This day started with a light downpour, and though it sounded like this morning’s a bit gloomy because of the rain, I think there’s nothing that could stop the excitement that this day brings. Of course, December just started. Christmas is much nearer in this time of the calendar, and the light Christmas breeze is more present that ever.
So what causes the excitement? Aside from the very inportant fact that the Boy who will bring us salvation will be born, a lot of traditional Christmas activities are coming our way. I, for one, have a lot of things that I look forward to.
Parish Advent Recollection. This is an annual activity that’s being held in our parish. Attending this recollection could be one of the ways to get closer to God, as prepare for His coming. And, oh, I also have to be there so I could write a report and take pictures for the newsletter.
Caroling. When I was younger, my cousins and I are all equipped of home-made musical instruments (bottle crowns in a piece of wire, plastic bottles with little pebbles inside, etc.) By this time of the month. There was no way we’d let the period of Christmas caroling pass by without us participating in this traditional activity. Since I’m a bit older for this activity (or so I thought!), I am pretty much excited for the little kids to drop by the house and sing that famed “Sa may bahay, ang aming bati…”
Simbang Gabi (Rooster’s mass). This is one of the most ancient Christmas tradition in the Philippines. It’s a holy mass held for nine days (as early as 4am) as a novena of thanksgiving. History has it that since the farmers cannot attend the novena at six in the evening, they decided to have it done earlier in the day, before they even start with their farm work. And hey, don’t forget the “cute guys hunt”! 😀
Puto-bumbong and bibingka. Of course, Christmas will never be the same (or even complete) in the Philippines without these two. I don’t know if they are considered street food (because you can buy them off the streets). Anyway, these sort of rice cakes have become the highlight of my breakfast starting the 16th (that’s when the rooster’s mass starts). And what could even be funner than eating breakfast with barkada after the mass.
Exchange gifts. I encouraged my nieces that we do this. I know that most Christmas parties come with this, but it would be super fun to do it with family members. This is the first time that we are going to do this, and so, of course, I am excited.
Christmas dinner. Of course, of couse. This is the time where I could legitimately finish a whole bottle or two of the Red Elixir. And who would say no to my traditional leche flan (creme caramel, and I would be posting here the recipe on one of the coming days!)?
There’s no questioning that Christmas is simply the time to bond with family and friends, share love, spread joy and just be happy. I remember one friend who says, “Sometimes, I don’t like Christmas, because then I wouldn’t have any excuse to be sad.” Well, it’s true. I won’t know what I could possibly am if I won’t be able to recognize a single blessing for Christmas and be happy about it. But of course, let us not forget the real meaning of the season – getting closer with God and sharing love with other people.