A Post-Christmas Post

It's been a busy Christmas weekend. With an extra public holiday on Monday, I was able to spend more time with my friends than I otherwise would have.

Though we didn't exactly discuss New Year resolutions or next steps, having some casual time was very welcome, especially since we have been very busy over the past few months and only met up sporadically.

It seems that 2017 looks to be a year of great transition. Friends are getting married, doing up their newly-bought homes, planning the next phase of life.

It was a rainy Christmas Eve when I took the picture attached in this post. And it was on that day that I stumbled upon Valuetainment on YouTube, an entrepreneurship-themed channel headed by Patrick Bet-David, as I spent a lot of time over the weekend pondering my next steps.

I spent hours watching the content and found Patrick to be down-to-earth and straight-talking with his advice and knowledge. Truth be told, I wondered why I hadn't come across his channel sooner.

I sent the link to a few of my entrepreneurial-minded friends and continued to learn from the videos. One of Patrick's videos encouraged viewers to download and do a questionnaire on his website. When I looked at the questionnaire, I realised how in-depth it is and how it wants to bring past mindsets, hurts and fears to the surface. 

I have yet to do the questionnaire, but I will over the next few days. I hope to emerge with a better understanding of myself and be clearer in my plans for 2017. Once I'm through with it, I'll likely post an update on what I learned from it. Until then, stay tuned.

You may never see this post, Patrick, but thank you for putting up such great content, and for being so open and generous with your experience.

Rainy Christmas Eve

Some Thoughts on Christmas

What is Christmas?

It depends on your worldview, the culture you are in and the commercial world around you.

As a typical Singaporean, when you hear the word "Christmas", what comes to your mind? Snow? Reindeer? Christmas trees? Santa Claus? Presents?

All of the above?

In Singapore, go to any shopping centre, hotel or town centre and you see decorations of all sorts, banners of all kinds, and advertisements of all colours. Go to Orchard Road and frenzied shoppers are jostling with each other to get that present that they didn't have enough time to look for earlier, simply forgot to buy, or had to purchase because of some last-minute invitation to a "gift-exchange" party.

Can I take a second here to state how much I abhor mandatory "gift-exchange" parties? The premise of a mandatory exchange of gifts undermines the purpose of a gift - which is given voluntary and done out of love.

To get over the feeling of being forced to get a gift, which incidentally has no target gender or purpose (because what if that feminine face mask pack gets "given" to a man?), guests to such parties buy useless, generic, boring items which many shops are happily advertising for sale.

Nobody goes home with an item they can really use or that they really need or that they really like. The solution? Stop this ridiculous practice!

I think it is safe to say that Christmas is the most commercialised holiday in Singapore, followed closely by Valentine's Day (a future blog post in the making, it seems).

But hang on, what about the Christian community?

Though many Christians take Christmas as a celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus, a number of biblical scholars have placed His birth day a few months before December. There was also no such celebration in the early church.

Nevertheless, it is always good to gather in His name, share some food and stories, and sing carols. And that is exactly what I'm going to be doing this Christmas!