Thursday, September 29, 2005

Christmas In My Mind

First, a disclaimer: I love Christmas, I really do. Christmas is my favorite time of the year and not just for the usual reasons. I love Christmas because it is fun.

This piece is not about debunking old Christmas beliefs and traditions but rather about recognizing that some things in this world don’t make sense at all. But then again, who really cares as long as it is fun? And having fun is enough justification for most anything.

Anyway, I knew Christmas is just around the corner (more like the next toll station) not only because the nights have become colder (just had to bring that cliche in), but because the radio stations have started playing Christmas carols, darn it. It is as if people need to be reminded or else it will go away. Why do we start playing Christmas carols in September 1? And why must it be Gary V's Pasko Na Sinta Ko? Is there a conspiracy somewhere to get people to fall in love before Christmas otherwise... you'd be what the song is about?

But really. Christmas is near. And that means...expenses!

It means parties: one for every group conceivable. Your grade 2 class will have a reunion, even if there are only three people left and the rest of the people who will show up are not even your classmates, but people who just needed to go to another party to meet a quota of parties for the week. Your former officemates will have another get together all in the spirit of reliving the good old days when you backstabbed each other and could not stand being two feet from each other.

It means gifts, gifts, gifts. It is not enough that you buy gifts for your baby (in my childhood they were called monito) - you have to buy a gift for your "mom" as well. And they actually set a price range for the gifts nowadays. Talk about commercialism! Yes, we will have exchange gifts to celebrate love and giving, but they must be worth at least three hundred pesos or else. And wrapping is now included in the computation, otherwise, you will have to add a few loose change in the gift to meet the requirement. Tell me that is not sad.

And pray tell, who started this illogical bit about Santa Claus watching out for kids and preparing presents for them somewhere in the north pole? This bit about Santa teaches kids how to be morons - every single detail about him is not only illogical, it is downright stupid. If Santa were to watch every single boy and girl in the world if they were bad or good, he needs more than the combined number of policemen in the whole world to do it. And where in the world is it big enough to manufacture presents good enough for hundreds of millions of kids? Certainly, not in the north pole, or for that matter, not in any place on earth.

And what have those tiny, twinkling tivoli lights to do with Christmas? In case you haven’t noticed, these lights are now the standard Christmas decoration. No household can be without them at Christmas. Forget about mistletoes, forget about Christmas wreaths, or the traditional belen. These days, those tiny fireflies-like lights symbolize Christmas more than anything else.

I am told those lights have to do with the giant star that appeared on the first Christmas. This explanation does not help any because, my dear, it was a giant star, probably a comet that appeared. In my childhood, Christmas lights came in Christmas colors and they were not tiny at all. They were CHRISTMAS LIGHTS! And one did not have to wrap the whole house with lights to feel the cheer.

And whoever started making those awful parols in the shape of tulips and gumamelas deserve to be shot on the spot. What the heck do they have to do with Christmas?

And then...what is with this trendy colors for the Christmas tree? I swear I went to three houses last year that took pride in having a Christmas tree all festooned in orange, lavender, and pink. Pink??? At Christmas? You have got to be kidding. Blue I can understand, although I think that is too literal and can't relate with - but at least I can hear Elvis Presley croonign in the background (I'll have a blue Christmas without you...). But pink? Hot pink? What's next, black? Brown?

Some things in this world just don’t make sense.

But anyway, I guess that is what makes Christmas magical. Such is the beauty of life, I guess. If we are all willing to suspend disbelief for a while, if we can all be as innocent as kids, even for just once a year, I guess the magic of Christmas will continue.

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