Being a country that has known for world's longest Christmas celebration which starts from the moment Christmas carols were heard as early as September and lasts until the feast of the Three Kings on January, I admit I miss to celebrate Christmas since I worked outside Philippines for thirteen years now. However, there were times in my life that I said Yuletide season is my most dislike season of the year. But it should not be treated as negative statement because it has nothing to do with our belief or tradition as Christian but it is about a childish thing. I just found Christmas is for children that the grownups cannot deny. And at this very hour I would say I really missed the days of Christmas when I was young.
Back then, I was always aspired every year to attain my cash Christmas gift in as much as hundred pesos where one peso was already a show of generosity. It served Christmas wish that sometimes answered but often not. To achieve this, my sister and I have to go house to house in our godparents, uncles, aunties, neighbors, to our parent’s friends and up to whomever generous house we found. It’s Christmas anyway, children were funny to pamper in that way.
Christmas then for me was fun. It was during in that time we can buy our much yearning toys that were displayed in toy store that we hardly tried to save money the whole year. But the eleven months are not enough to come up with the price of the greatest-prospected toys, either the toys were sold out or simply we can’t save money at all. And Christmas was just the perfect time to own our most wanted toy. During Yuletide, while part of our gained money had separated for our parents plan for us, we were allowed to use the other part of our money to buy whatever we want. If unlucky, the money is not enough or the toy is no longer on display. And we used our money to buy other things.
It was actually few years that I yearned for the toys, most of the years I bought one shirt every year. But I remember, there was one time I really liked the feeling of spending my money when I bought a skew of grilled frankfurter. Practically, I cannot eat hotdog during ordinary days of the year. During our years, it was extravagance for a child to buy grilled hotdog or barbeque as snacks wherein rice porridge suited for the children. But on Christmas, it was during that day where I can buy two or three and the taste of the frank was really awesome especially for a child like me who really craved for that food.
Until the age of 12, I stopped going to our neighbors, uncles, aunties, and much more to my godparents. I just felt I’m quite old to do this house to house childish thing. And it was since that age I felt the joy of Christmas in me was slowly fading. Maybe part of my introvert and independent personality, I was no longer interested in this childish thing that I used to enjoy. Until I grew up, I found holiday season is no longer happier and more exciting than before.
Celebrating the Yuletide season brought different joy. It is not for me but instead it is more on enjoying the season by pleasing others, especially the children. A more matured me, I help decorating our home with Christmas decors for the guests, allocate an amount for the carollers every night, prepare the gifts for my godchildren, nieces, nephew and other children, and plan the foods for the Christmas eve that our family will be shared until the relatives come after the sun up. And indeed I feel happy for these.
Now, the Yuletide season for me is more on giving enjoyment. I always admit and I am open about it that it is Lenten season that I like most because it is during in this season that I feel the most holiness in me through my reflection. I am now reserving the holiday season for the young, and since I have already my share of happiness during my times, I am now giving back the happiness to those people who made me happy when I was young.
By Alex V. Villamayor
December 25, 2013