After ten years, I am once again celebrating Christmas in the Philippines. Philippines is known for having the longest Christmas Season in the world. As early as September 1st, Filipinos start preparing for the Season – radio stations start playing Christmas carols while houses, malls and even the streets get a make-over as everything gets decorated usually with Christmas trees, lights and parols (star-shaped lanterns made of bamboo). Christmas Season officially ends on the Feast of the Epiphany or Three Kings’ Day on January 6th.
One of the many Christmas traditions we have is for children to visit their Ninongs and Ninangs (Godparents) on Christmas Day. They visit their Godparents to kiss their hands and receive their gifts from them. I was surprised to learn today that there’s a slight change in that tradition. Nowadays, children visit not just their Godparents. They visit everyone. Anyone who they think will give them gifts or money. I wasn’t prepared for this and I honestly didn’t like the idea of my nieces and nephews doing the same thing.
Soon the streets were full of happy children going house to house wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas. I saw my sister hand money to some kids I don’t know. I asked her if those kids were her Godchildren. She said no. I got the idea and ran inside the house!
Merry Christmas, Everybody!
Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends.–Margaret Thatcher