February 9, 2023

I know, I know, matagal pa ang Christmas. However, it’s well known that Filipinos celebrate the longest Yuletide season on planet Earth.

In this country, the merriest of holidays commences at the start of the “ber” months, Sept. 1 to be exact, which also happens to be Baguio Day, which makes it even doubly merrier for residents of the Summer Capital.

Admittedly, this Ibaloy writer, finds our too-early and too-long observation of Christmas a bit corny at times. However, one cannot deny the sort of magic that the Yuletide season brings to us.

Despite all the natural and man-made problems that our beloved and benighted nation goes through every year, the feeling that Christmas is in the horizon somehow brings a lighter step, an easier smile, a more raucous laughter and generous demeanor, and a generally more positive attitude in people. At least, that’s what I have felt and noticed through the years.

Obviously, for children and those who consider themselves as “children-at-heart”, it is the gift-giving and ‘Ho,Ho,Ho-ing’ Santa Claus who reigns supreme on Christmastime with the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, (yes, the Christ in “Christmas”) relegated to second place.

Some people might say that as a predominantly Catholic or Christian nation, there must be something wrong that an obese and red clothes wearing foreigner from the North Pole is more popular during Christmas than Jesus whose birth it is supposedly we are celebrating in the first place.

Before anybody gets the wrong idea, this piece is not a Santa Claus vs. Jesus thing since I strongly believe that as long as love, peace, joy, sharing, and caring are spread during Christmastime, then the teachings of Jesus, being the embodiment of love (according to the Bible and my mother), reigns supreme in the Yuletide season and hopefully, all throughout the year.

Again, I don’t say this in a holier-than-thou manner but as a sinner and an imperfect human being who tries his best to do what is right but more often than not, fails miserably. In other words, tao lang po ako who“effs” up as much as the next person or even more. I just hope and pray that Jesus will continue to guide, be patient and never give up on me and my family (and everyone else, for that matter).

Anyway, I believe that having the longest Christmas celebration, as long as this is not too commercialized is a good thing since as mentioned earlier, it seems to make most of us have a more positive and hopeful outlook on life despite financial, health, and other challenges.

For me, it is always better to have hope and feel positive about living than be hopeless and feel negative all the time. Cheers!

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