Given my current situation, I’ve been rethinking some of the traditions I used to follow during the Christmas season.
It’s still Christmas without:
Before, I would give gifts to everyone and I mean everyone. That lasted until December 2006… why?
Honesty is the best policy. I hate shopping; it’s stressful for me to battle the crowd, decide which clothing/picture frame/etc is better (they all look the same to me), and of course it pains me to compute if I have enough cash left (math, ugh). I find it hard to think of what gifts to give, and making lists of people to give gifts to is tricky because I’m afraid I might forget someone (horrors!).
I do want to give something that will be useful or touching, but I think most gifts end up being re-gifted or hidden away in closets because the receiver does not need it anyway. Personally, I only appreciate gifts that are useful (or edible). An automatic umbrella and a striped steno notebook were my favorite gifts for this year. None of those aromatic candle/decorative frou-frou/frilly stuff for me, thank you. Also, being broke opened my eyes to how materialistic the season has become; a lot of people are forced to spend money even when they cannot afford it just to keep up appearances. So for 2008, only my godchildren (those who are accesible), immediate family and a few (mabibilang mo sa dalawang kamay) friends will receive a gift from me. Sponsored by my mom. Hay.
2. Christmas parties
I only attended one Christmas party this year: half during the Vesper Christmas (half because it was actually a houseblessing), and maybe tomorrow during our church’s family day (half because it starts at 8:00 AM on a Saturday… so I’ll probably get there a couple of hours late, hehe). Not going to other Christmas parties is perfectly okay with me since I get bored and stricken by ADHD when programs exceed 30 minutes. Makes me want to shout every time: Enough with the yakking and the silly games and the funny dance presentations already! Let’s eat!
3. Buying new stuff (for myself)
I’ll buy them when I need them, not because I’ve been brainwashed by all the Christmas sales and ads everywhere. This goes especially for clothes. They won’t fit me after two months into my closet anyway.
After rethinking Christmas traditions, a lot will still remain.
It’s not CHRISTmas without:
1. Celebrating Christmas the Filipino way: from September to January.
2. Spending it with my family.
3. Christmas music and carolling/cantatas.
4. Food, food, glorious food.
5. Jesus Christ: the undeserved gift we received 2000 years ago.
I’m still sitting on the fence on whether Christmas should be celebrated on December 25. Read this article for more information on why Christ’s birth on this date. I especially liked what a theologian said way back in 320 AD: “We hold this day holy, not like the pagans because of the birth of the sun, but because of him who made it.”