Scrooged

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Yesterday, I watched The Polar Express on IMAX. I tried to convince Ally and Vlad to watch it with me but Ally wanted to go ice skating and Vlad's date is waiting in Greenbelt. So I told Ally that I'll watch it alone and we can meet after.

The entire film was shown in 3D. I was SO amazed. The first time I watched in IMAX, they only showed a couple of boring films and I ended up watching the ridiculous T-Rex. Only for kids. So I was elated when I finally got the chance to watch a real movie in 3D.

At first, I thought I was just going to enjoy the IMAX experience. I've never seen The Polar Express but I don't remember wanting to watch it when it was in the theatres a few years ago. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the movie too. It kind of reminded me of myself.... yeah.

The story is simple. There's this young boy who didn't believe in Santa Claus. Then one night, he woke up and was surprised to see a train in front of their house. The conductor picked him up and said they were heading to the North Pole.

It reminded me of those fun years when I would hang socks by the door and wait patiently for Santa Claus to fill them with chocolates and candies. My parents would force me to sleep but I'd stay up all night waiting. I never got any of the toys I wished for but then again, my socks were always filled with goodies so I was happy.

It's ridiculous, I know, this stopped only when I was a junior in high school. It was Christmas eve and I was holding a new pair of socks when my dad asked what the socks were for.

'For Santa.' I said.

And my dad just said, 'Tigilan mo na yan ha. Malaki ka na!' (You have to stop, you're too old for that!)

And it was the only time that my dad admitted that he was THE Santa Claus I once believed in. That he was putting candies in my socks. That when I started doubting the existence of Santa because he sends me local chocolates, he decided to put US Dollars in my socks. That he buys them from the nearby 7-Eleven store.

The most annoying thing is that my sister knew about this and she just decided to play along, making me look like the most stupid geek in the family who believes in flying reindeers.

'How'd you find out?' I asked my sister.
'Remember when I wrote Santa a letter and he said wrote back?'
'Yeah?'
'I recognized Dad's handwriting. Didn't you?'

I guess I didn't because I was really hoping he was a real person.

And so from then on, I've been allergic to the idea of celebrating this one day in the entire 365 days of the year being nice and sweet to everyone around me. Oh, Christmas spirit died when Santa disappeared from my life.

I know people would tell me that there's someone else celebrating His birthday on Christmas. I'm sorry to tell you that I am a non-practicing member of the Church.

***

So how did I spend Christmas 2007? I was at work. And after that, we went to Mall of Asia to have lunch with my officemates and then went to the ice skating rink. The mall was packed! I was too afraid to fall in front of a bunch of people so I told them I'd skate with them the day after.

NOTE: Parts of this post appeared on the Christmas 2002 edition of Chalk Magazine.

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