30 December 2012

Festive Mood and Christmas Air

Five days after Christmas. I am still on the festive mood. But, I don't hate it.

Being a Roman Catholic, my family has this yearly activity of going for Misa de Gallo on the night of 24th December. Then, we'll have a late dinner after the mass with home-cooked meals suited for an occasion, according to our tastes, that is. It became the norm for me. When I realized that I can't stick to that anymore, I was a bit disturbed.

After finishing my studies, there were no more Christmas Breaks for me. In Philippines, there might be non-working days from 24th of December until 2nd of January the following year. But I'm not in the Philippines, and I don't think that's applicable for my industry. So, for two years straight now, I have not attended a mass on the eve of Christmas.

I was not a religious person to begin with. At least, I admit that I am not ever since few years ago after realizing that I can't follow traditions and cultures blindly. Well, some people from the early days died because they tried to defy the norm of society. Today, there are still people who get scrutinized for changing the so-called norms. However, we are more open-minded now and changes are more than welcome should it improve one's way of living. But, no matter how many centuries have past, traditions and cultures still remain intact. It was like part of our identity.

Christmas is actually part of that tradition and culture. It was believed to be the day when Jesus Christ, the Savior, was born. So being Christians, we were celebrating his birth, his coming to save us. Nowadays, however, and being in a country where Christianity is not a major religion, I find Christmas in a different light.

It was a public holiday celebrated throughout the entire world, mostly. People exchange gifts and have a little celebration despite their religion. It was a day for festivity and happiness. Looking back, as to how the story was known all this time, Jesus was born in a stable. The grandiose gatherings everywhere on Christmas Day is not even close to that. But, being alive today because of the Savior is a reason good enough to have a huge gathering is it not? Things change and people forget, but traditions and cultures remain.

My Christmas last year was so-so. Fun but not so fun, I would say. I was given morning shift on the 24th and afternoon shift on 25th. Fair enough since I didn't really want to take a day off. This year was completely different. I was so excited for Christmas that as early as November I am already singing Christmas songs. My colleague actually told me to let their festival go by first before I start being on Christmas mood. This year, I had three days off from work for my Christmas.

We just moved house the previous week but our Christmas tree was still displayed though it was late. I have some friends who came over to celebrate Christmas. We have gifts under the tree and several dishes on our small table. Of course, there were drinks to boost the party, and karaoke as well! We certainly made the best of our Christmas eve in our own way.

We stayed up until dawn, and one by one, we fell asleep. I stayed awake until 0630hrs, and slept after cleaning the mess, washing the dishes and storing the food. I believed I had a good short sleep. Alcohol does me good every now and then.

25th. I am surprised to be awake at 0900hrs. Well, my friends need to go to work and I need to accommodate them. I don't have work that day, so I can sleep later in the day. But I never did. I was awake the whole of daylight singing karaoke with my friends who didn't go to work. I fell asleep immediately after dinner.

27th. The festivity goes on. Our department had a Christmas Party in the afternoon and I was with a friend the whole of the evening. A stroll along Orchard Road, with backtracking, wasn't so bad with a companion. It was a little crazy and lots of fun, a bit tiring and greatly entertaining. We only had a little disturbance seeing an after-the-incident venue - puddles of blood on the street. We didn't care though. The spirit of Christmas got deep into us to even bother.

Christmas day had passed but so much people were on the streets and it was only Thursday. With so much people around, we were in high spirits. It was a fun evening of strolling, shooting and shopping. We both managed to catch our last rides home. It was certainly exciting.

I have not slept properly for days. I am still fine but I know that my body needs some proper rest. I managed to accomplish my plans - going to a friend's workplace, attend a mass, and relax at Gardens by the Bay - in exchange for ruining my health. I am actually wondering how I can survive days without properly sleeping, not be sick, and still do better. The only thing I fear in this is the possibility of having a chronic insomnia. It's scary just thinking that.

I have 24 hours to New Year now. I've had a blast until the end of 2012. A fantastic year is about to end, and a new one, full of anticipation, is about to take over. Cheers to both the passing and coming year!

[LVELJ.C10   30.12012]

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