Monday, December 17, 2007

Random thoughts

- Today was the day of Liverpool v Man Utd, followed immediately by Arsenal v Chelsea, which made for an interesting afternoon of Premiership football! Not least because I had lunch at home, went to the pub, and when I returned home after said matches, it was dinner time, pretty much. So in essence an entire afternoon taken up by football! Nice. Somewhat predictably (to me, at any rate) Man Utd and Arsenal both won 1-0: they were both good matches, albeit filled with blunders by all four teams.
Which brings me onto this musing: what crazy fool invented football?! Yes it is justifiably one of the world's favourite sports, but think about it. Which bored-out-of-his-skull individual from the Middle Ages decided, Hmmm, wouldn't it be such a lark if I took this pig's bladder and stuffed it? Ooh, ok. And if I kick it around? Hmm. Now I'm thinking it would be great to split up into teams and kick it from one village to another!
The mind boggles...

- "It's Christmas time / There's no need to be afraid..."
Christmas. This period must mean such a lot to different people. The businessmen of the world see an excellent opportunity to cash in on the pressure to buy presents, cards, food, trees and all the trimmings that such an international holiday entails. People unfortunately endowed with loneliness or tragedy see it as a time that accentuates their tragedy, made envious by the happiness of others, similarly for people less well off, or in generally less fortunate areas of the globe. Take the people of Africa, most demonstrably the focus of the Band Aid campaigns to increase awareness of and aid to the impoverished areas.

I'm not sure entirely where I'm going with this, but what I want to remind myself and anyone else who may stumble across this is to hopefully remember what Christmas is all about. It's about celebrating the birth of Christ, about what Christ brought to the world and the lessons he taught. In a nutshell, it's the second most important Christian holiday.
Even for those not Christian-inclined, or religious at all, one can take something from the times... we can remember the feeling of Christmas, the morals, the desire to give of oneself to help others and not think purely of ourselves. For example, one of the more celebrated of the Christmas stories is surely Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. This epitomises the essence of Christmas by demonstrating to Scrooge, the protagonist and narrative tool, the attributes and sentiments that he is lacking, without being necessarily Christian in its teaching.

Now if this holiday has somehow become about who has the biggest tree, then perhaps it is time to take a much needed step back, but other side effects, like the songs, I must admit to enjoying immensely. I myself am not feeling terribly festive as of yet... at some point along the way, ironically, when I stopped having the decorative and commercial side shoved down my throat, I myself starting losing sight of what Christmas cheer is. Perhaps a side effect of the Christmas lights being put up in autumn sponsored by Hollywood hits? Perhaps when I, rather Scrooge like, stopped giving out Christmas cards because I was giving up on giving them to everyone (I may still make a slight effort this year)? Who knows. For my part I know I won't feel terribly in spirit 'til perhaps Christmas Eve. Maybe I do in fact rely upon the commercials, the baubles and the little fluff-lined hats. All I can do it try my best, consciously attempt remember what it's all about and not ruin it for anyone else. The songs help, but maybe I just like the cheesiness.

= Well I have to be up in five hours for a job that's not terribly satisfying and not the happiest workplace! But hey, it's paying for all the stuff I need to get to China, and it's a reason to get out of bed. Heck, with the warmth of the bed and the coldness outside, I would be very inclined to stay in bed had I nothing to get up for, haha!

In the meantime, I dragged up this link I sent to other people on Facebook last year. It's a rather cute little Christmas game: saccharine to the point of tooth decay but I imagine that's what the people want at this time of year :)

The point is to choose what order to select the little squares to make the perfect little story... Enjoy!

[Edit, took down game... the tinkly sound was getting on my nerves!]

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