Sunday, December 26, 2004

Revelling in the Christmas Spirit

This year, more than ever, that magical feeling known as Christmas - and its accompanying soundtrack that sounds suspiciously like Metro's Christmas ad of old - hardly registered.

As I've been lamenting to G, it feels awfully commercialized and I have absolutely no desire to go out.

My main source of "good will and peace toward mankind" were the newspaper's countless ads blandly trumpeting Christmas sale after Christmas sale, day after day. On Christmas day itself, one was already promoting its post-Christmas and pre-Lunar New Year sale.

Read: Christmas is about giving... so give us your money! Come fulfill your consumerist needs through our festive discounts and exclusive credit card privileges!

As I did the customary Tour de Orchard Lights, the only eye-catching decoration this year were the gyrating Christmas trees - brought to you by Visa.

As usual, as if milling in shopping-crazy and sale-motivated crowds ain't bad enough, the malls have to go and play cheesy Christmas music that only drives the musical snobs in us mad.

Back in the office, there's the numerous gifts of chocolates (1000kCal per serving) and the omnipresent logcake (500kCal per slice) which you grudgingly accept while making a mental note to run an extra km or swim an extra lap to compensate.

Eventually Christmas loses its appeal for all of us. If you're 25 and still bounding out of bed on Christmas day to flick the TV on in the morning to scan for worthy cartoons, it's time to ditch the ninja turtle PJ's.

Christmas simply isn't congruous with Singaporean culture - or our sweltering climate, for that matter. If Santa did make it here in his ridiculously thick outfit and generous beard, he'd suffer a heat stroke. But first his reindeer convoy would get detained by the traffic police and it would take him 2 years for the traffic police to grant him a license to drive his quaint but admittedly green vehicle.

If my generation couldn't believe that Santa would squeeze down the rubbish chute in HDB flats, today's Gen Y certainly won't be distracted from their hyper-electronic lifestyles.

Filling out greeting cards en masse with pretty/witty but generally meaningless Christmas phrases became an impersonal, time-consuming chore years ago. Hence receiving cards from me is now a privilege reserved for close friends (though for others, it's simply another tool in their account servicing strategy).

Of course, my homemade cards were a hit with my fans this year, if I do say so myself.


There was no Christmas tree at home this year, instead palpable grumpy boredom and flashes of irritation.

How did I spend Christmas day? T'was an evening, not with family but with close friends, complete with BBQ foods & Christmas spirits that flowed late into the night.

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