Sunday, December 25, 2005

A Sustainable Christmas

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.

6 comments:

Louise said...

Oh Dave, whatever you may call it, you're still are one hell of a very lucky family to me.

See, call it a way of upbringing in our part, but the last time I recalled us (the whole family) celebrating the season together, was when I was blemish-free, no white hair, too young to realize the injustice in this world, etc. etc, simply put, the time when I was still a kid.

Thanks to the technology in communications nowadays however, at least I managed to connect to all of my siblings and my folks last night.

You see, my older sis is at Canada, a kid brother is sailing in the Australian Seas, Kathleen is with my Folks, my kuya is with his family at Nova, me? Am all alone here with the dogs... :(

At least I have the friendly neighborhood to keep me company last night. After completing my rounds at their homes, I managed to go home safe and sound despite the swagger ang stagger of an ordinary person who has exceeded the legal limits of alcohol intake as defined by law...... :)

Cheers! Oh how I hate the unwanted pounds now. And to think that there still is a New Year to celebrate in a week's time.. :)

Louise said...

Speaking of Christmas, may I add, I can't help but recall last year's event, the time I was at Thailand when the Tsunami struck.

It happened on the morning of the 26th, a very sleepy day after celebrating Christmas at Rayong with my Filipino teacher-friends in a Bilingual School. I remembered awakening to the holler of a Thai friend instructing us to open our tv sets around 9am, 10 am RP time. The news was in Thai, I barely understood what was all of it about, but the footages said it all. It was a total shock to me, much more to the whole of Thailand who has never experienced an earthquake nor a tsunami in their kingdom's lifetime.

Bangkok City when I came back to work the next day was in chaos. The busloads and busloads of tourists, panicky and grabbing for the next flight home will forever be etched in my mind. When you're in a country where you can't speak nor read the language y'know, everything just happens so fast like a dream to you. I also remember my Thai design team/office mates shaking their heads in disbelief. They summed it up to me in one English word they looked up in the dictionary, "Terrible", that's what they said.

Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of that worst natural disaster ever to hit the millenium. I might have contributed a small part in a donation box at Bangkok, but I know it still is not enough. Again, I saw my prayers to the departed souls who may have now have rested in peace or never will be, whatever our beliefs are.

Without Borders said...

Thanks for this comment, louise. The world is really changing and its is for the better i guess, despite all the injustices in this world. Of course, communications per se is an amoral force, neither good nor bad, and its up to us to use these technologies for the betterment of this world. That we are able to connnect with friends despite the physical distances speaks about the wonderful things that it has offered our lives, cyberporn and cybercrimes nothwithstanding. I still remember that a few christmas ago, i actually went over to your house to for a chat and play your guitar. Now we really dont have to do that. This blog so far has provided us a way to connect sans the physical presence. Merry Christmas to you and the dogs.

Without Borders said...

Dear louise: oh yes, the tsunami. when that occurred last year, tinette, ovid, and me were wondering whether or not you spent your christmas somewhere in phuket or any of those areas that were hit by the tsunami. for weeks, we've been trying to figure out if there were filipinos who were affected and if there was something that sounded like louise alba and we were relieved that we did not hear or read any of that name. we we happy a few months after that, i got an email from you a proof that you were alive and kicking.

Louise said...

Ha ha... :)

Thanks for the concern, Dave. That tsunami really scared the wits out of some of my concerned friends as I have this habit of disappearing for so long when work and creativity engulfs my time.

Kathleen and the Folks never were though. First thing they did upon hearing the news was to look up the map and check the location of Bangkok and Rayong against Phuket and Phi Phi. I will never be on those places, they said. And they were right.

See you on the 29th, 1pm. I'll also relate to you what happened and what my thoughts are about that possible outsourcing job I told you about.

Oh and by the way, here's a new info I just learned recently regarding gift-giving. If before we use to say, "No problem, your PRESENCE is enough", now, it is has been replaced by "CONCERN".

Say you're expecting a gift from me this Holiday Season, here, take my "CONCERN" then. :) Please give them too to Tinette and Ovid.

Happy New Year.

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