the world worked wasn’t working anymore. Hundreds and thousands of people had already been committing to slower living, minimalism, prioritising wellbeing and personal time… The pandemic meant that most of the world was forced into such a life. And, for me, it was largely great. No commutes, more time to be with my thoughts and for creative projects, headspace to evaluate everything that had been forcibly taken from us.
We all learned and unlearned. I feel all sorts of feels about this one. Black Lives Matter became the most important uprising of our time. And it shocked the world into action. Despite the sad reality behind the catalyst, I’m grateful that the world does slowly seem to be moving to better horizons and also for the opportunity to continue learning from my place of privilege.
I found my voice. Arguably I’ve had a voice since I was child, since I began this blog in 2009 and again since I pivoted to a lifestyle blog in recent years. Social media might be one of the scariest places I’ve travelled to, but it amplified my little voice. I started a movement at the start of the pandemic, when racial micro-aggressions led to people boycotting Chinese takeaways; it reached 19 million people, and I ended up boosting collective sales and appearing on several radio shows and podcasts. I’ve endured some pretty disgusting behaviour and comments throughout the pandemic, but I’ve also been able to share those experiences in a bid to turn the tide.
Our community is so strong and inspiring. In a year where I’ve spent nine months in a personal lockdown, I’ve never felt more grateful for you. Every comment, DM, ‘Like’, share (especially the shares), email, etc. has uplifted me beyond measure. Whether it’s to call me out about something I’ve had a bad take on or to say ‘thanks, me too!’, I’ve really remembered why I started this blog in the first place – to connect with people. Our Discord community is thriving, and I LOVE getting to chat to you all more openly there and rambling about all sorts on things. Truly, you all make me a better person.
Thank you all so much for putting a positive spin on 2020 with me. I’ll see you in 2021 for (likely) more of the same!