A meaningless Christmas


They are all in a hurry! About two hours from now, it's already Christmas time in the Philippines.

Few minutes ago, I saw lot of people down the street rushing to go home and maybe they are still about to prepare some food to be served this Christmas Eve.

When I went into the supermarket, I observed people who seems to grab anything they see in front of them. Oh yes, it's Christmas. Capitalism is alive.

What seems to be so special about Christmas?

You might see a lot of kids, who are extremely excited during Christmas because for them it's all about Santa Claus, gifts, party, and many food on the table. You will see your neighbors placing decorations in and outside of their houses. Some of them might have put a big Christmas tree in front of their court yards. For religious people, you see them attending church. Every now and then you see people smiling and laughing around.

But how about those people who don't even have a cent in their pocket? I am wondering what's running in their minds. What are they going to prepare this Christmas eve? Are they smiling too like others do? Would this be a special day to them?

Typical nipa hut in the Philippines.

I want to share something about my own personal experience of Christmas season.

I was raised by a poor family in the Philippines. I used to live on one of the highest mountain ranges in Southern Mindanao where civilization has no place. No electricity, no descent water source, no market place, no malls, etc. At night, we just lit a couple of coconut husks or dried banana leaves if there were community gatherings. But these didn't hinder me to be satisfied with my life--I was very happy.

One night, my mom told me that my father once had a business and my dad's earning was more than what we really need. I could not say that we were once rich but it looks like that my family was once economically sufficient and they can buy extra things for my brothers and sister. This whole story changed when my dad was extremely ill in 1975. My mother had to spend all of their savings just to have my father alive. The revelation of my mom didn't make me sad, in fact it made me courageous to face my struggles in life even when I was just a little kid.

As far as I can remember during Christmas my dad would just open his Bible and will call my mom and the three of us sat inside the small nipa hut. My dad would then start reading a couple of verses from the Bible and he encouraged me and my mother. After a couple minutes of talks, he would end it up with a prayer. My mom would then prepare our dinner and invite us to eat. So what was served? Corn and sweet potato. Every Christmas, the same situation would happen the same way. Oh I almost about to forget, sometimes it vary, like instead of Corn and sweet potato, my mom would prepare Philippine wild/native banana added to the corn and again the ever reigning sweet potato. But I never had a time to feel sad about this whole thing. I was happy living with my intelligent dad and my pretty mother. I even thought that I had the most special Christmas in the world. I was really poor and even today I am still poor and insufficient in everything. What makes me strong is the hope that I can be more than what I am right now.

So to those who don't have a cent in their pocket, I might have an idea on how they feel.

For you, how special is your Christmas today?

You might want to read: A very Special Letter to a very Special Mother

Remarks: The author was formerly an atheist for eight years. Though he was raised by a religious family, he was gone astray and made some fool and stupid decisions. The author reaped nothing from being an atheist and everything was changed back after many years.

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Total views: 1667 By:admin 24 Dec 2011 02:30:00 PM

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