Has the Singapore way of life killed the Christmas Spirit?

December 24, 2010

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I’ve be dead honest with you. This year Christmas seems to ring hollow – at least that is how I see it whenever I walk around in Singapore. The spirit just isn’t there.

To be honest, I had this sinking feeling a couple of years back ago when the economy was just about to turn sour – where I remembered saying to myself, maybe Christmas is just for kids and I am just pinning for something that I’ve simply outgrown?

But in truth, I just don’t see Christmas the way I used too. These days, Christmas is just kitsch – another opportunity for the marketing manifesto to sell me something that I don’t really need or want – just the other day, I came across a bunch of Nigerian cyber conmen in the virtual pretending to be the three kings of Nativity demanding for virtual gold – I gave them shrapnel lah – on the economic front; I don’t find anything worthwhile celebrating over, 2010 was only a so-so year for me.

You get the general mood of the times, as for the economy everything seems to be going up except my take home. 

I am not saying in the digital age, the evil Decepticons have dun in father Christmas with their plasma canons; or that everything goody good about the whole idea of Christmas has been gutted out by the cult of consumerism.

In fact, i believe even in such tiring times the true Christmas spirit still lives. Only it must be buried beneath our mounting anxieties and the endless culture of hype and spin – the solution? we just need to work harder to find it.

But is it worth it to eek out the real Christmas spirit? Granted, in this age where money seems to be the only measure of a man and very little else – it’s all too easy to be cynical about Christmas – but I am reminded, although times have changed and we may all be marching towards the glorious life of the battery chicken – there is also a pull in the opposite direction. The search for real meaning, real experiences along with whole idea of real fellowship with family, friends and community still endures -these things are timeless and universal and above all valuable. 

Maybe Christmas is really only about these thing and has nothing to do with the gahmen, economy or even shopping malls – family, loved ones and friends who really matter – yes maybe that’s all it has always been about? Before my cynicism reduced Christmas into just another mawkish display of materialism on a Byzantine scale.

In the moment of my youth; I remembered celebrating Christmas not with chestnuts, puddings, hot custard and eclairs with brandy infills – my parents for some curious reason always cooked curry for Christmas under the stern eye of a generation who could only dream of living in our age of Babylonian excesses – neither did we have a rocket shaped conifer Christmas tree either; ours was a tropical bouganvilla adorned not with stockings; but with painted blown out lightbulbs and dried ketupat; and we shared all these with our Malay, Indian and Eurasian neighbors who come in and out of the house like it was Bedok interchange – in those days Christmas was about family, community, church service and the singing of carols. Granted it may not have been hip or even cool, but at least it was real, so real that you could even say Christmas was just a quiet event marked with faith and reflection, no ostentatious frivolity, no one trying to sell us stuff that we didn’t need – one where we just came together held hands and with a hope and prayer wished for a better tomorrow.

My genuine hope is that you will all find this incredibly edifying spirit of peace, happiness and tranquility this Christmas -may I on the behalf of the Brotherhood Press wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

If you are new to the brotherhood press, this goes out especially to you. May I welcome you to our little family.

Darkness 2010

(Christmas message was broadcasted on board the rebel deep space cruiser Les Enfants Du Paradis somewhere in the Carphatian System – the Brotherhood Press 2010)


“Commander, something has happened?”

“Yes, what is it, do spit it out man!”

“The Aryanians, they are singing Christmas carols along the trench line, what shall we do?”

“What can we bloody do! It’s Christmas for god sake, we will just have to sing louder than them. Where the hell is the brass band when we need them?”

Somewhere along the Sardonyx Trench Line known as Sector 13 – in the Andullisian Plains during the Ascension Wars – the Age of Propeller – recorded the Chronicler of the Book of Ages – The Brotherhood Press 2010.

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