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A Christmas of wanting

Once-off guest contributor Melbourne on My Mind invited Cheap Geek and I over for Christmas celebrations this weekend. Except when we turned up at her house, we found out that Melbourne on My Mind’s friends/cousins weren’t the only guests: it turns out that her parents had decided to throw a shindig and she thought it a good opportunity to shout her friends/cousins some free food and booze. According to Melbs, mooching some Christmas cheer off one’s parentals is fair game, especially when one is a financially challenged uni student.

We reminisced over the usual stuff: how a mutual friend of ours kneed her then fiancé in the balls when she caught him cheating at Melbourne on My Mind’s eighteenth and how Joss Whedon is awesome. And then we stumbled over movies currently screening at the cinemas, including Catching Fire and Ender’s Game. Whilst Melbourne on My Mind was desperate to see Catching Fire, she didn’t seem too fussed over Ender’s Game. Being a pov uni student, she told me she had to ‘pick and choose’ what she saw on the big screen.

Most of us are selective with our movie choices. For instance, I wouldn’t spend $20 on a movie ticket to Bad Grampa or Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2; I probably won’t even bother hiring the DVD. Nevertheless, if Cheap Geek and I want to see something, we’ll usually see it within a couple of weeks of it being released.

It’s an attitude that’s foreign to my parents’ generation and yet familiar to our own. And it isn’t restricted to movies. Whatever we want, we have: the latest gadgets and must-have items. No wonder by the time we get to Christmas, we give and receive our material gifts woodenly. Maybe instead of handing over things dressed up in wrapping paper and fancy bows, we should use the excuse Christmas gives to patch up quarrels with family, reunite with forgotten friends, or hang out with your bestie. As they say, ‘It’s the thought that counts’, not the gift, so ditch the wanting and the having and try something thoughtful this Christmas.

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