Thursday Thirteen #13: Christmas Season

A Canadian born made a comment: "I don't understand why some people, like my neighbor, would put up their Christmas light and decor as early as September. Are they crazy?"

I said: "They must be from the Philippines.

He said: "Yes! How did you know?"

I said: "Because I am from the Philippines and our Christmas celebration starts as soon as the 'ber' month arrived. Filipinos love the Christmas season."

He said: "I can't imagine putting up my Christmas tree and lights before Halloween... We always put up our tree a week before Christmas and take them out after boxing day [December 26]."

Thirteen things I miss about Christmas in the Philippines

  1. Celebrating the true meaning of Christmas, birth of Jesus [and not Santa Claus].
  2. Christmas songs playing in the mall as early as September.
  3. The overflowing of food during Noche Buena.
  4. The gathering of family and relatives during Noche Buena.
  5. The opening of gifts on Christmas eve.
  6. Simbang gabi and puto bumbong.
  7. Gift giving.
  8. The different sizes and colorful parols hanging along the streets and houses.
  9. The well decorated homes, malls and business district.
  10. Numerous Christmas parties to attend.
  11. Participating in the "Kris Kringle".
  12. Christmas carolers singing door to door.
  13. Going to carnivals [our yearly family tradition].
If you're not yet done with your Christmas shopping, here's a list of ideas for your friends, for FREE!

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you!!!


Bugsy said...

thank you very much for the wonderful tips about what to give our loved ones this Christmas. They're all very important and yet, many of us have forgotten them because nowadays it seems that the word "gift" means only material (and more expensive) things.

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones, Jo!

Le laquet said...

We had a wonderful Kristingle at school this year. Our local priest came and it was lovely. Enjoy your holiday with your family, thanks for stopping by.

p.s. love the scrapbooking site

Christine said...

Christmas in the Phillipines sounds wonderful. I wish Christmas was 365 days a year. I'd put up my tree in September too!
Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas, and a Blessed New Year!

Laura said...

we have a family that puts up an amazing display here and they start in september....don't know their ethnicity, not that it mattered.
and celebrating the true meaning of christmas is not exclusive to pi. some folks here do so as well.
merry christmas and God bless.
my tt is up.

beth said...

Your celebrations in the Phillipines sound wonderful!

Merry Christmas :)

cess said...

hindi na masyadong magagarbo ang xmas decors ng mga bahay lately. and most of them put up decors ngayong dec na. must be bec of the typhoons - sunod-sunod kasi.

Local Girl said...

What is a Kris Kringle? Is it like a secret Santa where you pick a name and get a gift for that person?

Sweet Kitty said...

I send some of these things over to you!
Hugs and Happy TT from Germany,
Have a wonderful Christmas Time!

Sweet like Kitty
Sonny's Xmas

Soulful_SensitiveStreak said...

I love having bibingka and puto bumbong during Christmas season esp after simbang gabi.

We don't get too many carollers but last night, a group of children from the neighbor decided to sing some carols infront of our house. Yohan enjoyed listening to their songs and he liked giving them money afterwards.


Mich said...

I agree with the overflowing of food. hehe! Bawal talga mag-diet tuwing pasko. Anyway, Merry Christmas to you and your family. ;)

Caylynn said...

Christmas in the Philippines sounds wonderful. No wonder you miss it. Thanks for sharing these traditions with us - I enjoy learning about how other cultures celebrate.

Happy Holidays!

Melissa said...

Very nice list! Your Christmas traditions sound wonderful. I especially like #1!

haze said...

Thats true...i miss all those things as well,keep persuading hubby if i can put up my tree earlier before dec.and he said no lol.

Ohhh like the ideas of gift fro them all.....thanks for sharing...

anyway i would like to great a happy christmas and joyous new year to you and your family....take care


Gette said...

I wish our country did more of the "door-to-door" customs I see from other places. Maybe loving our neighbor would be easier if we knew them.

Leah said...

I miss those all too esp. Simbang Gabi. Great gift ideas...wishing that you get them all for Christmas. thanks for sharing and Maligayang Pasko.

JO said...

Hi Bugsy,
You're welcome! Thanks!

Hi Laquet and Christine,
Thanks and welcome to my blog!

Hi Laura,
Yes, I know people still do celebrate the birth of Jesus here... but I feel like its more of the season of Santa.

