When I was growing up, I had been used to the idea that Christmas season starts as soon as the ‘ber months approaches – September, October, November.
When I was a little girl in the Philippines, my grandmother would start decorating the house as early as October or November – same with almost everybody else in the country. The spirit of Christmas brought about by the decorations, the Christmas tree, the Nativity (Belen) and the lights bring about this inept sense of hope and love and warmth – of forgivings and givings.
Now that I am in the Netherlands, I so much envy the pictures of decorated homes for Christmas in the Philippines that I see on facebook. Sone three years ago when I was new here, I think I decorated our house after the celebration of Thanksgiving in the US. My husband told me that he did not mind, however my mother-in-law started telling me about Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas from Spain who brings gifts to the children in the Netherlands every 5th of December) – a week after Thanksgiving (in the US)
In other words, I only started decorating our home this past weekend – and with so much gusto at that! I was so excited to decorate and have everything arranged that I forgot to imagine that it also involved a lot of working with your arms and you having to carry boxes up and down the basement staircase.
I ended up setting the Christmas decors for 2 days – plus with a very active toddler running around you with the Christmas lights coiled around her!
To sum it up – I am happy. Now I see the lights and have also placed the framed photo of my Lola Cion beside the miniature Christmas tree – with the colored, dancing lights surrounding her.
They say that Christmas is the season where you feel homesick even when you’re home. I have lots of homes. I belong to 2 countries now.
Whicever way I choose to celebrate Christmas, whether it be the Filipino way or the Dutch way, I will see to it that I will find contentment.
And be happy.
These are hard to come by nowadays.