Christmas Celebration With Family, Friends And Great Music

How would I summarise my Christmas celebration? Different people have different ideas of what constitutes the true spirit of the festive season:

  • The company of family and friends for the holidays
  • The smells and sights of a Christmas Eve dinner
  • Watching the kids eagerly unwrapping their Christmas presents
Christmas celebration dinner
Bonding with family and guests are fostered over a scrumptious Christmas Eve dinner.

For me, Christmas celebration is all about spending quality time with my family. But there’s another part of the sum that makes my Christmas, well, Christmas! My family, myself included, love music. We’d play instruments together. We’d sing together. We’d listen to each other’s playlists.

“Music, at its essence, is what gives us memories. And the longer a song has existed in our lives, the more memories we have of it.”

Stevie Wonder, American Musician

So it makes perfect sense for us to have good music that adds colours to our Christmas celebration. Here’s my reminiscent of our preparation and celebration for last year’s Christmas, which will give you an idea of how much music means to us during the festive season.

T-Minus One Day Until Christmas Celebration

I was prepping for the four-hour drive to our parents’ home up north. My brother and sister, Hank and Janet, and my cousin, Hope, decided to ‘honour’ me with the title of the designated driver. Which I didn’t mind, really, because we were driving home with my brother’s sedan instead of my car. However, there was one minor detail that I overlooked. My brother’s car doesn’t come with a Bluetooth player!

We could just chat along the way, but I couldn’t fathom driving for four hours without any music. Playing from a phone’s loudspeaker wouldn’t do the trick, either. Fortunately, I still kept my JOC mini speaker in good shape. Don’t let the size and looks of this speaker fool you. It may look like a transistor radio from the ’90s, but the JOC packs a serious punch!

JOC X-Bass
My trusted JOC X-Bass speaker.

Its Bluetooth compatibility allows us to link our phones with the JOC to play music through its small-but-mighty speakers. The JOC lasted for three hours at a full blast, which gave us ample time to rotate our Spotify playlists on the speaker. A well-spent MYR40 for the JOC, I would say.

Home Sweet Home!

Fortunately, the traffic was kind to us on that particular day before Christmas Eve. By the time we reached our parents’ house, the place was a cacophony of voices and laughter of my parents, uncles, aunties and cousins. I was finally home for Christmas!

After dinner, we sat in the hall and caught up with each other. However, it was just a matter of time before Uncle Steve made a request that was actually on everyone’s mind.

“Hey everyone! The night is still young. Who will have the honour of the microphone first?” proclaimed Uncle Steve. Yup, it’s karaoke time!

A Simple Karaoke Setup That Rivalled KTV (Karaoke Outlet)

My cousin, Nat, immediately whipped out this really neat speaker which doubles as a karaoke unit. I wasn’t quite impressed with it at first since portable karaoke unit is a dime a dozen these days.

However, my scepticism was proven baseless when I saw how awesome the speaker was! It was easy to pass the wireless mics around and move freely when you sing. The TV worked separately from the speaker by playing a slew of karaoke music video from YouTube, and the speaker’s only job is to amplify the singer’s voice.

SDRD SD-301 portable Bluetooth speaker for Christmas celebration
The SDRD SD-301 speaker. This is what you’ll get when you compress a life-size KTV into a portable Bluetooth speaker.

Clearly impressed, I immediately learned the model of the speaker – SDRD SD-301. It comes with handy features of Bluetooth compatibility, USB and TF Card readability. That’s a jam-packed value for a MYR220 price tag!

So if anyone told you that you need to spend up to MYR80 per pax at the local KTV to karaoke for a few hours, just walk in the opposite direction and purchase the SD-301 instead. You’ll get a better deal. This much I can promise you!

