It’s that time of the year again when Jose Mari Chan dominates the airwaves, and gatherings with friends and families are organized left and right. Since it is the birth of Jesus, this holiday is mostly centered on children, who receive gifts and aguinaldos from parents, grandparents, ninongs, and ninangs. Memories of your Christmas gifts from yesteryear are probably going through your head right now, but alas, the end of our glory days is looming upon us, as our childhoods reach their dusk.
The anticipation to open gifts and play with your cousins is slowly getting replaced with indifference or, worse, annoyance—for the older you get, the more questions are asked about your life by nosy relatives, and instead of milk and cookies, you might prefer eating tons of fruit cake, perhaps with the hopes of feeling the buzz of rum in it. Since it’s the season of giving, here are some things that Christmas brings towards soon-to-be adults—in the form of Christmas song titles, no less.
Run Rudolph Run (and burn all the calories you ate)
A lot of people have “diet”, “lose weight”, and “go to the gym more often” on their New Year’s resolutions for a reason—almost everyone packs on pounds during Christmas. Since we probably won’t get that many gifts anymore, what we look forward to instead are the various food that we will be eating. Much to our delight, parties are abound and so is the handa that comes with it.
People also judge less during this season because it’s inevitable to overeat. In fact, it seems as though titas insist even more during the holidays that you get another serving of lechon or fruit salad. Aside from that, you’ll probably have a few drinks after or along with that second serving. So get your running shoes ready, for the next thing you know, your pants might already be a bit difficult to button.
As mentioned earlier, gifts won’t be as plentiful as it was compared to our days as children. Disappointment will be, though. Remember when you discovered that Santa wasn’t real? Well, your adult gift pile will be filled with that feeling. It might be receiving a shirt that happens to be two sizes smaller than how big you already are, not getting that “Merry Christmas!” text from your crush, or being stuck with a ton of work a week before the 25th.
Forget your wish list, unless it’s for the annual Kris Kringle exchange or you’re planning to reward yourself, because you’re probably setting yourself up for dismay—the things that you want right now are probably a bit more expensive than what you wanted as a kid. Nonetheless, don’t fret. Although you might feel a bit neglected during gift giving (feeling old yet?), there’s always the noche buena on the table waiting for you.
Tis’ the Season to be Jolly…and stressed out
Ambling in witless circles with a look of hunger in their eyes, endless hordes fill up the temples of consumerism, searching madly through the items that once hung neatly on racks but now lie in a sad pile on the floor. Ah, yes, the madness that last minute holiday shopping ensues upon the masses, a situation we find ourselves in more often than we would like.
Every year, whenever December rolls by, we assure ourselves that we won’t wait until the last minute to do our holiday shopping, yet, here we are, a week before Christmas, scrambling frantically through aisles of merchandise items, hoping to find something for our loved ones that’s the perfect blend of unique and quirky, without breaking the bank.
Add hundreds more of grumpy last minute shoppers that never fail to get in the way and the long queues in every single store, and the panic is real. This situation is enough to spiral some of us into a desperate shopping frenzy—turning one of the most wonderful times of the year into one of the most excruciating.
Jingle Bell (Give It A Rest)
Without a doubt, the Philippines holds one of the longest holiday celebrations in the world. Only here can one hear Christmas music being blared from radio stations, and retail stores putting up their Christmas decorations as early as September. With Christmas in full swing so early on the year, it is easy to slip into Christmas fatigue, the deterioration of Christmas Spirit due to the length of the holiday.
Endless loops of Jingle Bells and All I Want for Christmas blaring from shops that once made us feel giddy with anticipation now make us wish Mariah Carey would just leave us alone. The ceaseless influx of Christmas merchandise and winter clothing start taking over every store leaving us with a limited selection of things we can still use once the holidays are over.
The deafening chatter and zealous crowds found everywhere no matter where we go starts to feel suffocating, as well as the insane traffic we have to sit through for hours. So while it’s tempting to go a bit crazy over the holidays as early as September, it’s best to take things in moderation so we aren’t fed up by everything Christmas by the time December rolls by.
The silver lining
While the holiday season may no longer feel as carefree as it used to be when we were kids, and the build-up to the special day sure can be exhausting, the great thing about it is we go through it together—both the highs and the lows.
Truly, the beauty of Christmas lies in the fact that even just for a day, people from different sectors of society are able to come together in mutual peace and hope, and celebrate humanity’s capacity to love, creating a certain magic which no other holiday can quite replicate.