Ok, so I didn’t get the iPad mini. Maybe Santa forgot (and this was despite multiple reminders sent to him via whatsapp, Line, WeChat, twitter, Facebook messenger, SMS, MMS, iMessage, Skype messages and Tango!). Maybe he doesn’t have a smart phone!
Or maybe Santa thought I was being bad boy this year. God knows I haven’t exactly been a saint! Or maybe, just maybe, he knows I don’t really need the gadget! Honestly speaking, I cannot offer a credible excuse for wanting the iPad mini other than its larger capacity (I wished for the 64GB model you see) compared to my current iPad 2 which has half the capacity. It’s really a struggle trying to work with limited memory on the iPad. Three main things occupy most the memory on my iPad – photos (almost 6GB), medical apps and Ryan’s games (the Avengers Initiative, for instance, takes up a whopping 2GB of memory!).
So, I thought wishing for the iPad mini was a good idea. Obviously Santa didn’t think the same.
No matter. This Christmas was special in so many ways. We (3 siblings and our families) celebrated it at my parents’ home. It’s a little out of the ordinary because usually we hold it either at my place or my brother’s place, mainly because we are the only Christians in the family. But this year, my brother thought it might be best to hold it at mum and dad’s home – for the sake of my mum who had, in recent months, lapsed into deep depression – so deep that she no longer cares to eat nor take any interest in her surroundings or herself.
A role reversal has taken place in my parents relationship. Dad, who used to be the receiver of care from mum now has to play ‘mum’ to mum – catering to her every need 24/7. I know it’s really hard for him.
The Christmas dinner was very ordinary. Angel hair cooked in mushroom and ham soup (it was supposed to be spaghetti but my bro bought the wrong type of pasta!). No matter because it tasted great all the same. The fried chicken drummet was stale and cold. The vegetables were over-cooked. The satay (from Kajang) was uninspiring.
But we had great wine! (A bottle of Mescato Sweet Lips white wine from South Eastern Australia – a gift from a student). And we had a great time singing carols (first time I touched and played a guitar in years!) and we had a grand time opening our presents (a miracle happened because for the first time, my sis bought me a T-shirt that I could actually wear! Usually she buys me tees that are 2 sizes larger!). And we had an awesome time playing various board games.
But the most special thing was to see mum eating some food (she actually asked for some pasta!) and making the effort to come out from her room, which has in recent months become her ‘cage’, and join us in the hall. She didn’t join in the merry-making of course but it was gratifying just to have her there with us. Dad sang the carols with the kids while mum lie quietly on the couch with her eyes closed.
And just before the night ended, another special thing happened. My sis suddenly asked if she could join us in the Christmas service in church the next day along with her two kids! As far as I can recall she has never shown any interest in the faith that my brother and I hold on to. And so the next day we brought her and her two kids to church. The message was on John 3:16 – the famous verse which any Christians worth his/her salt would know- For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son, Jesus, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
It was indeed a very special Christmas miracle for us this year.
Personally , I think it was one of the best Christmas I’ve ever had.
And oh, Santa, if you are reading this, I still want the iPad mini. .