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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Not-so-holidays

Yet another heavy commercialized holiday.


We tend to get parasitical off holidays that come our way, so much so that we hope for an international win at a sporting event so that we get the next day off, courtesy of our PM.


The most commercialized holiday? Christmas.


Christmas used to be about loving, giving, and togetherness. Giving in the sense of the heart - a token of sincerity to express appreciation to loved ones, then the celebration of the birth of Christ (if my knowledge of Christianity and its holidays are accurate).


Now it's a "festival" of sorts where rich malls compete to put out the most extravagant holiday decorations and/or Christmas tree on display, and for people to passive-aggressively demand for expensive and lavish presents, with or without an equally lavish dinner to "celebrate the occasion". Who benefits from this? The people receiving said presents, and the companies who exploit the holiday to reap maximum profits.


Next comes Valentine's day. Valentine's used to be a shy (or in some cases, painfully obnoxiously direct) confession of affection, or romantic celebration of a romantic relationship. Typically, roses, chocolates, and a candlelit dinner, with a walk by the beach.


You could still get those now, but at crazy inflated prices. The traditional box of chocolates and dinner with a small present has become homemade chocolates (which I did this year), a crazy expensive dinner at a crowded restaurant, and some sort of overpriced silver jewelry in the form of charms (*coughPandoraandThomasSabocough*). Or some piece of accessory that costs more than it should.


Valentine's was a few days ago, and now a few days later will be the lunar new year. People are showing off the expensive new clothes they got (*coughcheckmyInstagramcough*), and estimating how much red packet money they're gonna receive this year. It's like a stock market investment plan.


Then when the holiday ends they're compare who got more. The more money from the least people is the winner, I guess, since it means that the people who surround you are more well-to-do and aren't stingy with their money.


For us, lunar new year meant our family being under one roof for a few days - all the aunts, uncles, cousins, and nieces. It also meant the time my dad would come home to be with his family for a couple of weeks, and catch up with old friends.


Now we're two people short, and it sticks out painfully.


Two men who were heads of families - the breadwinners, the fathers, the uncles and godfathers, the brothers, the husbands, the friends, the men who were the most patient and loving. Both who took the wheel and provided for their families, while providing entertainment for their families.


It's going to be a quiet year.

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