An unusual Christmas homily for our time

69
877

(The singer above is Majida El Roumi Baradhy, a Lebanese soprano and UN Goodwill Ambassador.)

A good friend of mine shared with me his Christmas homily. I thought it was too good to keep to myself; so I am sharing it with you – though he prefers to remain anonymous. The homily touches on how the “religious observance” vs commercialisation of Christmas contestation has masked the radical message of Christianity against the “domination systems” of our world.

Paul Harvey first aired this modern day parable of the Christmas story in 1965:

The Man and the Birds

The man to whom I’m going to introduce you to was not a scrooge, he was a kind decent, mostly good man. Generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men. But he just didn’t believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmas Time. It just didn’t make sense and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn’t swallow the Jesus Story, about God coming to Earth as a man.

“I’m truly sorry to distress you,” he told his wife, “but I’m not going with you to church this Christmas Eve.” He said he’d feel like a hypocrite. That he’d much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. And so he stayed and they went to the midnight service.

Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper.

Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound…Then another, and then another. Sort of a thump or a thud…At first he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. But when he went to the front door to investigate he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They’d been caught in the storm and, in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his large landscape window.

READ MORE:  Soter Fernandez becomes cardinal on 19 November

Well, he couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter, if he could direct the birds to it. Quickly he put on a coat, galoshes, tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light, but the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in.

So he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow, making a trail to the yellow-lighted wide open doorway of the stable. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them…He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms…Instead, they scattered in every direction, except into the warm, lighted barn.

And then, he realised that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could think of some way to let them know that they can trust me…That I am not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Because any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led or shooed because they feared him.

“If only I could be a bird,” he thought to himself, “and mingle with them and speak their language. Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to safety, warmth…to the safe warm barn. But I would have to be one of them so they could see, and hear and understand.”

At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind. And he stood there listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. And he sank to his knees in the snow.

(The man grasped the reason Jesus was born)

I think the challenge for us is not really in the believing and the understanding of the incarnation but in the understanding (with reference to the parable above) od:

READ MORE:  Where is Pastor Raymond Koh?

i) what being out in the cold is,
ii) the “way to the safe warm barn”, and
iii) what the “safe warm barn” really means to us.

The New Testament scholar, theologian and author Marcus Borg noted:

“For many centuries – now almost a thousand years – the most common forms of Christianity have emphasised that Jesus’s primary significance is that he died to pay for our sins. This notion affects the meaning of Christmas: Christmas is the birth of the one who will save us from our sins so that we can go to heaven. It results in a radical domestication and individualisation of the story of Jesus and Christmas.”

And therefore, religiously and traditionally, it has been understood that Jesus came to redeem sinners (being in the cold), he came so that we would be saved and go to heaven (the warm and safe barn). And the way to that barn was to follow him in everything.

But this has been interpreted as following religious practices (i.e. preoccupation with devotions, rites and rituals, the liturgy that smacks of “performance and drama” of the liturgy, paraphernalia, etc.…you know what I mean), which borders on religiosity. A genuine introspection into how the season of Advent was celebrated perhaps can give us some indication of where we are in our perception of Christmas.

Very often the vilification of the commercialisation of Christmas has perhaps rendered some degree of impunity to some of our “religious practices” even though these practices do not help us experience the true spirit of Christmas. But it must be noted that neither the commercialisation of Christmas nor the religiosity of Christmas has diminished the good cultural practices of Christmas.

Some of these practices are recent innovations, e.g. the first commercially produced Christmas cards appeared in 1873. So too the buying of Christmas gifts is a product of the late 1800s and took a  while to become widespread. The practice of many of these customs must be commended.

READ MORE:  Soter Fernandez becomes cardinal on 19 November

To state the obvious, Christmas has rich cultural meanings. It is the most widely celebrated holiday in the world, even by many who are not Christian. At its best, its cultural meanings are about generosity, gift-giving, goodwill, and gatherings with family and friends.

What is the message and meaning of Christmas? What is the spirit or the spirituality of Christmas? It can include the above cultural practices but it adds quite a different emphasis.

According the Marcus Borg, Christmas matters for Christians because Jesus matters for Christians. And what was Jesus about? His message, his passion, was about the coming of the kingdom of God and the birth of a world of justice and peace. Of course, the kingdom of God is also about our individual transformation through loving the Lord our God with all our heart and mind and strength and to love one another. It is about our transformation and the transformation of the world.

