Christmas is here and the excitement is palpable. Christmas-themed merchandise have overwhelmed the shelves, Christmas songs are played endlessly on loop, and most of our favorite TV characters have probably saved Christmas in their respective shows by now. But while Christmas is loved by millions of people worldwide, there are those who aren’t nearly as enthusiastic about this universal holiday as everyone else revelling in the festivity.
Everybody has their own reason as to why they like or dislike something. After all, nobody experiences things in quite the same way. To that end, some students share the story of why they may not be as excited about Christmas as everyone else, and what it’s like to be something of a Grinch during this festive tradition.
John, a Lasallian civil engineering student, never really got into the Christmas mood because, “My [former] school was [a killjoy]. The admin never let us give each other gifts.” Gift-giving is arguably one of the most recognizable traditions during Christmas, and is supposed to be a way to show someone how much you appreciate them. However, it could be argued that gift-giving now isn’t quite as sincere as it was before. “I really hate my roommate,” John confesses. “But I still have to give him a gift or else he’ll get mad at me,” he complains.
Ann, a first year student who studies in ADMU, has mixed feelings about Christmas. While she views the holiday in a mostly positive light, she reveals that she doesn’t like that when Christmas time rolls around every year, everybody is expected to be happy all the time. “I don’t like that I have to smile and be nice all the time. I don’t like that I’m expected to be happy all the time, I’m too stressed for that,” she shares. On a lighter note, she concludes, “Also, I hate that we don’t have snow in the Philippines. I wanna wear cute winter clothes, but our weather won’t allow that.”
Traffic in the Philippines is an ongoing problem with no end in sight, much like commuters’ travel time. “Traffic is already bad, but around December it becomes even worse,” Johanna, a Lasallian taking up accountancy, says. “Going to DLSU in the morning usually takes an hour, pero in the afternoon an hour and half,” she divulges. “I was stuck in traffic for two hours on my way to my math finals this month. Nalate ako ng one hour sa test! I was lucky I still managed to finish the exam [even] with nearly half of the allotted time gone,” she exclaims.
Besides the supposed joy and worsened traffic, there are those who dislike Christmas on the belief that it has become too commercialized in recent years. Some students recognize that the holiday is used as a marketing ploy to get people to buy more things, similar to Valentine’s Day. Even though some of us recognize this tactic, at least on a subconscious level, we give in—there is still a certain level of appeal and charm in owning all this Christmas-themed merchandise, after all.
At the end of the day, even amidst the traffic and commercialization, Christmas is still the season to be jolly. It remains an opportunity for family and friends to take a break from work and school, get together, enjoy each other’s company, exchange gifts, eat delicious food, and be merry in general. Although not everyone enjoys all the changes the season brings, Christmas is still a time of celebration.
For this writer, it’s something of a mixed bag—I am not a fan of the season’s commercialization, but I myself am not immune to the appeal of a certain coffee chain’s yearly limited edition planner. For all the good and bad the December holiday brings, I can’t quite bottle up my excitement for the oncoming year, if only just to write deadlines on my new red planner.