I’ve been meaning to post more the past week in preparation for Christmas, but work has been killing my time. And to think it’s almost time for the long weekend. Nope, all of our clients are rushing to get their websites ready for 2008, and we just have to comply because…that’s what we get paid for. I hardly have time to write anything at all.
But as much as work can be a lot tiring, one thing’s got me all energized and all that: Christmas! Even if I am not yet done with my Christmas shopping (I keep on forgetting to check this place out for a gift for the parents, and the items I ordered are still not here), even if traffic is horrible, and even if the it’s so cold outside that it’s not funny anymore, Christmas never fails to cheer me up. :) There’s just something about this season that makes me giddy inside — perhaps it’s because it’s His birthday? Yeah, most probably!
And if there’s anyone who knows how to celebrate Christmas, it’s us, Filipinos. I remember spending Christmas with my family in Guam. It was fun because I was with my family, but it was sad because nothing is going on. Imagine — my brother and I were lying down on our beds at 9:00pm Christmas Eve! Ack. I knew then that nothing beats a Filipino Christmas. :)
Aileen started this list of why she thinks Christmas is best spent in the country, and here’s my own list of why a Filipino Christmas is the best Christmas:
Instructions: Just share a warm, fuzzy Pinoy Christmas story or anecdote or photo or whatever it is you love about Christmas (as a Filipino). Link to this blog post so I can share your story in my compilation. Copy and paste the instructions (this paragraph) and then leave a comment so I can check out your post.
- Like Aileen, the first one in my list is Simbang Gabi. Althought we did have Simbang Gabi when I spent Christmas in Saipan, it’s filled mostly with Filipinos who live there, so it’s definitely a Filipino tradition. I’ve completed the novena about…four times, I think, and hopefully I complete this year’s. :) One of my favorite times of attending Simbang Gabi was during my junior and senior year in college, where DLSU hosts the first two masses inside the campus since it usually falls on the last days of finals. I remember waking up really early in the dorm, getting dressed (no need for shower yet because it was cold!) and then heading to the ampitheater for the mass. LSPO then serves breakfast for everyone — hot chocolate/coffee, pandesal, puto bumbong. Yum. :9
- Caroling. One of the things I wished I did when I was a kid was going Christmas caroling around the village. Since I was the youngest and a girl, plus all my friends are also girls, we couldn’t go far from our street. My brother, however, has lots of Christmas caroling adventures: being chased by dogs, setting some fireworks to some houses who do not give, and of course, earning cash. I remember we used to make the bottle cap (tansan) tambourines. This year, no one’s doing any Christmas caroling at our house; I have a feeling it’s because of Batman, the angry dog. :))
- Food! Nothing beats Pinoy Noche Buena. :D Although here at home, our Noche Buena is smaller than our Media Noche (did I spell this right?). Noche Buena at our house for the past five years or so usually consists of KFC Bucket Meal, pizza/pasta, Coke and ice cream. For the past year, though, I’ve insisted on having cake. Why? Well Christmas is His birthday, and it’s just right to have cake! :)
- Kris Kringle/Exchange Gifts. I’ve had my share of bad gifts received during exchange gifts, but I love this tradition. There’s the secrecy that is never really followed, plus the thrill of receiving gifts from your “mommy.” It would have been more fun if the people would really cooperate. I remember one time during high school, my “daddy” did not buy me a gift at all. My teacher demanded he give me something…so he gave me P150, since that was the worth of the gift. T__T But even so, I like doing this. I like buying presents for people be it something really hard to find or cheap, like wholesale flowers. :) That and the thrill of trying to get what your baby likes without him knowing you’re his mommy and knowing that he liked your gift after — just priceless.
- Christmas shopping. As much as I love receiving presents, buying presents is more than fun! I love getting stuff for the people I love and seeing their faces once they open the gift and it’s something they really like. :D
- The Christmas decorations. I love how Filipinos go overboard (in a nice way) with the Christmas decorations. Dark streets glow with life during Christmas because houses are all ablaze with lights. Glum corners become bright and lovely because of all the shiny decorations. I loved hanging out in DLSU’s ampitheater back in college during Christmas because it was just so pretty. :) There’s also the wacky decorations, like this dancing Santa that starts dancing whenever someone goes near it back in my old office, and most especially the Belen. :) There’s this really funky Belen at the office right now that I love seeing everytime I pass by that area. I’ll take a photo of that to show you guys how cute it is. :)
- Sending and receiving all the Christmas text messages. Haha, I remember reserving a specific folder for Christmas greetings in my phone and writing them all down after! Then there’s also the telltale network lag, where networks get congested because of all the text messages being sent. :D
- All those Christmas specials on TV. Couch potato alert. I love watching all those cheesy Christmas specials on TV every year, especially the Pinoy shows. They never fail to show the importance of family, of giving and most especially, the real Reason for the season. These shows give me a warm and fuzzy feeling all over. :)
Eeeh, writing this post has made me even more excited! :) Too bad my dad won’t be here for Christmas (but he will be for New Year!), but it’s okay. This Christmas is bound to be memorable — after all, 2007 has grown to be quite a memorable year!
How about you? What’s the best thing you like about Christmas in the country? Or if you’re not Filipino, what’s your favorite thing about Christmas, wherever you are?