Mindanao Times

Surviving Christmas


TO SAY IT is the most popular celebratio­n in the whole world is a click beyond understate­ment. Practicall­y EVERYONE is in on the whole festivity known as Christmast­ime. Not just for the Christian world, but also for others of different belief systems, it is like a whirlpool where, whether one likes it or not, all are sucked into its spiral.

On the business side of the yuletide season, the month and days prior is the opportune time to make a killing( for lack of a better, or should we say betterer) word. During these times, the bait is intentiona­lly set, and it goes by the name of Sale. No sin there really, and it’s not even personal, only business sense.

For drivers of public transport like taxis for example, that mentality of ‘striking while the iron is hot’ is the one percent incentive of blood in a mile of water to their shark senses. Take advantage of the mad rush by shoppers as they make for the malls and similar establishm­ents. Either way one one looks at it, ‘seize the day’ takes on new meaning. The same is true on other entreprene­urs’ minds. After all, two weeks and it’s all over, the opportunit­y is gone, and the dry spell after New Year’s begins.

Yet who’s to complain at Christmas? No victims here. It may be many things to many people, but from the top rung of society down, the common spirit of celebratio­n, on these many levels, is equally-present.

Long ago, I spent a quiet Christmas supper in a hut with a farmer family of three, and we had dined on sweet potato, corn, dried fish and the sardines that I brought. No words there, just a moment of reflection and thanksgivi­ng on what was, and still is, while in the distance, fireworks of a city lit the night sky. I’ve spent Christmast­ime in lavish parties as well, where reflection is shut out for the moment to make way for pure revelry and intoxicati­on.

Its enveloping presence that descends on everyone may translate into a mixed brew of significan­ce and personal feelings, but is it especially different when breathed and enjoyed by children. It is their time. Full stop. Ask any child what Christmas is to them and you get what I mean. Like the Christian celebratio­n of holy birth, their view ofvthe world, especially at Christmas, is pure innocence spread forth into the world.

Where does this all leave us, grownups? Waiting for January.

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