This post is dedicated to all my friends who grew up in Sibu 1950's-1960's....
Having grown up in Colonial days of Sarawak my idea of Christmas has been a very English one with robin and holly and red cherries . Christmas food then would be minced pies from Kim Guan Siang and Mackintosh toffees. The fruit cake would be tinned cakes all the way from Dundee! Days like those did not last of course because of the Communist Insurgency and the formation of Malaysia.
My late father did his best when we moved to Sibu town from rural Pulau Kerto by giving us an English Christmas. He registered all three of us for a small kids' party organised by the wives of the local government officials. My mother was too shy to go and we were then too young to remember except the fact that we had gifts from the red bag and I suppose it was the English Sibu Resident who gave away the gifts and there was no Santa Claus. My father had paid a small fee. I can still remember I had a toy tea set and was delighted by it.
The following month I started school and could not even write the figure "1" on my first day. I had no kindergarten education or pre school education because I was living in Pulau Kerto prior to that! I actually felt very illiterate. The next day my teacher taught me to make a circle and helped me say ZERO. I felt Zero no doubt for a long long time because other town kids who already had two years of pre school were able to write not only the Chinese numerals and but say ABC till Z without prompting.
But I did show my achievement to my mother I remember. O O O O O O all over my second page of my new exercise book for Arithmetic.
But that year my school teachers taught us to sing White Christmas because the radio kept on playing that song before Christmas . I did not know the name Irving Berlin until I went to secondary school But my father was a fan of Danny Kaye and owned a few of Bing Crosby's records.
White Christmas was sung by Bing Crosby in his 1954 musical film "White Christmas" featuring the songs of Irving Berlin including White Christmas. Starring Bing Crosby himself and Danny Kaye.
I was not to know that less than 10 years later my father would pass away suddenly.....He would always be the "Bing Crosby" singing this song forever and ever.....my special part was singing along with the children "listen to the sleigh bells" etc and my father would whistle...We would have only 9 Christmases together and I must say today literally I am still dreaming of a White Christmas..
It is strange that after so many decades I still want to hear my father whistle......
May your days be merry and bright...
and may all your Christmases be white!!