Once again, the calendar has turned to the final page - the last month of the year. Sometimes I can’t help but feel amazed by how time is flying by nowadays. Is there something fundamentally wrong with our conceptual passage of time, or is it just because time is truly uncontrollable?

Anyway, just like in Mr Bublé’s lyrics, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here. The streets are full of sparkling lights, the shops are beautifully decorated, and everywhere the familiar rhythm of “Last Christmas” and “All I want for Christmas is you” are happily loudly turned on.

Last week I attended a public speaking event, in which an old gentleman told us about Christmas in the old days, when there’s nothing called central heating, when there was heavy proper Christmas-like snow in London (yes, when there was no sign of global warming yet), and the whole family stayed late in the living room - with the old hearth and fire - for Christmas, because it was too cold in the bedrooms. Grandpa and grandma busy telling stories, mom and aunties busy cooking and baking, and the house was really filled up with uplifting Christmas spirit.

That image is quite something, isn’t it?

By the way, I don’t know, but I think there is something about the way grandpa and grandma tell stories, that we 30s to 50s really can’t imitate.

But I’m digressing again.

Often December is called the festive season, the month of partying. As what Seneca wrote in one of his letters:

The month is December, and the city is sweating, more than ever. License has been granted to public self-indulgence, and everywhere is a great din of preparations …
- Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius, Letter 18

Earlier this week we had our regular book club meeting, but the pub we often come to was so full of people that there’s no table for us at all. Hurriedly and somewhat pityingly for us, the waiter explained that those days you not only have to book the table, but have to deposit the money if you want to have it.

Luckily, after wandering around for a bit, we found a good place and the discussion went well.

However, this little ‘tradition’ of December partying really makes me think.

And don’t know why, but it seems to me that the more I see things around, the more I understands how wise Seneca’s words are:

... it may be that during these days, one ought more than ever to take charge of one’s mind, ordering it to abstain from pleasures just when everyone else is indulging in them. For if it does not proceed and is not enticed into those luxuries which lead to dissipation, it gives a very sure proof of its own strength
- Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius, Letter 18


And with that, really hope you all will have a happy, but more importantly, mindful festive season!

A Dreamer