Side Views

Don’t they know it is Christmas? — Blue Christmas

DEC 21 —I just received a notice that the first school staff meeting in preparation for the 2013 school term would be held on December 24.

At first I let it pass and marked the date on my calendar and then I realised it would be Christmas Eve. That is the time when friends and family call on us, when the general mood is about looking back on a wonderful year and planning for an even more wonderful year ahead.

Took a second look at the schedule and it reads a meeting for every day after Christmas Day all the way to December 29. Now that’s the time when families get their children’s stuff ready for school — new shoes, bags, uniforms and water bottles. That is also the time when old friends come back to their hometowns to their aged parents and ask for forgiveness and blessings for a good year ahead. They take the extra time to bond with old classmates and the malls, restaurants and the teh tarik places get filled up with fun, joy and merriment.

Then it dawned on me that this holiday mood happens on Hari Raya Puasa, on Chinese New Year and on Deepavali and all my friends usually get this extended holidays either through annual leave and through the extra days taken by schools. So why is Christmas different?

Why this urgency to cram in all those meetings into the last week of the year, when really everyone else is on holiday and in the festive mood. Is it to give some kind of impression that while the world is on holiday, we sit in our dingy staff room, with knotted eyebrows sweating away on what needs to be done in the year ahead. Why this charade which goes against the grain of a nice, wholesome family environment?

It appears that we are more keen on showing that we are doing work than actually doing it. I see reams of paper on how implementation should be carried out and then totally screw up the actual implementation because those reams of paper were not prepared or checked with the actual implementers. And to add salt to the wound, we are then fed that cursed adage “If you fail to plan you plan to fail”. The cycle gets repeated ever so often.

Well folks, all this talk just makes me sick … and ah! … in line with another old Chinese proverb that crisis means danger on the one hand and opportunity on the other, I shall lean on the latter … I will be on MC! —

* Blue Christmas is the pseudonym of a Penang-based Aliran reader, who is not a Christian.  This article first appeared in

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.



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