I love Christmas. People are usually nice during the season (they give gifts left and right). What I hate is the ‘holidays’ part of it. Every where you go there is traffic congestion. It seems like people are possessed by some kind of unseen powers that are driving them to shop, give gifts, receive gifts, eat, and meet with friends and relatives as if there is no tomorrow. The shopping malls are taking advantage of this madness by offering sales discounts, thus attracting even more shoppers and causing even more traffic gridlock. Bazaars are everywhere selling all kinds of stuff. That’s why over the years, Christmas appears to be less and less about the Lord’s birthday party than a pagan’s orgy of shopping, binging, and partying. (Of course, others say Christ’s birth was somewhere in April but that’s another story).
It seems that in other countries, they only celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December. In the Philippines, “Christmas” practically starts in November and ends in January 5 during the “three kings.” Why are we doing this is a puzzle to non-Filipinos. I guess it has something to do with the Filipinos’ penchant for fiesta or festival, which is nothing but an extended, massive drawn out party. Do you wonder why we can’t seem to mount an honest to goodness “revolution” to change this country despite all the corruption in the government from top to bottom? It’s because people would rather go to a fiesta than to a revolution. Are we doomed to be less serious about ourselves? When James Fallows criticized Filipinos for having “damaged culture,” was he referring to this aspect of our character?