The good news of Christmas is that He became like us so that we can be like Him, think like Him, see like Him, feel like Him, speak like Him… live like Him knowing that we reside in His heart and that we carry in us his divine spark. It is also an affirmation of the life of transformation we are already living and an assurance of his grace and strength to carry on in hope.

And I think – as in the parable – this is what it means to be saved from the cold (from indifference, injustice and a lack of peace) and make our way (transformation of self) to the warm safe barn (a transformed world in the here and now).

Jesus is light in the darkness, the path of liberation, the way of return, the Word of God and Spirit of God embodied in a human life. In him we see God’s passion for a different kind of world here below, here and now. That’s what his coming and Christmas are about.

 

Please help to support this blog if you can.

Read the commenting guidlelines for this blog.

69 COMMENTS

  1. Penang funicular train breaks down, stranding hundreds
    https://sg.news.yahoo.com/penang-funicular-train-breaks-down-130932200.html

    GEORGE TOWN: Hundreds of frustrated tourists HAD TO TRUDGE DOWN Penang Hill here yesterday after the Penang Funicular Train broke down.

    Tourist Annabila Jamal, 56, from Johor, said she and her family of eight were forced to wait for four hours before finally being able to walk down.

    “What was supposed to be a pleasant trip up the hill turned into a nightmare.

    “The train broke down suddenly and it took several hours to repair. There were so many people that we had to wait for hours, and when we finally got into the train, it was going down so fast.

    “It was a very scary experience,” she said when contacted by the New Straits Times.

    Another tourist, Jullian Victor, 34, said he and his friends had planned to walk up the hill and then take the train down.

    However, he said, due to a malfunction, the train could not stop at the first station.

    “There were so many people up at the highest point who were stranded and waiting for a train.

    “So we decided to walk down. It was pitch dark, quiet and a tad bit freaky.

    “We relied on our mobile phone flashlights, but it was very tiring, because the steps are quite big steps and all of us had wobbly knees, especially me, because I previously had major knee surgery,” he said.

    Jullian said, overall, it was still a fun experience for him, but it was a different story for one of his friends, who rode the train up.

    “According to him, IT STARTED SLOWING DOWN, THEN JERKED, CAME TO A HALT, THEN STARTED ROLLING DOWNWARDS.

    “And this was repeated a few times. They were terrified it was going to roll all the way down and crash or something tragic like that,” said the businessman.

    He said he even saw a HEAVILY PREGNANT LADY WALKING DOWN THE HILL WHILE CARRYING ONE OF HER BABIES.

    Meanwhile, when asked to comment on the incident, Penang Hill Corporation (PHC) acting general manager Datuk Ng Wee Kok said that the train had been fixed and running as usual.

    He also said the maintenance team conducts scheduled maintenance earnestly, with full commitment.

    © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

    My Question: Doesn’t Penang Hill Corporation (PHC) have its own fleet of 4WDs to meet such emergencies?
    At least help some passengers like that pregnant lady together with her babies who could have been brought down safely by 4WD. I hope she doesn’t miscarriage.
    My Observation: These Speedy Gonzales Fridge Trains break down every now & then. Even at the barking of stray dogs!
    “IT STARTED SLOWING DOWN, THEN JERKED, CAME TO A HALT, THEN STARTED ROLLING DOWNWARDS.”
    This signals something is not working well in the pulley motor & rail system. And I suspect the tensile of the cable is aging due to stress from overcapacity of load (esp during this holiday season).
    Hello, general manager Datuk Ng Wee Kok. Don’t take it as running as usual. Better do something remedial before a calamity happens. Pls learn from Donald Trump on maintenance team management! If I were him, I would not sleep well till March.
    I prefer to hike up via Botanic Gardens to 84 & continue till the top. Enjoy Nature & also welcomed by one friendly forest entity by the side of the hill road (after 84).

    • You only complain here and what pity when you personally have 4wd for belum valley? You can offer your 4wd as you offer me a ride to belum valley to ferry trapped visitors.

  2. We have witnessed ‘domination systems’ affected Aunty Anne’s and McDonald’s. Anyway these outlets have lost a customer in me.

    • Do not subject your kids to commercialism (and discrimination), so never hold their birthday party at Ronald’s restaurant.

    • It’s their right to choose who they want to please so Just boycott McDonald let them cater to their Muslim customers.

