The day before the day before

"Call me a scrooge," I told Jan, "but Christmas is pointless. All but the holiday."

Maybe it was too much when I said it, because I don't really have an exasperation for the season. Probably it's the fact that Christmas only comes once a year, and whatever happens on the last one is almost forgotten when the countdown for the next one rolls in. There's the things that we already know - the cold weather, the shopping rush, the karaoke at the parties, the complaints with lovers noodling during the morning masses. And then there's the things that we don't know - the gifts we will get, the stories we'll end up telling, the food we'll eat, the teasing from extremely eager relatives.

We're long finished with our shopping. I think we've done it by November. When we went to ATC to chill out a few weeks ago, though, we encountered a traffic jam from the point where Daang Hari expands from two lanes to four until the very end. I was anticipating getting to the parking lot in around ten minutes; in reality, we spent almost half an hour. In jest, I blurted out: "bakit pa kasi nauso ang Pasko?" I quickly realized the world is cruel to me - everybody else in the car was, to say the least, offended.

But, on the extreme, one can think of things that way. We've long been hearing of the commercialism that has enveloped the supposedly peaceful season, but that's not what I'm going to talk about. (Besides, stuff that involved money and politics is definitely too complicated even for the ones studying it to discuss.) I think everybody gets more annoyed with the increased crime rate (which is already being refuted, as the police now say the holiday crime rate has decreased by almost half), the traffic jams, the claustrophobic nightmare, and the sheer celebratory mood the world seems to espouse, which is weird, because most might say there really is nothing to celebrate.

But really. What else is there to celebrate? Sure, I understand that it's the birth of Jesus Christ, especially drilled by some who say that Christmas isn't Christmas without the first six letters. As kids, we were told, endlessly, of the story of the three kings who brought gifts and found the manger by following some star in the sky. There's the lanterns, the trees, and the gift wrappers. We were anxious as to who got our name in the holiday school parties - who thought of the name "kris kringle" anyway? - and hoped to get a really great gift, eventually dampening our expectations.

Now, aside from the gazillion wish lists everybody on my Multiply network is doing, there's... what?

Christmas is suddenly becoming arbitrary. There are the kids who sign Christmas carols, but fail to coordinate the efforts, and yet ask for something. "Tao po, nangangaroling po!" they plea when nobody answers them, and will insist on getting some! There are the many advertisements that can be seen as a template, putting the scratched-up values of the season with the name of the product side to side. It's no surprise that I haven't felt the spirit of the holidays for the past few years, when it only boils down to dinner, gifts, gifts, banter, lunch, dinner, gifts, sleep. Suddenly I am becoming a scrooge, for heaven's sake!

Should I call for a throwback to what Christmas is all about? Sadly, this message - this intention - has also been drowned out by the line "this is brought to you by" so and so. But essentially it's the community that makes Christmas a holiday that we celebrate for two weeks, or four months. I've lately also seen people hibernating to the province, or uploading photos of cousins I'd nevertheless not care about. I'm sure I won't get it because I'm not there, but see their joy? Everybody's so used to seeing the clich├ęd smiles over the dinner table because that's what we always see. We forget the intricacies of the season. Rather, we see two-minute plugs for liquor.

Would I be able to live this? Suddenly I'm so earnest, it seems. I've been walking this earth for almost nineteen years, and I've seen nothing but billboards with wreaths, instant celebrities and their neighbors hoping to get something out of Ellen DeGeneres.

Now the news is talking about people who wear Santa costumes to spread cheer among blanked-up commuters. The problem is, the older we get, the less innocent we become - and the more cynical we end up being.

Nevertheless I should be preparing my Christmas greetings. I was supposed to send them today, especially that the telecommunication companies have been warning of increased text traffic - traffic again? - as Christmas eve comes. Maybe I should start sending. At least they will take notice of my text message. Oh, I cannot wait to swoon.

And your responses...

You know there were times when I asked myself the same question: Why should we celebrate Christmas? I know this year had been one hell of a ride (applies for me)and believe it was not easy for me, but I think back and remember that we don't celebrate Christmas just for gifts or the cards we receive...its about the birth of Jesus Christ and how important He is in our lives...that alone makes me look forward to Christmas despite being down in the dumps for a very long time...

*Hehe sori....me being faithful and all ^_^ just want to cheer u up

Blogger Lizette12/23/2007     

scrooge :)

merry christmas niko!

Blogger Katia12/24/2007     

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