n. a song, poem, or hymn especially of praise |

Christmas this year is unusually ordinary. 12/25/2011 (and the 12 days after which marks “the season to be jolly”), usually circled/bolded/highlighted/or plastered with lots of exclamation marks and silly hearts, is left as it is on my calendar. No parties, no family dinners, nothing. The excitement from my trip to the U.S and caroling with The Vocal Consort have died down, and I’m back to lying belly-down on my bed, having one-way conversations with dimmed screens (brightness kills my eyes) (laptop, iPad, phone) till someone decides that he/she is lonely enough to entertain me. The build up to this festive season was great. I have a mental postcard of each of the places I visited in the states, and I will do my very best to recapture those moments of pure bliss. 
For L.A, it was a piazza of sorts brought to life with chains of fairylights, a gigantic ferris wheel, pretty boats floating about the river next door under the brightly lit “PARADISE PIER” and a bustling crowd. 
Being close to my favourite animals in their near-natural habitats was the best experience I had in San Diego. Lions, Giraffes, Elephants, Antelopes, Wildebeests, Rhinos, Tigers… I can never get enough of these Savannah-ic majesties. And there was the very colourful sea life I saw at Sea World; the neon Sea Stars and the pacific Octopus being the stars of my time there.  
Vegas would have a completely different image. Living in the Strip definitely had its benefits because every night was a different experience. My postcard of vegas would be a collage of a Pyramid, a blue&red rollercoaster enclosed in a mock-Disney castle, the Eiffel Tower, the Great Colosseum with many statues of Roman and Greek Gods and Goddesses; It was like being in Egypt, Paris and Rome all at once! I was surrounded by the best of each World for 4 days straight, so tell me how I can feel more infinite than that.
Flagstaff&Williams were simply gorgeous and they would be the closest images I would have of a “White Christmas”. What I remember most are the walks my family and I had through lanes between apartments in the evenings. A blanket of snow covered every roof and icicles attached themselves to the gutters of the houses. Each time the blinking lights from the christmas trees struck the icicles, a strange kaleidoscopic image formed itself on the white sheet that surrounded us, making it seem as if we were partying with Nature herself. Night welcomed herself quickly each day, and you could see the Moon up in the sky as early as 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Still, we managed an afternoon up in the Grand Canyon, snapping photos of the austere grandeur that lay before us when the Sun shone the brightest.  
On our last night in America, we stopped by Rodeo Drive, where we spent Christmas many years ago (2005). We weren’t donned in the best possible outfits to battle the cold (think hoodies, tights and shorts) but yet we were posing at every street lamp or christmas tree possible for pictures that would go down in our family holiday album. I guess it is pretty cheesy of me to quote this but I’m going to do it anyway:
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
 Things return to normalcy once a new equilibrium is established (refer to the hedonistic treadmill of happiness), but I have been receiving quite a few pleasant surprises along the way that keeps me slightly tilted towards “HAPPINESS” on the mood scale. Like looking out of my window and finding that the lights back home are just as pretty :) Or hanging out with my colleagues after a long day at work.
School’s starting again soon and I can’t say I’m thrilled with the heaps and piles of projects and term essays to write. But the party doesn’t last forever, so back to routine life it is. Oh and uhm I asked myself what would be the best present to receive for christmas (I like thinking of hypothetical situations like the above, don’t judge) and my thoughts went something like this:
new camera
a higher CAP!!!!! 
get-skinny pills 
be happy forever…?
be sad less often
Being happy forever would be great, but it’s impossible so let’s just forget about it ha ha. I just wish 2012 to be a year of less-sadness; where I won’t have to resort to silly things like talking to Pommy (who, btw, is a stuffed toy penguin) or eating my heart out. Last post before the year ends!
Here’s to a great 2012 ahead guys \m/

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