Monday, December 26, 2005

Boxing Night

[Quote of the post] "Things are only complicated when you complicate them." -KW [Song of the post] Finale B - RentAnother Christmas; another year.

I had thought of a lot of things to write here, but I seem to have missed out the beginning. So I'll just go into it. Here's my Christmas haul this year:
  1. Computer version of the Gameboy version of the Pokemon TCG from JX. (Thank you!)
  2. Offer to give a deck or two of Pokemon TCG from KW (Thank you!)
  3. Offer to give me a dolphin plushie from KW. (Thank you!)
  4. Offer to go watch Narnia from ZQ. (Thank you!)
  5. An e-card from Daniel. (Thank you!)
  6. A Christmas Ang Pao from my aunt. (Thank you!)
  7. A notepad from JK. (Thank you!)
  8. Chocolates from an aunt. (Thank you!)
  9. Chocolates from a cousin. (Thank you!)
  10. Chococlates from another cousin. I'm not sure if it includes the calendar, but I'll count it.(Thank you!)
  11. Hieloglyphic ruler and papyrus bookmark from Egypt from an aunt. (Thank you!)
  12. An IOU for a present from an aunt. (Thank you...!)

Quite a haul, huh? Considering that #7, #8 and #9 were for the whole family, I think the only wrapping paper I tore this year was from JK's present. But that's nothing, NOTHING compared to my give-away list.

My Christmas give-away list this year:

  1. Absolutely nothing.

After intending to give everyone a scan, after working about a week on it, after spending hours with my mom looking for a printer-scanner-photocopier, I didn't do it. I still don't have a scanner. The TNN group pic is still lying on my table. My friends still don't have their Christmas present.

What a fun holiday it has been, huh? What with the parties, and the tuition, and the Chinese homework... so fun! I don't remember Christmas being this... enjoyable...!
Oh, and school's starting in a week. But, hey! Look on the bright side! There's still one whole week left! Oh, but three days have been taken up by a prefect's camp, so that leaves about four. Oh, wait, tomorrow you've got an FPS meeting until 2.30pm, then you've got to go cut your hair, take a passport photo, finish your Chinese homework... so that leaves... how many? Oh, but you may be incapacitated on Saturday after your camp. So it's just Sunday and Monday! Oh, but Sunday you'll wake up late, go to your grandparents' house, stay out until past dinner time, come home and waste your night on the computer, so that just leaves Monday I guess. Oh, but Monday you have to pack for school, father will be complaining about how you haven't read your school books, mother will be nagging about your school shorts being too... short... and you won't be able to enjoy anything because of the load of responsibilities on your back. What about today? Oh, today... indisposed by a horrible itchy nose, tuition in the morning, father's friend's place for lunch... Narnia before dinner... hey! Narnia! That's fun! Yeah! So, two glorius hours of Narnia! Whee!


Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market-place, and cried incessantly: "I am looking for Christmas! I am looking for Christmas!" As many of those who did believed in Christmas shopping were standing together there, he excited considerable laughter. Have you lost it, then? said one. Did it lose its way? said another. Or is it hiding? Is it afraid of us? Has it gone on a voyage? or emigrated? Thus they shouted and laughed. The madman sprang into their midst and pierced them with his glances. "Where has Christmas gone?" he cried.

"I shall tell you. We have killed it - you and I. We are its murderers. But how have we done this? How were we able to cut down the tree? Who gave us the expenses to wipe out the entire holiday? What did we do when we untied the lights from the tree? Whether is it blinking now? Whether we are giving now? Away from all holidays? Are we not perpetually taking? Backward, sideward, forward, from all directions? Is there any give and take left? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of the winter's wind? Has it not become colder? Is it not more and more night coming on all the time? Must not lanterns be lit in the morning? Do we not hear anything yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying Christmas? Do we not smell anything yet of Christmas's decomposition? Holidays too decompose. Christmas is dead. Christmas remains dead. And we have killed it. How shall we, murderers of all murderers, console ourselves? That which was the holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet celebrated has bled to death under our economy. Who will wipe this blood off us? With what water could we purify ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we need to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we not ourselves become gods simply to be worthy of it? There has never been a greater holiday; and whosoever shall be born after us - for the sake of this holiday he shall be part of a higher history than all history hitherto." -Adapted from Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science 108, taken from Herrick's blog.


