Guess what, it's just one month away from Christmas Day!
Yes, I know it's coming of course.. and I should have already felt its `presence' as I had seen it in the mall when I go to gym. But, it's only tonight when I was in Bukit Bintang to have dinner with a good old friend (not old in age but we've known each other for 25 years!) that it hit me the Christmas (read: commercial X'mas) atmosphere is well and alive, enveloping shopping malls in town! Christmas carols were playing in the air.. and the mall was decked up in fancy Christmas`winter wonderland' type of decor, fancy Christmas trees were up. Yes, I could really feel it.. the Yuletide season is upon us no doubt!
It's kinda ironic to think of it. Our church is preparing for Christmas service and programs, and I've been planning our peer group's Christmas celebration on Dec 22. But somehow it still didn't feel like Christmas yet.. after all we're not in December. However, the minute I stepped into a shopping mall, I feel I'm in the Christmas mood' already!
I remember since young, Christmas has always been my favourite festive holiday (no, it's not Chinese New Year though i love geting angpows ;)) . Somehow Christmas has that `romantic' feel - it's a season of joy, giving and receiving; and then there were Santa, snow (fake here), Christmas trees, presents, Christmas carols, turkey etc.. etc.. and the `story' of a babe in the manger - with animals, wisemen, shepherds and angels... So yeah, it was more exotic and beautiful than the noisy, bustling and busy time of CNY - lion dance, fire-cracker, busy family reunion, visiting relatives etc etc..
Decades later and a believer in Christ, I still love Christmas and more so.. because the birth of Christ really means something so dear and precious to me. True, Christmas can be considered a `Pagan celebration' for the date was man made.. Jesus was not born on Dec 25. However, it's great to have a day dedicated to the Lord's birth where all the world knows of.
Still, I must admit that while I lament on how commerical Christmas celebration in the world has become, consciously or unconsciously I still get sucked into it.. I'm sure I'm not alone. Who doesn't enjoy listening to carollers in malls, looking and admiring the beautiful Christmas decorations and lightings, put up a Christmas tree or throw a nice Christmas gathering? and then it's a time of SPENDING - Christians or even many non-Christians still `succumb' to the tradition of buying gifts for love ones!
So.. tell me, how do you draw the line?
Looking beyond all the frills and thrills though, i think Christmas is generally seen as a time of giving and sharing.. which is a good thing. Only how I wish that the world will know and commemmorate Christmas as the day when God became man, rather than a time to party and have fun!
However, just by looking at the malls in the city.. you know what Christmas is made out to be...