Thoughts On Christmas

The day the calendar turns September, the Christmas season officially starts in the Philippines, as we thought so. Some of us would already start putting up the Christmas decorations. Christmas songs can already be heard on the radios and in almost every home. Christmas greetings become a common thing. While others would start doing their shopping!They say that the longest Christmas season happens only in the Philippines.

As days and weeks pass, major roads start to become congested. More and more people trip to the malls and bazaars for the great finds.

But what really is in Christmas? What’s the first thing that comes into your mind? Gifts, vacations, spending time with loved ones, families and friends, and bonuses, new gadgets, new stuff and parties. For kids, this is the time when rewards are expected for being good the whole year.More than anything else, Christmas is about sharing or be at peace with the people whom we may have had some misunderstanding in the past. And no matter what language you speak, Christmas simply means LOVE.

Christmas is gift giving. Over the weekend, after getting off from work, I had the opportunity to go with a non – government organization that conducts mentoring session with street kids within the metro. We brought literally loads of beautifully wrapped gifts and packed breakfast for about 50 street children.Despite of the roughness in their behavior,they patiently stoodin a queue while waiting for their food to be served. And said a simple yet well – meant thank you as they receive their packed breakfast and their gifts.

The aftermath of Typhoon Pablo brought an indescribable devastation in key areas in Mindanao, which claimed at least a thousands lives and the sources of livelihood of the residents. Because of this, a charity run was organized in just 12 days to raise funds and collect donations in kind to help augment the needs of our brothers and sisters who were badly hit by the calamity. The event was held two days before Christmas and mostly everyone had already done their Christmas shopping, well, understandably, almost tight on the budget. Yet, despite of the busy schedule and budget concerns, still, a large number of runners came out early Sunday morning, to participate in the charity event and to share whatever is in excess of what they need.

For the past ten years, I have spent Christmas all by myself. I haven’t gone home to my parents, or stay with my close relations during Christmas eve. For the most part, I spent it at work. However, this year, I’m off from work and this is the first time that I’m spending Christmas at home. Though, there’s really no one to go home to because I live alone. Out of convenience, I had my dinner early evening and went online. I thought of it as the best thing to do to burn away the minutes and hours until the clock strikes 12.

Living alone does not necessarily equate to being lonely. My next door neighbors were looking out for me for the past hour or so. Going home, my friend invited me to have dinner with them. Another invitation came from a neighbor who’s youngest is my godson. We had some red wine later on, brandy, and a lot of singing until about 4 in the morning. I got home and slept with good memories of my first Christmas eve celebration. Living alone after all, didn’t really mean being alone.

As it has become a yearly tradition, I make it a point to get a Starbucks planner before the 25th of December. It’s quite costly if you think about how much you are about to spend to collect 17 stickers good for one planner.But for anyone who loves to grab his favorite Starbucks drink, getting a planner is pretty much like a reward for frequently visiting the store and have your drink prepared. And besides, the partners working there just don’t work, they build relationships with their customers making you feel more comfortable hanging around their store.

More often than not, we see Christmas as a gift giving celebration. Giving of gifts is one way to show our appreciation towards other people.With all the parties, new stuff, all the hustle and bustle and gifts that we have received, let us all be reminded of the most precious and unconditional gift that each one of us received, and that is the gift of salvation.

Let the true essence of Christmas live in our hearts each day of our life.

Wishing you and your family the best of the holiday season. God bless.


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