singapore-traffic-christmas-2017
Christmas traffic along Orchard Road in Singapore Terence Ong/Wikimedia Commons

With just a week left for Christmas, the Yuletide spirit seems to be on high with the bells jingling all the way and halls decked up already. Children have geared up to prepare their list for Santa Claus and have commenced scribbling down their most desired items. The stockings shall be hanged in time and the Christmas trees shall be lighted up, but 2017 Christmas might be a different affair altogether.

No X-mas candies this year as Donald Trump messed it up

US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley says women accusers should be heard, even if Donald Trump is target

Santa might be deeply upset because of this earthling. After becoming US President and commander-in-chief, Trump did some weird things. The US President fired the director of the probing agency FBI, who failed to be loyal to him. Moreover, he never bothered about the diplomatic etiquette before blaming London's first Muslim mayor for being indifferent to the London Bridge terror attacks.

Trump abandoned United States' alliance with a Middle East ally just over Twitter and even allowed the Justice Department to prosecute a woman who was found laughing at his new attorney general. Above all, his equations with Kim Jong Un reached the peak as the game of nukes has intensified and there is more than one reason for 2017 Christmas being different under the Trump administration.

2017 Christmas might be a stormy one

Tropical storm Urduja
Tropical depression Urduja warnings Facebook/PAGASA

The Philippines is already under the devastating effects of tropical storm Urduja, which has left more than 30 people dead and 40 people missing. A red warning has been issued and there lies a huge probability of heavy flooding and landslides. The storm hit Eastern Visayas with a wind speed of 55 kph and gusts of 90 kph. Now, another storm Vinta is anticipated by the Southeast Asian country, which is expected to hit the same regions as Urduja. All hope for a cheerful Christmas has been lost of thousands of Filipinos who are stranded due to the storm or had to flee to evacuation centers.

London too might experience a gloomy X-mas. According to Met office, London has a 27.7 percent chance of going white this December. The United States is still recovering from the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey and Irma. These hurricanes have turned out to be the deadliest hurricanes faced by the US since the one that struck the nation in 1900. Christmas shall be bitter for those who lost their near and dear ones this year due to the catastrophe but shall bring hopes to the families in distress.

North Korea, Kim Jong Un, and tension-ridden 2017 X-mas

north korea leader kim jong-un
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guides a target-striking contest of the special operation forces of the Korean People's Army (KPA) to occupy islands in this undated picture provided by KCNA in Pyongyang on 25 August 2017 KCNA/Reuters

Tensions between US and North Korea escalated to new heights as Hawaii started preparing for new missile strikes, blowing sirens for the first time since Cold War. Understandably, for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Hawaii is the easiest target for conducting a missile strike, the way Japanese attacked nearby Pearl Harbor in 1941 during World War Two. The question is not whether Kim Jong Un will conduct the nuclear strike on Hawaii or elsewhere, but his missiles hovering over Japan and South Korea, Christmas 2017 will be different this year.

X-mas 2017 is all about fake Christmas trees?

Upside-down Christmas trees are this years craziest festive trend

The 2017 Christmas will be a whole lot different with many houses being decked up with fake Christmas trees as there seems to be a short supply of these seven-eight foot tall pine and Fraser firs. Lack of supply of Christmas trees has led to a price hike which has forced many to choose fake Christmas trees. There apparently is a shortage of big trees on farms as it takes 12 to 13 years to get a 14-foot long tree.

An expensive Christmas for many

iphone x in china
Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, introduces the iPhone X during a launch event in Cupertino, California, US 12 September 2017 Stephen Lam/Reuters

Apple surely provides excellent user satisfaction which in turn punches a huge hole in one's pocket, but then again, it's worth it. Apple's latest brainchild iPhone X which costs a whopping $999 became a huge craze. To all those who love giving gifts to their family and friends for Christmas, especially the latest iPhone every year, will end up buying an iPhone X this year. Surely, it is going to be an expensive December 25 for all of them.

Agony as ever for 65 million refugees

Rohingya refugees manually drill borewell at Palong Khali refugee camp near Cox's Bazar
Representational picture of a borewell site Reuters

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the number of asylum seekers, refugees and displaced person around the world has crossed 65 million. Crisis in Venezuela has gripped the nation with hunger which is killing the children. Around 11,446 children died in 2016, according to the Health Ministry's official website.

The Rohingyas of Myanmar's Rakhine district too are fleeing to Bangladesh. Syria has become the largest source of new refugees, with 824,000 homeless people in 2016 exiting the country. It is followed by South Sudan, where 740,000 people fled the country because of the civil war. Uganda has taken in thousands of South Sudanese refugees over the last three years.

Christmas is a reminder to all the distressed souls that the yuletide spirit shall bring back the silver lining hidden behind the stormy clouds.