    • McDonald prefers to make its cuisine halal as well as its premises (so the halal birthday cake ruling).
      But is there such a thing as halal place?
      Which in correctness has to be totally reserved & air-tight for Muslims only.
      But what about drop by flies which touch non-halal food from outside?

      Either McDonald bakes its own brand of halal cakes or commissions from outside halal cake makers.

      Its a Catch 22 – To go fully halal (food, premise, air) & losing some loyal customers or
      use some non-halal common sense.

      • McDonald’s Malaysia lost many Muslim customers over the previous allegation that its parent company in US is linked to Jewish organization. So this overzealousness in halal is a desperate attempt to appeal more to its muslim customers as it assumes that it would not impact the non-Muslims. Anyway such fastfood with carbonated drinks are not healthy choice, better for us to support local food that is priced more economically. Good time to make 2017 resolution to avoid junk fast food like McDonald’s unhappy meal.

      • For Chinese New Year, prosperity is in the form of Bak Kwa, not McD’s burger.

        Anyway, McDonald’s in Thailand serves pork burger.

      • McDonald’s sold its Malaysia and Singapore 20-year franchise license for $400 million to a Saudi conglomerate Reza Investment Company in December 2016.

        So it is now Islamic ‘MatDanut’ that we are getting?
        We may have to go elsewhere for the real deal?
        The Ronald McDonald figurine is no longer on display at the Malaysian outlets, to avoid hero idolising by Muslim kids consuming Happy Meal?

        http://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/McDonald-s-Malaysia-and-Singapore-sold-to-Saudi-group

      • Kong Bak Pau (Braised Pork Buns) – 扣肉包

        Kong Bak Pau (aka 扣肉包) would be the closest version of a burger in Chinese cuisine, a thick slice of braised pork belly braised in soy sauce and spice sandwiched with fresh coriander between a steam leaf bun.

      • The Centre for A Better Tomorrow (Cenbet) co-president Gan Ping Sieu pointed out that Jakim should not penalise halal-certified eateries that allow diners who bring in non-halal certified food into their premises. He added that Jakim’s halal certification applies only to food served in F&B outlets.

        “There is no such thing as halal or non-halal premises. While eateries have the right to ban patrons from bringing in outside food, the decision should be based on commercial considerations and not whether the food is halal-certified or not. In this respect, Jakim should not overstep its boundary by accrediting “premises” instead of “food”,” he said in a statement.

      • This religious uprightness has brought about many Muslims (including my close Muslim friends & colleagues) not to have a cuppa of Kopi-O or meal with non-Muslims in kopitiams, a place deemed / or sanctioned of ‘non-halal contamination’. The last time I truly enjoyed lunching with my Muslim colleague who loved to croon about his Cik Puteh while in a ‘Muhibah’ kopitiam in Church Street was 1981. Those were the days of open mindedness & tolerance Ala P. Ramlee.
        Now? If I were to ask my Muslim friends out for a Kopi-O lepak, it has to be a mamak restaurant.
        No Church Street kopitiam.

      • You can count their mamak numbers (majority) @ Komtar Friday protests.
        In doubt, just ask LGE.

  3. Penang low-cost flat dwellers to finally get strata titles
    https://sg.news.yahoo.com/penang-low-cost-flat-dwellers-finally-strata-titles-042700153.html
    GEORGE TOWN, Dec 30 ― It has been a decades-long wait, but Penang residents who bought their low-cost flats, some in the 1960s, will be relieved to know they will receive their property strata titles soon.

    State housing development committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said a total six low cost housing projects in the state consisting of 3,130 units were not issued strata titles previously despite these projects being completed many years ago, the oldest being the Mak Mandin project that was completed in 1969.

    Strata titles are property titles issued to individual unit owners of flats, apartment or condominium units.

    After three years of discussions and meetings to resolve this issue, Jagdeep said three of the projects with a total 595 units were issued the individual strata titles two months ago.

    The three projects are Projek Perumahan Taman Tun Sardon Peralihan (139 units) built in 1978, Projek Perumahan Awam Rumah Pangsa Batu Lanchang (316 units) built in 1985 and Projek Perumahan Awam Taman Tun Sardon Fasa III (140 units) built in 1995.