I'm not Christian; I wouldn't appreciate this holiday as much as Christians do. But the past few years, I knew that it was a special day. It was a day of feasting, of good food, of much travel. But best of all, on Christmas day, the first thing in the morning, the wrapping paper would fly, and shouts of glee as another toy or game was unwrapped for the first time. It would be a happy time, a happy day. Not this year.

Only one present I had this year was wrapped; two if you count Zipped folders. Christmas never felt so... cold and empty. This year for Christmas, we had a party at our new house, and all our aunts came, and at night we went to my cousin's place. In all, we went to four parties this holiday season, and I've had enough ham and beef to last me till next Christmas.

I cried on Christmas night. Cried. Not all-out tears, just uncontrollable sobbing, like if you eat eight cherries supplied from that nice little old lady who lives in the cave with her raven and talking cate on a Murderous Maths cake to teach fractions. I realised the reason I haven't gotten presents this Christmas is because I've been a naughty boy. Naughty enough to be cut from the nice list. I've got a week to be angsty; I'm going to make full use of it.

Picture this. You're in your room, changing your bedsheets, irritated because your nose is all itchy, and you know that your parents are in their room ripping open their presents while you're changing dusty bedsheets with a sensitive nose. You know you could have gotten at least one present if you'd just told your uncle what you wanted when he called, but you were being nice and said that it was okay and that you didn't need anything.

I hate getting older. Time slips by so fast. So much more is required of you. My aunt suggested getting us (my brother and I) a chess clock. Or getting me a shaver. When your body gets older, but your heart and mind stay 14 for life, this sort of thing happens to you.

I'm really sorry if this is spoiling your Christmas or your holidays or whatever. You can just just click the X on the corner and stop. I didn't expect you to get all the way here anyways.

I can guess what you're thinking right now. You're thinking that I'm a insensitive, ungrateful jerk who doesn't appriciate the gifts given to him. He's not a tsunami victim; he doesn't have cancer with a year left to live; he isn't on the frontlines where could be killed any minute. And you know what? I'm thinking the exact same thing. I'm kinda like a mental dipsomaniac; I see the character flaws in others, and realize I have the same character flaws as well. Would you believe me if I said I'm the way I am now because I have no companionship? No church friends, no sport friends... my bro isn't like Demel's... no one who shares the same interests as me in my class... no one that I can talk to freely... no one who understands me...


It was a side to Terry I thought I'd never seen... until I realized I had for years without realizing it. There was a chink in his perfection... and in my eyes, in that moment, it was the Grand Canyon. Terry's an incredibly disciplined man. He'd have to be to achieve so much. But his perfection always leads him into the same mistake. He expects everyone else to live up to the same high standards of fairness he imposes on himself - and when they don't - it eats him alive. Terry's so far above us, his wisdom is astounding. While the rest of us get bogged down in grays, he perceives the most complex philosophical problems with black and white clarity. That's his blessing... and his demon. He won't accept the fact that-

"It's not a black and white world anymore, Terry. Those men in there aren't evil. They're just doing what they feel they have to do towards a greater good. Times are changing. Right, wrong... I don't like it, but suppose they get even harder to define in the days to come? Are you enough of a hero to allow for that... but not to let it stop you? Learn from this, Terry. starting from today, you can be either an enforcer... or an example. One will tear you down... but the other will make you a ledgend." -The Flash, The Justice Society Returns, National Comics, DC Comics Publications.


You would probably say that I'm not looking on the brighter side of life. I'm a cynic. I've lsot hope. A funny thing, hope. I am of the belief that all forms of sadness originate from fallen hopes. You're disappointed on Christmas when you don't receive any presents because you hoped to have many presents. You're crestfallen when you fail a exam because you hoped to score high. You're heartbroken when you split up with your date becauase you hoped to have a strong realtionship. You're suicidal when you fail in life because you know that your hopes, your dreams, as well as your parents', have all dashed against the rocks. When you have high hopes, 9 out of ten times, it will come crashing down. What goes up, must come down. A funny thing, hope.

I hope you all are enjoying your holidays, wherever you are. I don't suppose I have much holiday left to enjoy, but there you go.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight.

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