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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Joys and Pains of Christmas Season

10 top things that make me realize Christmas is really just around the corner...

1. Traffic! The most festive time of the year in the Philippines is also the most difficult time to get from one destination to another without being stressed. I noticed the unusual build up as early as end of November, when all the huge malls started their annual christmas sale.

2. Rise in crime rates in Metro Manila. Yes, the crooks know everyone just got their Christmas bonus so they need to work double time to make sure they get their share too.

3. I have put up our Christmas decors, and so did my neighbors. Every city in MM has put up their street decors and major thoroughfares are adorned with lanters too. I particularly love the lights at Meralco. Well, they are the power distribution company and I bet they are not scrimping on energy.

4. There is a sale in almost every corner. Mall sales, bazaar, village sales, tiangge, warehouse sales and garage sales. All brands are selling at super marked down prices too. Just like the crooks, they want a share from your bonuses too.

5. Taxi devils drivers with horns (and fangs). All of a sudden they don't want to use their meters, choosy on the destination, and charge double.

6. Reindeer cashiers and baggers. While the santa hats being worn by the cashiers and baggers at Rustan's and Shopwise look cute and subtle, I find the reindeer headbands for the staff of a huge supermarket a bit overkill. We get the message that you want your people to 'wear' the Christmas spirit, but I feel sorry for some of the cashiers who struggle punching in the merchandise while keeping their antlers together. Makes me wonder what will the staff wear on top of their heads on Easter - a huge crucifix or an egg?

7. Wow, I have no garbage?. It is actually borderline funny and blood-boiling how the garbage collectors suddenly beef up their schedule during the last few days before Christmas in order to distribute their solicitation envelopes. In our village, during regular days they come every Wednesday and Saturday. Sometimes we complain to the Barangay when they don't come on schedule which is pretty often. But during December, they collect our garbage three times a week with different sets of basurero so they can give us different sets of envelope.

8. Everyone goes on a diet and it is called See-food diet. Company parties, family reunions, and get-togethers revolve around food and we all go around its axis. Aside from being pregnant, Christmas is the time when women have an excuse to over-indulge (read: pig out).

9. The 'heroes' are home. 'Tis the season to be merry and Filipinos are at thier merriest when they are home! December is the favorite month of Pinoy OFWs and balikbayans to come back to their motherland with their half-half children who can barely speak Tagalog (and are the center of attention in family gatherings because of their funny accent and pretty faces).

10. We The zombies hear mass at 4am. Although I don't anymore have the energy to follow this tradition, Misa de Gallo (Simbang Gabi) is one Filipino Christmas practice that I hope will last forever. When I was a kid, my sisters, cousins and I, tried to complete all the 9 dawn masses in exchange of a Christmas wish.

Do you feel Christmas already?

I hope amidst all these hullabaloo, we don't forget the real reason for the season. We all know WHO that is.


Merry Christmas!


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