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)