In America the Jews have Chinese food and a movie on Christmas. Nothing else is open - it's sort of a religious (and porky, sometimes!) experience. Everyone does it.
I blogged about this last year, but in Singapore, everything is open. It feels like a regular Saturday or Sunday. Most people here are Chinese anyway, but definitely the Chinese food is open...and so is the Indian food and all of the rest of the food. The movies are open too and so is all other forms of entertainment. (Unfortunately the one thing that wasn't open is my amazing coffee guy, Ben, and he's not even Christian! But his kids were in town and he wanted to spend time with them...fine...I get it, but I missed the coffee!)
The mall is open too. In fact, here, they have extended Christmas shopping hours on Christmas.
I only find this all surprising (each year apparently...) because Christmas appears to be a big deal in the lead up to it. There are Christmas decorations and music EVERYWHERE, and it seems like people will really care when it finally comes. Then it comes...and goes...and you don't really feel anything. Again - I wrote this last year, but the one time we do feel a difference is on Chinese New Year. Then everything is closed and it really feels like something is different.
We celebrated Christmas eve this year with a few Jews, a Christian and a Hindu...and a nice Shabbat dinner (with good food but a fabulous Julia cake). We spent the day itself getting things done around the house. We put up some fish and coral on the walls in Samara's room (she was getting bored), we packed up the pack and play, we did other random things...life is so different when you have a kid. We even enjoyed doing nothing! (I NEVER used to enjoy doing nothing! Now I could just look at Samara pretty much all day, and it's totally exciting - so lame, I know).
Yesterday was also my first day running since last JANUARY (it got painful to run right when I got pregnant...I switched to yoga only, mostly). I had this not-so-secret fear that my body would never go back to normal after the yuck that it went through with Samara's birth. I was scared that I wouldn't be able to run or hike or expend lots of energy again. Between Australia and yesterday, though, I'm pretty confident that I'm almost there, and I'm not worried at all anymore. Now I just have to find the time to run once I go back to work...