Christmas season engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love3:39 PM
I sincerely wish everyone the best of Christmas! Thank you to all my readers and supporters. You (and this blog) are one of the best 2010 Christmas gifts ever! I wouldn't have survived the blogging world without you!
A reality check.
Everyone loves the Christmas season. It promotes happiness, peace, giving, forgiveness and all those positive, joyous atmosphere which is well and good. Who wouldn't consider the yuletide season as their most favorite time of the year? Long breaks, vacation trips, cold weather, shopping, sales, charity, gift giving (or should I say receiving), buffet of food... what more can you ask for?
If I have to be really honest though, I'm the type who really doesn't make a big deal out of occasions. Sure, I believe that special days like this (including birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) are worth celebrating - but not as intense as most people do. And to clear things as early as now, NO, I didn't have an unhappy childhood nor bad Christmas memories. I came from a middle class family who had enough food on the table (never missed a ham) during noche buena and our parents might not afford the most expensive gifts a child would want to have but nonetheless, we would always come to like what was given to us. And yes, I still look forward to spending time with the family for dinner and opening of presents.
However, there are a few things that I don't like about this season. One of these is having to feel sorry for a lot of those who would have to go through Christmas with nothing. Government census says that the projected 2010 Philippine population is 94.1M (http://www.census.gov.ph/) by which the DE socio-eco poverty rate accounts for at least 83% (that's a huge portion!). With all the news about bazaars, where to shop, what to do, where to go, this season further emphasizes who can and can't afford. The poor can only drool over all the things they wish to have. Imagine how many (by the millions) they are, considering not only the urban poor but the rural poor (those up in the mountains) as well.
Deny it or not, the season also promotes a sense of superficiality and materialism. I must admit I also took advantage of it, thus putting up a bazaar booth a couple of weeks ago. But some just use the season as an excuse to overly spend their (or their parents') money buying what? Things that they already (excessively) have like clothes, shoes, bags, etc, which is I am inferring as 70% for their own selves and only 30% for others. Now, I couldn't be accused of being a hypocrite because I didn't do any shopping for myself, except for buying a few basics and mostly crafted gift items for friends and loved ones.
It's not wrong to want stuff or buy items that for some people mean happiness (it's your money anyway). Personally, I disagree with "over buying". Sure at times I get jealous of people who have more than enough, who have hundred pairs of shoes, or bags of clothes but at the end of the day, just think first of what your money's worth is for other people (referring to 83% poor population).
If there are few things that I hate the most about this season: 1) is when business enterprises abuse the market with over-priced items, 2) when relatives who don't really care the whole year-round suddenly show up to ask for money (why do they remember only on Christmas?), 3) when there's pressure to buy presents for everyone despite the lack of budget, 4) when the crime rate in the metro increases, 5) plus the need for some to be romantically involved just to avoid "loneliness".
Instead of thinking of one's self, I think we need to go back to history (the biblical one) of why we celebrate Christmas. It's our Savior's birthday... a time to genuinely pray, reflect and give not only to friends but those who literally have none.
I told myself I'd keep it short. Haha. But sincerely, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas! God bless us and this country!