During the Christmas break, the unhappy moments just kept piling up for me. It all seemed to be increasingly about the festivities and the presents rather than about celebrating our love for each other.

Family members argued about our Christmas Day dinner, relationships sustained permanent damage, an aunt fainted due to stress, and someone blew off his hand in the days leading up to New Year’s Eve. What should have been a wonderful evening ended in a minor disaster.

Skeleton scarves

Things were different last year, when I went to Bali and did exactly what I wanted to do. No pressure, no cold temperatures; just lovely weather and gorgeous beaches. My Christmas ended in a villa where my girlfriends and I drank to the fact that we had hardly experienced any lows that year. We were tired but feeling happy when our evening ground to a halt. It seemed as though our Christmas was going to be completely free from unhappy moments. And so we got on our scooters and headed back to our holiday homes.

I was riding pillion with a friend, and we exited the motorway to enter my street. As we braked to enter the gate, two guys on a scooter drew close to us on the right-hand side. The street was dark, but I could tell they had covered their faces with scarves showing skeletons. Yelling at us in Indonesian, they came up to our side. Suddenly they leaned our way and started yanking at my friend’s purse. After three tugs, the purse broke, and the guys drove off with my friend’s phone, money and keys.

We were very sad, and just like every year, it seemed as if the timing of the bad event couldn’t have been worse. I rang my other friends, and within an hour we were all gathered at the house of my friend who got mugged. We sat down in front of her door, completely in shock. After a while, her landlord showed up with a spare key, and we all sat down on her bed.

For a brief moment, it seemed as if our world had fallen apart, but then we realised we had merely lost some objects. We agreed to look after each other, and not to let our friend fend for herself. And however unhappy the moment might have seemed, it did inadvertently give us that which Christmas is really about.

Moo Miero is a student attending the Erasmus School of Law