On the personal side, I've been very happy to see how much Rocky enjoyed his first Christmas gift. The orange-y Unicron now stands menacingly paralytic beside his Fortress Maximus which makes me smile each time I glance at them. And the boxed set of a new "combiner" kind of gestalt composed of "dinobot" like robots is waiting to be unpackaged. So that's a few more new robots to my man who loves Transformers after years of being denied the right to own and display such proudly.
On the other hand, I was overjoyed to receive the complete Lost Blu-Ray collection from Kuya Mike and Ate Ives, a stash of DVD-Rs and delicious dark chocolate from my mom for our company Christmas party, a puzzle set from my trainees, a notebook with a tiny disturbingly cute figurine from an outsource contact.
As to here at the Sietch, I now have a super cool Playstation Move + Playstation Eye +Kung Fu Rider game for the Playstation 3 from my one and only Rocky. And he insists there is still a second gift coming. What is it? Here's an image to whet your appetite.
And yes, there IS still the temptation to hunt down one last gift for Rocky before the eve of Christmas actually comes around. (I am seriously considering getting something too for his family, but part of me worries that might be too forward of me.)
And this is just as far as "physical presents" are concerned.
My parents celebrated another anniversary, which in many ways is actually a HUGE Christmas present as well. Without that, this boringly fun blog wouldn't exist since I would have never been born! A new batch of students are graduating, just as a new batch of students have been welcomed, in De La Salle Lipa where my parents and my Dad's schoolmates from DLSL have been sponsoring the scholarship of what has now been five generations of students. Many geek friends have extended the spirit of giving joy and love to hospitals and outreach groups, and doing it in ways only geeks can ever accomplish. New friendships have been formed. Lives have been saved. The bonds of loyalty and love strengthened.
And yet, so many people in my Facebook newsfeed as well as on plurk seem to be obsessing over how this Christmas "doesn't feel like Christmas". Some friends complained about how this year seems to lack the "spirit" of it all, laying blame on news reports such as the acquittal of certain people, the deaths or tragedies that had befallen friends we know, or the prevalence of certain people to focus instead of monetary things (like the lotto, or out-of-town trips financed by others, brand obssessing, etc) than the true joys of Christmas. Personally, I think people just need to remember that the "spirit" of anything lies best in how we as an individual celebrate it with others. Let's face the fact that while it may be as bad as one out of every three people celebrating Christmas is just faking it, the more people like us truly celebrate it, the bigger the chance fakers might be moved to seeing the season for what it really is meant to be.
While we will never be able to convince idiots like Rachel of Glee that Christmas is not the best time to gain ask for the forgiveness of others through the careful use of guile and manipulation, we can however choose to accept such jerks as what they are and still be thankful of the role the play in life as a whole. Christmas isn't thanksgiving. Christmas isn't independence day. Christmas isn't the season of shopping nor the season of showing off. But if that's how you choose to celebrate it, then go celebrate it that way. Don't worry. I won't stop you.
You won't, however, stop me from being able to truly embrace the spirit of the season. And from feeling the joy of this season and all the love that is spread outwards in an honest and sincere way. The CBCP rants about people "forgetting the true purpose of Christmas and it being stolen by Santa," while others more versed in the facts know the Church "took over" the date when certain pagan rituals were being observed to "replace their practices." And yet, I see more non-practicing catholics who are embracing the spirit more than churchgoers I know. For every contact I have complaining about Christmas, I see a few more who - like me - are celebrating it and spreading the cheer and joy to those they love.
And we are going to keep doing that.
Because it is Christmas, and because Christmas should not be limited alone to the elite, to the religious or to the wealthy. And as far as I am concerned, it never will be. The world celebrates Christmas in so many ways. Why should we be any different?
Merry Christmas everyone!