Thursday, 9 December 2010

My Christmas Post

Okay Tis the Season to be Jolly... Christmas time is here. And once again all the shopping malls try to outdo each other with the decorations, Christmas trees, Snowmen, Santas and reindeers, hot Santarinas and candy canes and carolling tunes blasting for the world to hear. Literally every shopping mall I step into has turned into a Winter Wonderland. Okay in America it’s cold. This is Malaysia. What winter? We're just really unoriginal in commercialising Christmas.

And I’m very sure the Malaysian kids who grow up with all this Snowman and White Christmas rubbish get really confused because in actual natural reality, there’s never any snow... but they don’t realise what they've experienced was the air-cond, white cotton and Indian Santa Clause with koko jelly or something.

Characters of the shopping mall Christmas.

Ask any kid or teenager what comes to mind, when they think about Christmas and the answer will be presents! Santa Clause! Snow!! (even from the Malaysian kids =.=”) christmas tree!

Sadly, none of this is actually what Christmas is about.
Christmas is when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. That’s it.

 No Santa.

 No reindeer.

No sexy chicks giving out candy. 


When we were really young, we watched the kids on television getting presents that Santa clause gave them, a surprise! We loved surprises. So my siblings and I begged our parents to surprise us one year with whatever gifts they could think of. It was so exciting. Everyday I fantasized getting a Baby doll that could eat from a spoon or a brand new masak-masak set!

On Christmas morning, we rushed ran STAMPEDED down the stairs and under the tree were some pencil boxes, a ball and a stack of chairs...

Apparently, the pressure of individualised gifts was too much. After that, we insisted on choosing or own presents, so my dad gave us each RM 35 to spend. At the time, we felt like we inherited a million bucks or least I did. =D=D

The crib.

More important than the Christmas tree is the crib or the nativity set which is a model of a manger(place where the cows ate) where Jesus was born. We put it up to remember his humble beginnings with his family where Mary gave birth in a smelly manger because there were no available rooms around.

When we were younger, my dad used to make one every year instead of buying the set from the shop. He would cut out a cardboard box and make two floors, and we would collect dry grass from the playground nearby for hay in the manger. He would make a hole in the cardboard roof and fit a light bulb through giving the stable a warm glow. 

After we got older he stopped and told us to start doing it. I have made the crib twice, and probably am going to do it this year as well. You see, the crib often is put second or forgot about in the rush of decorating the house and the tree with mistletoe, wreaths and bells. Not good, because, baby Jesus won’t have a place to be born and it is his birthday after all.

Most importantly, Christmas to me is about family and being together with loved ones to share the joy of Jesus’ birth. Whether we sit around watching television, or just eat, or put up the tree, it has to be done with the family...then my Christmas would be awesome.
Last but not least,  


Thursday, 2 December 2010

Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz

This novel was recommended by Jacinta; she told me to read it and didn't say anything else about it. It was also a book in the Oprah's book Club, but then again so was She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb and I hated that. Anyway the book.

Loved it.

Its a very cosy little book, something you must read sitting very comfortably curled up somewhere with something to munch (in my case Lexus cheese biscuits)  to truly savour the words and descriptions in the novel. I would categorise it under family drama, but not in an over-the-top-soap opera-Bold and Beautiful way. Very realistic and above all believable. No character has any exaggerated heroism; in the sense that everyone has their moments where the reader can stop and admire what they have done. Her characters are all wholesome; sometimes you just hate them, other times you can't help but pity them for what they're going through.

I think the author has a true sense of human emotions, even the slightly more complex mix of emotions is portrayed through her characters not just the main happy, sad, love and hate. In that way, reading this novel was similar to reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

I found the book very subtly predictable, very subtly, like one would get a hint suddenly or suddenly would come across a  word that would suddenly not fit, making you turn back at least thirty pages and look for clues in the early chapters. I liked doing it. hee hee. Having said that, the predictability didn't suck the fun out of reading it like most books do. It worked to the novel's advantage and I wanted to carry on.

Finishing this novel you don't even demand a happy ending, as I always do with Nicholas Sparks, instead you humbly accept the closing given and ponder on that for a while. All I will say is it was a very satisfactory ending. Tee hee. so thanks Jes for that book.