T-Minus 15-Hours Until Christmas Celebration

The countdown to Christmas was ticking down in less than a day. Time to roll up the sleeves and get down to business! Everyone in our parents’ household was occupied with Christmas preparations. The carpets need to be vacuumed. The Christmas tree needs decorations. The lawn needs trimming. However, none of these departments was busier than the flurry in the kitchen. An epic Christmas feast was in the making.

Even in the heat of Christmas feast preparations, my mother, brother and aunties went through their paces in the kitchen like pros! The sound of oldies and pop music from the radio station can be heard from my JOC speaker on the kitchen cabinet. I still remember my aunty’s remark about the serenity of the hectic situation in the kitchen.”Music is always the best therapeutic medium ever!” she commented.

Meanwhile, the kids were occupied with an all-time Christmas classic, “Home Alone” on the TV. The audio was amplified with Nat’s SD-301 speaker, thanks to the connection between the speaker and the TV through an audio jack.

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

By evening, the whole house was spick and span. The feast was ready to be served. Some of us were getting ready to go to the church for sermon and Christmas carols.

However, the Christmas spirit shone through after everyone returned to our parents’ house from the church. A lavish homemade meal was spread throughout the table for everyone to enjoy at their heart’s content. And Uncle Steve was back at it again with the karaoke after dinner. Boy, that man can really eat, and still kill it with his singing chops!

But the best part of the Christmas Eve dinner? The church’s carolling troupe made a courtesy stop at our parents’ house! Since Aunty Carter can hardly walk, my father requested the troupe to show up on our doorstep as a surprise for his elder sister.

Just when I thought the surprise ends there, my mother had another trick up her sleeve. Turned out she has her own speaker as well! I didn’t know what to make of it, but it was bigger than mine or Nat’s speaker. It has wheels and a telescoping handle. Looked like a piece of luggage with a speaker, if you’d ask me.

SY-88 Bluetooth speaker
The SY-88 speaker – I learnt that my mum bought this speaker to play music for the community Zumba and Taichi workouts in the neighbourhood.

And the thing comes with its own wireless mic! So Mum passed the mic to the leader of the troupe who proceeded to serenade our entire household with their calming renditions of classics, such as “Silent Night” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”.

An Impromptu Stand-Up Routine For Christmas Celebration

You’d think the speaker will go back to the store where it belongs after the troupe was done with their singing. Nope! Because we happen to have a comedian in our family. That’s Uncle Scott for you! He’s a wholesome person, but he does have a knack for jokes and stand-up routines.

So there he went, stopping my mum from storing the speaker and proceeded to share his hilarious materials with Mum’s mic and speaker for a good 20 minutes. Thanks for the laughs, Uncle Scott! Christmas Eve wouldn’t be the same without you.

We all exchanged warm wishes and hugs when the clock struck midnight. Christmas celebration had officially begun! Another highlight of the celebration was obviously the unwrapping of gifts.

Oh, and guess what Nat got me for Christmas this year?

The SDRD SD-301 speaker! Nat figured I should have more firepower when I work out since I have a habit of listening to music when I’m going through my drill. What can I say? Listening to metal at full blast gives me the motivation to push my physical limits. Thank you, Nat. You rock!

Where Can You Get The Speakers?

If you’d like to get all the speakers that I’ve shared in my recounting of Christmas celebration, you can purchase all of them for less than MYR600!

The three speakers
The triple treats!

Head over to M&S Station located at SK-11, 2nd Floor (kiosk in front of Kaison), Setapak Central Mall, 53300 Setapak, Kuala Lumpur, to get your hands on the speakers. They’re more than happy to welcome you.

Alternatively, you can give them a call at +6012 213 9654 for any enquiries.

* The events and characters depicted in this story are purely fictional. However, you can still get the speakers for real. The writer also highly recommends you to challenge yourself and your guests to karaoke to Adele’s “Someone Like You” to see who can best match Adele’s voice note-for-note.

About Hisham ARIS

Materials engineer by training, with an affinity for all things tech. He's a self-taught writer, with an uncanny ability to translate technical jargon into comprehensible human language.

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