Useful Christmas Gifts #4: Something From Apple

Let’s face it. You’re gonna be either buying or considering buying an Apple product this Christmas, either for yourself or for someone else. Epicentre, the premium Apple reseller, is making it more fun with an in-house personal shopper who’s gonna help you buy more stuff and then you’ll go home and curse him later.

Santa/Personal Shopper will be demonstrating how to use iPhoto to make photo books and other stuff every weekend from now till December 24th. There’s cookies to be had too. Just bring your own glass of milk.

Naomi, Kai and I are unabashedly Apple people at home, with a couple of iPhone4, iPad, iMac and MacBook Pros between the three of us.

And I’m quite sure there are parents of toddlers like ours who’ve learned new tricks on their Apple products from their kids. Before Kai got his hands on our phones, we didn’t know we could operate the iPod feature with the phone still password locked.

He hasn’t figured out our passwords yet, but he’s been treating us to his favourite songs on our phones and iPads in between playing Angry Birds.

Useful Christmas Gifts #3: Singapore’s Greatest Disasters

This collection of short stories is written by Malcolm Oei. Set to some of Singapore’s most notorious events like the Nicoll Highway collapse, the Bukit Ho Swee fire and the SQ hijack, they are made all the more compelling by the fact that we have a piss poor reputation of investigative journalism.

You’ll want to read Mr Oei’s retelling of these chilling events and you won’t be able to stop yourself thinking if they really happened like that. The shorts are intricately researched, and you know this bugger has gone around asking the right people the right questions and has come up with a reasonable return of the right answers.

It’s almost as if these accounts were taken off something like wikileaks.sg and classified as fiction so that no one would be put in an uncomfortable position.

There is a scorcher of a story on the SQ117 hijack – where our fine commandos stormed a plane and shot four desperados armed with bread knives and killed them dead – and I suspect there might have been a missing chapter on the series of monumental cock-ups that led to Mas Selamat’s escaping into Malaysia, but the author denies having even considered it.

Don’t be put off by the book’s damned ugly cover, as local publishers tend to have crap cover designers. Go and buy yourself and your friends a copy of Malcolm Oei’s Singapore’s Greatest Disasters ($17 at all good bookshops and online).

Useful Christmas Gifts #2: Tickets to Crazy Christmas 2010

You can buy some Christmas cheer, especially when you’ve got a show starring Singapore’s best musical, dance and acting talents.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be a little bit involved in Dream Academy’s Crazy Christmas 2010, and at every rehearsal, I’ve been treated to a melange of music, singing and dancing that turned every humdrum day into something extraordinary.

Even if you didn’t need reminding that Christmas is about love, sharing and giving – go get yourselves and your loved ones a couple of tickets to this show. You won’t regret it.

Tickets from $29 – $69.