Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Douglas Everett

I really can’t stay
I’ve got to go away
But baby it’s cold outside…
~Dean Martin~

Growing up in the city, one would presume Christmas to be a romantic break from the usual setting of cars and noise. Yet

somehow, even with the reposeful romantic jazz as background music in every shop, around every corner – musically painting portraits of the Christmas spirit – the speed continues as the city soars through its frantic shopping and spending.

Modern Christmas is not what the traditional stereotypes made it out to be – the supposition that Christmas is meant for family and friends is half true… but modern Christmas has evolved into a time of spending, partying, and keeping oneself busy. Rather than taking time out to spend with loved ones, modern Christmas has become a time to spend with everyone you haven’t made the time for throughout the rest of the year. Modern Christmas has become an excuse to see everyone you feel obliged to see because lets face it, living in the city, Christmas is the only time one can really make the effort – Christmas bonuses as work means extra spending on those we’ve failed to keep in contact with; Christmas holidays mean family reunion with family friends you didn’t even know your parents knew; Christmas songs mean hours and hours of practicing performance songs that will only be played once a year…

Traditionally, Christmas was meant to be a time of love and giving – but modern Christmas, not to say that it’s not about love, but perhaps living in a cosmopolitan city such as Hong Kong, the Christmas focus revolves around bonuses and benefits – materialistic means of managing failed relationships and friendships.

There is no Santa – and even from a young age, children have reasoned that fairy tales have an unlikely chance of becoming reality. The dreams of a childhood are replaced with material gifts from parents; the happiness of the child is about the amount of gifts – the latest gadget, the most updated software, the newest cartoon computer game.

The cosmopolitan city leaves no room for dreams, no room for pretense; yet the level of superficiality is as real as it gets… the shallowness of a society so prideful and busy that ones own children don’t even see the fantasy of Christmas… modern Christmas in a city is not like the movies depict. And it takes one to live the reality to see the fantasy of a romantic city-Christmas only happens in the movies of New York city.

Reality is never a fantasy, yet a fantasy is replaced by reality.

I keep my distance
But you still catch my eye
Tell me baby
Do you recognize me?
~Taylor Swift~

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