Christmas is fast approaching. I’m getting excited just seeing the Christmas decorations and some great holiday centerpieces in malls. And of course, the bazaars. The spirit of Christmas sure makes everyone happy (and lively).
We have the longest holiday celebration in the whole world, from the beginning of September to the first week of January. Christmas decorations are on sale, and most people started decorating their houses and Christmas trees with holiday ornaments and lights. Common Christmas decorations include the parol (Christmas lantern), a model of the Christmas village and Santa Claus figurines. Christmas themed music is played on the airwaves as well.
Nine days before Christmas, there’s the Misa de Gallo which is usually held before morning or during the evening. Aside from the dawn Masses, children are singing Christmas carols on the streets at night, and the endless crowds of shoppers in malls and bazaars. Most people are on holiday vacation, visiting their relatives or spending time in resorts and tourist attractions.
A few days before Christmas, there are Christmas parties in the neighborhood and in some establishments. And with Christmas parties, there’s always a feast enjoyed by families and relatives. Well, more than the tradition of serving ham and fruitcake during the holiday season, there’s the usual serving of lechon (roast pig), spaghetti, pancit (rice noodles), and some Filipino dishes like adobo, kaldereta, and chop suey. And don’t forget the dessert! Now, that’s what I call a feast. Seeing a lot of food at the table means a lot of choices and no diet. Of course, the more conscious ones are worried about weight gain and eating unhealthy food. Well, there’s diet and exercise as one of their New Year’s resolutions.
And yes, there’s the exchange gift (we sometimes call it Monito Monita). Most of the gifts are of a specific theme or price range. You’ll never guess what you’ll receive or who the sender is, until the day you got your gift.
The holiday season is full of happiness and surprises. But always remember that Christmas isn’t all about parties, great food, gifts, family reunions and Santa Clauses. To celebrate the Yuletide season, once again, I’m quoting the last part of a previous Yuletide post [dated December 2013]:^
Most importantly, more than peace, love and the counting and sharing of blessings, is that we celebrate the birth of Christ. We all thank him for everything, whether it’s love, joy, success, or the rise from all the hardships in life. He makes it all possible, for us to live and to love life!
All right, here’s a holiday themed haiku, written specifically for the Yuletide season:
Oh, Christmas is here
May this day bring love and peace
And joy to the world