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December 15, 2023

by Marinel Condino


“It’s the hap-happiest season of all

With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings

When friends come to call

It’s the hap-happiest season of all”.


The Christmas Holiday or Pasko for Filipinos is indeed the happiest season of all. Why? It sprinkles our hearts with a lot of nostalgic memories. Memories that awaken the child inside of us; those memories that are impossible to forget, it’s a season of reuniting with loved ones, the smiles carved upon the children’s faces after receiving gifts from their parents, those are the times when happiness is all that matters. Christmas really has this magic that clears all sorrows, and problems away. But what really is the meaning of Christmas? Is it a season of giving or a season of remembering? Or both if possible?


Maybe some will say, that Christmas isn’t Christmas without gifts displayed under the Christmas tree, nor without those large red socks hanging on windows, and of course, all those mouth-watering feasts. Are those gifts enough to feel the essence of Christmas? Well, as Filipinos, we are fond of gift-giving. With Christmas literally just around the corner, it is par for the course to see the malls or other thrift shops overflowing with customers. Buying gifts for their friends and loved ones. Despite the inherent inconvenience and financial burden this imposes, Filipinos are like BDO, still finding ways despite all of the problems, just to surprise loved ones and make them feel appreciated. We can’t really deny the fact of feeling appreciated and loved when someone give us gifts right? As some people often say, the real essence of Christmas is gift-giving to show love towards other people. No matter the dangling prices.

Moreover, there’s this other side of Christmas. Christmas is the season of remembering. This end-of-the year season is not all about those fancy celebrations, no classes, luxurious gifts, and new dresses. If you look closely, there’s more to it. Reuniting with your family, and most importantly, remembering your loved ones, remembering those core memories you’ve shared, both in sorrow and happiness. Remembering those who loved us, and those who are already resting into the eternal paradise, and most importantly, remembering the birth of our one and true savior, Jesus Christ. Do you remember all those all-night talks you’ve done with your favorite cousins and recollections of past memories, especially the hilarious ones? Those times when all the family members gather around one living room. During that time, almost all close relatives, no matter where they are will all come into a certain house and spend Christmas there. When this happens, then you can really say, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”.


One night…children caroling…and a loud bang of fireworks.


Is it a celebration with multiple interpretations; a Season of giving or season of remembering? Well, not everyone can afford those extravagant material gifts. However, when it comes to giving, sizes nor the price of it don’t matter. As long as you give something to someone wholeheartedly, it’s the intention that truly matters. Some families may be poor in wealth, but wealthy when it comes to their family. Christmas isn’t really all about giving, that’s just a part of it. Why? You can always give gifts to someone any time, and not just during Christmas time, tagging the term- remembering with Christmas, because, giving gifts to someone requires one thing, and it’s remembering. Why are you giving gifts to someone? Because it’s their name or face that first pops up in your head when you see something. In short, that gift you’re giving to someone must be something that reminds you of him/ her.

Thus, as the cold December breeze softly blankets the streets, and the twinkling lights dance in the chilly night air, we find ourselves immersed in the timeless magic of the Christmas season. It’s a time when our hearts swell with memories both old and new. Remembering those cherished moments with loved ones and the love that binds us all, that’s the true essence of Christmas. As we often say, “naay handa or wala, importante kumpleto og baskog ang pamilya”, and that what makes the Paskong Pinoy unique from everyone.