Call me Scrooge but I did not celebrate Christmas the way everybody else did. No Christmas tree, no Christmas lights. We did not binge, or drink and eat to death. I did not even attend the Editorial Section’s Christmas party. (I had to take care of the Kid who had slight fever). On Christmas Eve, we simply had a quite lunch at the Alabang Town Center. No fancy food really—just noodles, boneless milk fish with papaya pickles, kangkong (a vegetable), softdrinks, and halo-halo (crushed ice mixed with ice cream, fruits, milk, and sweetener). After lunch we spent several hours at the Powerbooks to browse some interesting titles. I got the latest issue of the Economist while the Kid got The Archeology of Warfare. Before going home late in the afternoon, the family shopped for fruits (apples, oranges, bananas).
Most Filipinos usually have Noche Buena or midnight meal with the entire family to celebrate Christmas (December 25). We decided to forego that practice as well. It’s the best way to keep our weight and blood pressures down while saving money. At twelve midnight when the rest of the community were eating, drinking like crazy or shooting fireworks, I was safely in bed reading Thomas Barnett’s new book entitled Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating. I noticed Tinette was reading about the history of wheat, a feature story in the Economist. My son was already asleep by that time. Earlier in the night the Kid and I had a lively discussion about Arturius, the famous Sarmatian warrior who became King Arthur in legend. By two in the morning, we are asleep with clear conscience knowing that we used less electricity thus less fossil fuel (by not having Christmas lights), we did not burn money by not having fireworks (besides the fact that we simply don’t have much money), we did not binge at a time when millions somewhere else were hungry. Yes, we had a quiet, simple and “sustainable” Christmas.