    My Take: Some developers, after completion of projects dilly-dally in processing of applications for strata titles knowing that any delay of strata titles delivery can prolong their profiteering from condo management fees, S&P agreement transfer fees (for selling a property) & renovation deposit fees putting residents at their mercies. There should be a time frame cut-off imposed by authorities concerned for the developers to follow strictly the strata title applications.
    Hope that State housing development committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo look into this loop-hole of strata title application which should help residents out of the clutch of greedy developers. This is not a good customer relationship by developers even after a sale of properties.
    I don’t think there is any delays by the Land Office or any state authority regarding strata title delivery as some developers would like to accuse.

  4. BR1M is a bribe, Azmin agrees with Dr M
    http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2016/12/29/br1m-is-a-bribe-azmin-agrees-with-dr-m/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FreeMalaysiaToday+%28FMT+News%29

    When $ocial aid$ to qualified citizens are given by any government, it is not to be politicised. Not even to be argued in any given so-called ‘politician-concocted context’ (of what?). More so, given the economic & financial hardship faced by many today. Those politicians can argued against financial aids based on any of their ‘concocted context’ BUT they fail to see the timely relief which can help those in need, not matter how small the amount. The BR1M amount can be ‘finished’ in 2 days as argued by Azmin is rather self-quantified (according to his comfortable lifestyle?). Of course given his own financial standing & many financial perks, who knows how he spend an equivalent amount (to BR1M) in self-indulgence in 2 days. Also, to compare with his state financial aids to businesses is rather preposterous, two classes of Rakyat who have different needs & circumstances. Why not ask & contradict LGE why he gives annual ‘and pows’?
    Politicians should not play the political divide where financial aids are concerned. They, who are financially well-off should be more mindful like Wan Azizah and not play the opportunist game using the Rakyat as pawns of their art of war. More so, they should exorcise their own ‘fear syndrome’ not shared by the majority Rakyat who need every cent to meet their needs (not wants which politicians can easily afford & indulge sky-high).
    Azmin, as a respected politician, you should be more mindful & learn more from Kak Wan. I think you have a long way to go where social needs are concerned.
    As for Dr M, he’s already so rich, who is he to contradict this matter which shows he has no heart for the Rakyat.
    Pls, no more playing the political game using the Rakyat as your convenient pawns.
    “Lu si, wa lang mai si” (Don’t drag us with you to the death game).

      • Free water is for all rich and poor. You complain because you did not get free water or BR1M??

    • you cant see the difference? one gives when coffer in deficiet and the other in surplus. you pay bonus when you are pokkai??

      • Your same mind game regardless of Rakyat’s suffering.
        God forbids such political use of pawns for their own agenda.
        So, the phrase political traders are so near the truth!
        Go back to pasar malam to trade your political mind games till GE14!

      • Who play pasar Malam mind? Selangor and pg budgets are running at surplus. So you want state Gomen to continue to accumulate savings? But federal is operating at losses even can’t give 50m to primary schools when it is budgeted and yet can give BR1M? Go and enjoy your shopping in air cond super and hypermarket with ample of carpark for your 4wd built by developers.

    • You can cycle safely, but the problem is those reckless drivers of big vehicles have no respect for cyclists, claiming exclusive right of way with their big cars. So please be careful and wear a helmet for protection.

      • Actually, those reckless drivers are mostly MyVis & small vehicle young drivers as they can ‘squeeze’ thro the traffic (mostly on the left side) which for the average in-lane drivers are caught by surprise from these left side overtakers. In such instance, a sudden left turn to overtake by these MyVis surely cannot see the blind spots of cyclists just ahead of them on the left lane.
        The other reckless ones are those motorbike riders who like these MyVis have no patience to follow the traffic pace but to overtake on the left, cut across the middle & even overtake the fastest on the right side (which is dangerous as this side is outside the traffic flow but in & going against the opposite traffic flow).
        Imagine a casual cyclist in the path of such motorbike riders, most of whom have no skills for emergency braking. The one who falls may not avoid the car wheels.
        This is my daily observation & is not meant to discriminate young drivers or MyVis.

      • The only way for safe bicycle riding is to provide dedicated bicycle lanes along highway like Tanjung Tokong. In the inner city of George Town, some back lanes can be cleaned up for cyclists to use, narrow lanes dedicated for bicycles & motorbikes (no cars). A lot of these backlanes & narrow lanes are actually short cuts if one knows the road grids.

  5. some will always remember George Michael’s Last Christmas, and below his interpretation of Christmas which my rhyme with many not sure Anil in tune as well ?