Hi Beth,
If you have a chance to travel to the Philippines, go there during December and you will definitely feel the spirit.

JO said...

Hi Cess,
Really? But I'm sure the spirit is still all around.

Hi Local Girl,
Yes, that's the game.

Hi Sonny,
Thanks! same to you!

Hi Rach,
That's good! Maybe Yohan can join the carollers too when he is a little bigger.

Hi Mich,
Yes, bawal ang diet or sira ang diet ng mga tao during this season.

JO said...

Hi Caylynn,
You're welcome!

Hi Melissa,
Me too!

Hi Haze,
Thanks! Same to you and your family.

Hi Gette,
The carollers do sing even if they don't know the occupants of the house.

Hi Leah,
It will be nice to spend another Christmas back home, it is just way to expensive to go there on the Christmas season.

Gina said...

Hi Jo!
This could have been my T13 =P..
I miss all these things and more.... Merry Christmas to you & your dear ones!

KarenW said...

Starting in September sounds like a great idea to me. Maybe the season wouldn't be so rushed. Merry Christmas!

Debby said...

Great list! If I could celebrate Christmas all year round I would. People are so much nicer during the holidays.
Happy Thursday and Happy Holidays!

Rashenbo said...

Merry Christmas! What a great list. It's a great way to make awareness for holidays in the Philippines. :)

I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you for sharing and thank you for visiting my blog.

JO said...

Hi Gina,
Merry Christmas!

Hi Karen,
We celebrate it the longest time...

Hi Debby,
I wish its Christmas all year long too.

Hi Rashenboo,
You're welcome!

iskoo said...

ganyang ka excited mga pinoy pagdating ng pasko.. it starts when months ends with "ber"...

niceheart said...

I also miss many relatives back home.

Enjoy the holidays!

Raquel said...

Hi Jo,

Hahaha, nuon sinabi ko na to sa asawa ko kung anong time tayo mag de-decorate ng Christmas decors, ayaw nyang maniwala. Sinabi ko sa kanya ang sinulat mo dito, sabi nya, nagsasabi ka talaga ng totoo, napatawa nalang ako.

Your #4 is my #1. Thank you for sharing these lists Jo.

Merry Christmas!!!

JO said...

Hi Iskoo,
Kakaiba talaga ang mga pinoy!

Hi Irene,
You too. Looks like it's not a white christmas for us here.

Hi Raquel,
Your next trip to the Philippines should be in September, so he can see it for himself.

ghee said...

haha!ang aga talaga ng Pinoy magdecorate kahit nasa abroad pala?

i like the gifts you`ve shared,Jo..
at tama ka,for free!

happy holidays!

angela said...

Did I miss something here? What is Noche Buena? Sounds like Good Night. Is that Christmas Eve?

We don't do Christmas presents on Christmas at our house. We focus on the birth of Christ instead. Then for the week afterward, we shop, watch all the secular Christas stuff and open presents on New Year's Eve. My extended family hates it but we have done it this way for about 8 years and it really works for us.

These sound like lovely traditions..Have a wonderful Christmas...

JO said...

Hi Ghee,
You're welcome!

Hi Angela,
Christmas Eve is known as "Nochebuena" (the Good Night). It is a time for family members to gather together to rejoice and feast around the Nativity scenes that are present in nearly every home. The Christmas Eve gaiety is interrupted at midnight by the ringing of bells calling the families to "La Misa Del Gallo" (Rooster's Mass).

Christmas dinner is often eaten late at night, but before midnight on Christmas Eve so that families may attend mass. It is a family feast, and often highlighted with "Pavo Trufado de Navidad" (Christmas turkey with truffles; truffles are a mushroom-like delicacy found underground). After the meal, family members gather around the Christmas tree and sing Christmas carols. The celebrations usually go on very late, one old Spanish verse says.


Cheryl said...

The traditions sounds so wonderful. I miss the caroling and really focusing on the meaning of Christmas. I really want this for our family's traditions. Sorry so late! I was sick with the flu. Merry Christmas!

Teena said...

Sounds like fun!

Thanks for stopping by mine :)

JO said...

Hi Cheryl and Teena,

Thanks for stopping by too.

kristarella said...

We do #1, but not as much as I'd like.
#7, 9 and 11 happen here too. The rest sounds like fun. I hope someday I'll be overseas for Christmas and experience different traditions.