‘Gamay nga Krismas Tri’

My wife started decorating our house for Christmas right after All Souls Day. It’s one ritual we have been practicing since we got married. The Christmas season for us only starts after we paid homage to the dead. Others, like department stores and malls, open the yuletide period with the ushering in of the “ber” months (like September, etc.).

No problem with the Christmas tree; the one we bought some five years ago, plus some of the peripherals, are still useable. I spent much time tinkering with the Christmas lights, checking the busted bulbs and replacing these with those that still light up. After the constant recycling, our Christmas lights have become shorter through the years.

Frankly, I have not finished my end of the bargain. I still have to hang the parol, the one with regular bulbs for blinking lights that I bought three years ago. While sifting through the decors kept for months in the storeroom, I found another set of Christmas lights that needed “repairing.” My deadline for the decoration job is before December. .

I actually had the urge to let go of the recycling effort, which is time-consuming, and instead buy new materials—until I considered the family budget. Edizza again asked me if I was scheduled to receive Gift C’s she can use these to hoard gifts to be distributed in December for our kinugos. Nothing there, I said, but we’ll find ways to compensate.

Yesterday, I bought a parol upon the urging of my son, who in turn was required to bring Christmas decorations for their classroom. Khan-khan has also started talking about lighting small firecrackers, although I have strictly warned him against it. But he’s a kid and children in the neighborhood are already doing that, still sporadically for now.

We have started playing Christmas ditties. Those in Cebuano are my wife’s favorite, including songs in the Max Surban album “Nabali ang Krismas Tri.” I love Surban’s folksy versions of classics, like “My Little Christmas Tree” (“Gamay nga Krismas Tri”), which pictures the Christmas predicament and pride of the Cebuano poor.

Before this, much negativism has been spread, an offshoot to the recent financial crisis that hit the United States. But it has always been my stand that the poor will always find a way to celebrate Christmas despite any gloom that blankets us. The magnitude and pomp may be less, but the joy will be there, whether the “Krismas Tri” is small or not.

(I wrote this for my Candid Thoughts column in the November 13, 2008 issue of Sun.Star Cebu)

4 Responses to ‘Gamay nga Krismas Tri’

  1. rencalago says:

    lets celebrate christmas

  2. Renato Pacifico says:

    Demystify Christmas! Tell the children the origin of Christmas Tree. Santa Claus. “Ask and you shall receive”. “God help those who help themselves, if they’re successful, God steals the credit not you”. “Truth literally don’t set us free but a good lawyer does”.

    Set the Filipino free from the fitters of ignorance-induced religion!!!

    If anyone thinks “God provides”, ask from God not from the corrupt government who also ask from God.

    Let’s get real. We are soooo left behind!!!

  3. g. w. angus says:

    We used to make christmas tree out of jackfruit twigs-cover it with japanese paper. We did’nt know then the meaning of the christmas tree but i can still recall the feeling it emanated everytime we finished our tree-sans cristmas lights and christmas balls. Recalling those christmasses-together with my sisters, we created our version of our christmas “tree”-from maguey, strings, broomsticks, twigs covered with perla soap bubbles etc. we were so creative then. Now i have a family of my own and even if life is not that easy, i believe that i owe it to my children to share to them the joy of decorating your own tree. And with christmas lights reflected in their eyes, it signaled that another important day is coming (aside from their birtdays). This is one family practice i want to to share with my children.

  4. Renato Pacifico says:

    GWAngus, my skin crawled when you wrote “…Now i have a family of my own …, i believe that i owe it to my children to SHARE TO THEM THE JOY OF DECORATING YOUR OWN TREE. …”

    Let’s make Christmas Tree decorating a family ritual with children around to contribute their artistic leanings and aesthetic senses. Give them treats of humble pan de sal and Coke (sorry, Pepsi) while decorating. Beer or cheap wine for parents and peanuts. This way our children can say to their neighbors and visitors: “I did those stars!”; “I broke this twigs, I put it back in”; etc etc etc.

    Filipino parents are “artistically” dictatorial. They are conservatively hand-me-down what they think is beautiful. Involve the children. Let them grow! Let children be children! Take pictures before and after. Date it! Keep it! So when they have a family of their own we can show the children of our children how funny ha!ha! they were.

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