  6. Penang Music Festival 2017 can get Majida El Roumi Baradhy to perform ?

    “Music can speak out louder than words. I will use my music and my voice to speak out on behalf of the needy and undernourished everywhere.”
    — Majida El Roumi

  7. As we are ushering 2017, I sense that Penang-lang or Commoners at large that fear island landscape succumbing to Cosmo-commercial-development should now focus and band together with strategies to balance vintage n modernity (Ying n Yang?)

    propose monthly gathering in round table to work out strategies. Why not for auspicious start to meet on 2 Jan 2017 at Ah Soon Not Har Mee (prawn noodle shop) at heritage Carnavoun Street? Ah Soon can give ample liao (ingredients) and kopi o kau the participants can syiok syiok enjoy!

    Have a wonderful and great eventful 2017.

      • The inevitable (Pg street hawker food price hikes) which was heatedly commented in anilnetto.com since 2011 has come true the past few years. Added the commercialisation of heritage properties (no thanks to some SingLanders), some of which previously housed old world charm kopitiams, the inevitable hike of rentals has ‘forced out’ small timers some of whom were famous ori-maestros of heavenly hawker cuisine. Except for that famous Lebuh Keng Kwee Teochew Chendol run by enterprising & farsighted Ori-Maestro Tan, many ori-maestros have no choice but to quit or bite the toes & pay higher rentals, which translates into more expensive food & beverage like kopi-o.
        Tis’ the price of Cosmopolitan Frenzied Penang, no thanks to CAT which has no integrated vision to transform Penang into a liveable city (for Penangites).
        The time will come when many Penangites will line up @ soup kitchens (e.g. LightHouse, Penang Road, Kechara Soup Kitchen, Halaman Ariffin off Jalan Burmah) for daily free food! I am mulling lining up in my senior citizen years in the future. Who cares about bin-chui?

      • Charity organisation daily offer free meals for aged and abandoned seniors (children who likely unwilling to be further $burden by my own parents) at the space outside GuanYin Temple Pitt St.
        Yesterday noon the free meals were nasi lemak bungkus with 1 bottle mineral water.

      • The kopitiam next to Keng kwee lane ori-Tan chendol actually still owned by Hong Kong folks since long long ago. The kopitiam just undergone minor renovation with fresh coat of paint while the stalls are now better aligned.
        Someone can inform us if they now charge more than 40sen per head for not ordering in house drinks?????

      • Barang Naik because of low value of RM. Blame Trump or Najib? Luckily EPF can safeguard your money by dumping Felda share, which has dropped from RM5.5 at IPO to just RM1.55 now!

      • NST report: A total of 95,683 Felda settlers all over the country will receive a Settlers Productivity Incentive Bonus totalling RM66.7 million early next month. Its chairman Isa Abdul Samad said, depending on each settler’s productivity, they will receive a bonus of between RM300 and RM800 by the second week of Jan.

        [Others] in Malaysia can only look with envy. So much for 1Malaysia.

      • Felda is taking on debt in order to afford the RM66.7 million in bonus it has promised to its settlers, claims PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli.

        The Pandan MP said this was because Felda and its subsidiaries had recorded an operational loss of RM1.4 billion in 2014, and are likely to have performed just as badly in 2015 and 2016.

        http://m.malaysiakini.com/news/368206

      • Christmas is over and now most Chinese are very concerned that the new school year and the Chinese New Year expenditure will burn a big hole in their pockets as price has hiked in almost everything no thanks to the falling Ringgit value. If everyone is saving for rainy days, how to stimulate the economy with more consumption in 2017?

      • Tough year ahead. Be prudent with your spending.
        Some could hope for more BN goodies ahead of GE14 next year?

    • Your Raleigh Cobra a vintage, and can be offered to Prangin Mall basement Past Penang exhibits now happening there.

      • Raleigh Cobra sold off in 1981 for a measly Rm200+
        Original retail price was Rm450 & made in England, bought from Chin Air Bicycle Shop, Carnarvon Street.
        Black alloy frame & wheels + Campagnolo Gear Shifter + Brooks Saddle > easy to lift with just 2 fingers.
        But fragile on ‘invisible’ potholes.
        In the 70s, I was among a few Penang Chinese species riders (not more than 5) riding street racers, majority of whom were Malays. Mountain bikes were no existent then, except for BMX bikes which were for kids.
        Saturday morning speed rides from Fort Cornwallis to Teluk Bahang roundabout = 35-40min/22km. faster than Lim Seng Seng buses. No heavy traffic except for a few Volkswagen Beatles & Morris Minors.
        The only thigh-muscle bursting stretch was the road in front of Dalat School (that’s how I developed a Mokhtar Dahari footballer thigh!)

