Christmas celebration has been with us for as long as we can remember. It’s the commemoration of Jesus Christ’s existence in our world for Christian believers; and for some a time for gift giving. The season itself is fringed with cheers and jeers. Of course, scrooges are a plenty but the celebration is a culs de sac. At the end of the day, Christmas season still warms non-believers’ hearts.
With 10 days more up ahead our sight before the day, many are rushing to complete their Christmas Bucket Lists. But what completes Christmas? What makes it popular and memorable for all? How are people remembered of this very significant keeping? Hmmm, let us count the ways:
5. Christmas Parties
What’s Christmas without all the good music, parties, food, and booze? Come the second week of December, many offices and companies start having their Christmas parties. Here in the Philippines, it’s a custom that officemates join this affair and have fun with co-workers.
The special celebration is deemed as a means of taking a break from work and shrugging off the hustle-and-bustle of the ordinary work life. Parties as such range from formal evening affairs to informal drinking fests. Ours will be a celebration somewhere along the middle.
Not so many holiday seasons are celebrated by many people across the globe. Christmas, along with New Year and Valentine’s Day, is inevitably an international celebration–and what’s a celebration without parties?
4. Wishlist + Christmas Food = Shopping
The first of December marks the days of business and craziness. During this time, moms all over the world start to update their recipe and look for better ways of serving a nice, decent Christmas meal. Dads look for the perfect Christmas tree. Children think of gifts they can given their parents and friends.
Indeed, December is the cashcow of department stores, hardware shops, and grocery stores. Industries take advantage of this fact and market goods a little bit more expensive than their usual price. Likewise, end-of-the-year shopping is all about dispensing left-overs for the year’s merchandise.
For a lot of families, Christmas vacation opens up the opportunity to reunite and spend a hefty amount of time together. Regular employees with regular or normal jobs (i.e. bank and government employees) in the Philippines are given at least five days off starting from December 25.
By shopping, you prepare the things and food needed for the get-togethers. Sounds fun, right?
3. Christmas Lights and Trees
They blink, fade to dim, and brighten again. Yup! They are our friendly Christmas lights. They give us the warmth of Christmas and have us imagine good things alongside our blurry gaze at these lights.
The tradition of lighting Christmas trees dates back to the 15th Century in the early Livonian community. In the Northern part of Germany, the use of the evergreen tree has been first made at around 16th Century. At first, these green trees were used to symbolize brotherhood (as well as the lights lit).
The initial Christianized Christmas tree was the Germans’ “Paradise Tree,” an apple tree in reference to the Adam and Eve creation story. On the side note, it is highly believed that due to this early reference made by the Germans, many people today allude the fruit bore by the forbidden tree as an “apple” (when in fact, this has not been proven or stated in the Bible).
They have been part of the tradition far longer than you have existed in this world. Likewise, older than I am, even!
2. Christmas Carols and Cheers
Rudolf has a red nose and might have a bad case of cold because of winter. Mommy was cheating on dad and kissing Santa Claus–oh dear, that’s just bad. Frosty, the Snowman, is not melting. He should not because it’s just December 15. I repeat, he should not! We’re all waiting for Christmas for that silent night.
These may sound funny (and literally absurd if you ask me), but they’ve been with us throughout our years of Christmas celebrations. Christmas carols and songs are great reminders that the melodies and jeers of Christmas are keeping in time with the season and having us well-accompanied all-throughout.
Songs are remembrance of things past and events joined. They entertain us and keep our hearts full of joy. Christmas carols are never different in this regard.
1. The Nativity Scene (Ang Belen) and Santa Claus
Christmas is deemed to be a family reunion. This must have been sparked by the popularity of the Holy Family’s ascent to different places in Bethlehem to give give to the child Jesus Christ.
In Western beliefs, on the other hand, Santa Claus is the famous icon. His beard and red suit have been accounted for the warm symbolism of giving and sharing for this season.
Santa’s popularity, sadly, goes beyond that of Christian’s Jesus Christ. Pop culture, for one, can be held accountable for such. We see the face of Santa Claus in Coca-Cola advertisements but have you seen Jesus in Pepsi (or even baby Jesus for that matter)?
Christmas! Oh Christmas! Please come and save this little Grinch in me. Warm me with your comforting season.