Christmas Gifts

Thanks to some of my friends who gave me chocolates during Christmas, when I’m trying to keep my New Year resolution to slim down. And today after the Christmas service, a few of us had gone to the Coffee Beans to chat over coffee & cakes. How sinful looking at all the cheesecakes, tiramisu and brownies in the showcase. Though I love chocolates, I try to stop myself from eating too much, but what is a few calorie of fat compared to having a wonderful time with friends, right? Haha 😉   For Christmas present, I gave one of my friends a book on Juices, Smoothies and Shakes. Seemed I have read her mind, as she said she had in fact wanted to detox by drinking fruit juices during the weekend. Hmm… seems everyone is having the same resolution for the New Year.  Wow, I’m glad indeed. Now she can have more varieties, and we could spur each other on to keep ourselves fit and healthy.

Any presents you have received this Christmas, which you have wished for? Whatever gifts we receive it’s the thoughts that are most important. And since we are celebrating Christ’ Birth on Christmas day, let us also not forget to include Him in our celebration. Christ is in Christmas. Let Him be first and foremost in our mind and heart. “It’s better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” (Psalm 118:8, the centre verse in the Bible. Christ is in the centre of everything.) The Author of our salvation is also the giver of our blessings. This blessing gift is very good already. May we share the gift we have from Christ. As the Lord taught us, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)

My Most Memorable First Christmas

Do you still remember how you spent your first Christmas?  Any memorable events you would like to share with me?

I remember mine was held at this Cricket Club in front of the Parliament House, where the big green ‘grassland’ was.  It was a school outing.   I was in my early-primary then.  All of us sat on the carpeted floor enjoying ourselves with facilitators entertaining us.  We wore pointed hats, blew whistles which curled in & out, and it was here that I learnt to sing my first Christmas songs, like “Santa Claus is coming to town”, “Jingle Bells”, “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” etc…  As I grew up, I started learning more Christmas songs, and some of my favourites are, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…”, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” & “Oh Holy Night”.  The celebration at the Cricket Club was my most memorable first Christmas, that’s why till now I still remember.  It was at the back of my mind until once at a cell meeting when I recall it while sharing about our most memorable events.

Just wonder did Jesus already have me in mind on that day, and plan for me to know about Him?  Jesus loves the little children, right?  Or was I simply following my brother’s footsteps, whether the heart was willing or not?   Or could it be that the seed was sown during my pre-school days while I was attending a kindergarten in Queenstown Presbyterian Church. I remember that the Principal was the first person to tell me about God.  He told us not to waste our food, as our food was “heaven-dropped”, and it was the mystery of it that caused me to retain this nugget of my Christian instruction vividly to this day.  Sometimes I wonder whether he’s still around.  I would love to tell him I remember what he said.  And what about those kids who celebrated my first Christmas with me, did anyone of them remember this day?  Remarkably, my primary and secondary days were all spent in Christian schools.  It could be that the plan for me to become a Christian unfolded in the natural course of events, not by my will but by God’s will.

Paulo Coelho’s

Finished reading a Bookcrossing book – Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho yesterday, found it to be somewhat better than his other books I have read. Though his books are known to be very spiritual and philosophical, at least this one did not touch so much on the language of omens, our soul of the world or even heating metal for many years will free itself of all its individual properties until what was left would be the “Soul of the World” and other challenging-to-the-mind topics. Instead it’s about a young Brazilian girl’s innocent brushes with love which leaves her heartbroken, convincing her at a tender age that “love is a terrible thing that will make one suffer, and ends up working as a prostitute. And how drifting farther and farther away from love, she develops a fascination with sex, and how she learns from her experiences & adventures and grows up along the way. Though interesting it may be, some parts can be real boring as the author drones on and on.

I’m no Coelho’s fan, especially so after reading “Veronica Decides to Die”. In fact I always skipped getting his books in bookstore, but why I bought The Alchemist was only after watching an info-educated program about Singaporeans working overseas, engaging in life very different from what we are used to, then the change of mind. The series took the host to locate these fellow Singaporeans in the most faraway places as far as Kenya, and as unknown as Gorakphur. In the course of the journeys, the programme offered viewers some extraordinary insights into the lives of these countrymen who have chosen to live, work and even made their careers in these far flung places. And also, because in Switzerland there’s a Singaporean working there, and while chatting he said he has read The Alchemist many times, cos the author was his boss, that’s why I got the book.

Frankly speaking, I don’t really know what Alchemist is. After reading the book it makes me even more confused. Do people nowadays still practise Alchemist? But I do admire Coelho for having the inclination to imagine the successive transformation of metal to a final point (a limit), which he suggests is the revelation – Soul of the World. What exactly does this “Soul” look like is also too deep for my limited mind to fathom its depths. If not all these wisdom talks, the travel part is actually quite interesting. Basically it’s telling us to listen to our heart and fulfil our dreams lest we regret when we grow old in not having taken any steps at all. And the treasure we are looking for may be very near to us instead of having to search far and wide for it.

As for Veronica Decides to Die, of course it’s about Veronica committing suicide by taking an overdose of sleeping pills, and found herself woke up in a mental hospital, admitted for depression. So her voyage starts with all the philosophical questions and answers about what life is etc…

So far, these are the only 3 I’ve read. Someone from BookCrossing said she likes The Devil and Miss Prym better. If anyone of you have read any his books, drop a note in my comment box to share/recommend.

Cheers to good reading & sharing 😀