      • Anil n Vintage members should go to Old Penang Charms exhibit at basement Prangin Mall. Many past photos to rekindle the spirits of the past.
        Btw, someone should offer 70s “Chopper” bike so that the present MacCondoKids can appreciate how the past havoc kids roaming the streets of neighborhoods during the era when 4WD or Proton not the vocabulary.
        Back to future Penang MiniMovie may feature Cobra Chendol vs Chopper ice kacang if you are creative enough for that vision.

      • 4WD already in Malaya (before) Independence Day – the British Land Rovers (the Defenders were not born yet).
        These were mostly owned by the Polis Field Force, FRU, Army & private individuals in Cameron Highlands estates / Fraser Hills.
        It’s very rare to see these vehicles daily except during emergencies like curfews, Indonesia–Malaysia Confrontation (1963-1966) & riots control.
        Even very rare to see Polis Land Rover transporting dead bodies to GH as there were fewer crimes & less road accidents during the 50s -70s.
        Many of these older Landis (Land Rover nick name) are still in use esp. in Cameron Highlands & some have been ‘potting’ for recon spare parts highly sought out by 4WD enthusiasts & kakis.

  8. Cannot blame commercialization if too much emphasis is on practices and rituals, and not on the core values. This is happening in all faiths and religions in modern times.

  9. It’s a time to reflect ourselves as a species of humanity with mental & emotional quotations.
    Are we any better than the kampung era in the chase of more money, more wealth & better bin-chui?
    This is a case worth examining of present work culture which places profit-maximisation at the expense of employees & possible danger to customers:
    Johor bus crash: Driver only had three hours rest
    http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/12/25/johor-bus-crash-driver-only-had-three-hours-rest/
    We may argue till the cows come home that our Ringgit is falling in value, business is competitive or the labor market is tight, but it is not sensible reason enough to ‘work’ the employees under sub-human condition like this 3 hrs of rest before another run in the rat-racing mill. Worse still the work process involved handling customer safety. We may cheer at every holiday season, at every Christmas party or at Chinese New Year Dinner Yam Seng, but bear in mind after the cheering that our indulging of seasonal happiness is not at the expense of our employees & customers.

  10. Merry Christmas to Anil & family, Penang Forum, Aliran, all readers, commenters, Cosmo-Frenzied Niao Kong & CAT Team & trollers / cyber troopers!
    May Cleaner, Greener Penang be resurrected as “bikin serupa cakap” like a daily Green Commandment in our hearts & not performed as publicity stunts @ launching of projects & islands.

    Cheers Kopi-O Kau Kau Merry Christmas!

    • “It is a time to reflect on the values espoused by Christianity and our other great religions – of mutual respect, tolerance for one another, and helping those less fortunate.

      “These are the same values that bind us, in this diverse and vibrant land of ours, together.”

      These were the words of Najib Abdul Razak in his Christmas message to Malaysians.

  11. Do They Know It’s Christmas

    IT’S Christmas time – there’s no need to be afraid

    At Christmas time, we let in light and we banish shade

    And in our world of plenty, we can spread a smile of joy

    Throw your arms around the world at Christmas time

    But say a prayer for the other ones

    At Christmas time

    It’s hard but when you’re having fun

    There’s a world outside your window

    And it’s a world of dread and fear

    Where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears

    And the Christmas bells that ring there

    Are the clanging chimes of doom

    Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you

    And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas time

    The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life

    Oh, where nothing ever grows, no rain or rivers flow

    Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?

    Here’s to you, raise a glass for everyone

    Here’s to them, underneath that burning sun

    Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?

  12. “The Living Years” by The London Hospices Choir and Paul Carrack

    This wonderful Christmas single is in aid of London Hospices, by a specially created choir of 300 patients, staff and volunteers of all ages from 17 hospices across London. Together with Paul Carrack, the song’s original lead singer with Mike And The Mechanics, on lead vocals, they are releasing a unique 2016 version of The Living Years.

    The aim of the single release is to raise awareness and funds for the hospices, spreading an important message at Christmas – to make every living moment count.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here