Monday, November 10, 2014

Counting down to Christmas 2014

our rainbow themed Christmas tree and our "parol" (Christmas lantern)
Every year we gear up for Christmas a few months earlier. Yes, it's usually by September that I start thinking of the year's color combinations and prepping up the ornaments. This year however, we were a few months behind. It was only in November that our Christmas tree made it to the living room. A week after, the tree ornaments were hung. A week after that, my husband chose this new spot for our "parol".

Christmas is such a big celebration in the Philippines that as early as the beginning of the BER months (September, October, November and December) the whole country gets busy gearing up for the event. Almost all homes are decorated with Christmas ornaments and the "parol" (Christmas lantern) is a must-have. Some towns even have Christmas decor and best parol competitions. Children look forward to presents from family and godparents while adults get themselves busy ticking off items in their Christmas shopping lists. This is also the time for family reunions and friends gatherings. A joyous occasion indeed.

Since I grew up in that environment I also wanted my home to have the same festive feel to it during this season. Every year we set up the Christmas tree early - all the way through Deepavali, Halloween, All Saints' Day and the Three Kings the following year. We decorate our bedroom doors and hang Christmas stockings in the living room. My kids always look forward to our Christmas countdown which started as a 9-day countdown beginning from the first night of the Simbang Gabi (Night Mass) and has now become a 25-day event. We progressed from my home-made Christmas calendar (from cut-out numbers and Christmas symbols which I pasted on a fabric I sew pockets in) to a mini wooden cabinet with drawers and hand-carved figures of Mama Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus (that was our first belen). I put bible verses relating to the birth of Jesus in each of the drawers which they read first before they can check what little presents Santa leaves in their Christmas stockings every morning. 

This year I look forward to another simple but memorable Christmas. The time for spreading cheers and, most importantly, peace, love and hope to everyone.

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milestone moments | Desenvolvido por EMPORIUM DIGITAL