I know, I know—it’s extremely premature; but that’s just the way it is here.
The “-ber” or “ber-ber” months (September, October . . . ) have become indicators of the upcoming holiday season. Already on the first day of September, radio stations play Christmas carols/jingles. TV stations also showcase holiday icons on their programs. Communities jump in and start putting up Christmas decorations. Of course for now, all of these are done at a very minimal pace: You hear a Christmas carol on the radio just once every week, TV programs show only one holiday-themed episode per month, and just a couple of decors are displayed in homes.
The Philippines’ early observance of the Christmas season . . . I find it EXTREMELY irritating!!
Now, before jumping to the conclusion that I’m “anti-holiday cheer,” I want you to know that I’m the most Christmas-sy person you will know. I love Christmas! I look forward to it; it’s actually my most favorite time of the year. And I especially love Philippine Christmas: All the joy, love of family, Aguinaldo masses, gifts, bright lights, and of course, noche buena. There’s just nothing else like it!
But to observe the holiday season this early, now that’s a different thing. I go about with my life from September to November, I walk into a convenience store, and I hear Christmas muzak! Why, the first Christmas carol I heard was “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” playing in the background of a 7-Eleven store. The rainy season has just started, and here I am listening to a Christmas carol. And that was in July! Freakin’ JULY!! What were they thinking?
I wish Pinoys would practice restraint and start spreading holiday jollies on the first day of December, or in the last week of November. Just not now. You see, it spoils the anticipation reserved for Christmas Day. (Yes, Christmas is for just one day, not four months! Try to let that sink.) The thing is, if Christmas is observed this early and we exhaust excitement and energy being in a constant holiday mood, by the time Christmas Day arrives, we will have no more excitement and that day would feel like just some ordinary day. The day when we are supposed to contemplate JESUS’ birth is spoiled. Unfair to HIM, yes?
You know what they say about patience being a virtue and about waiting for the right time? I hope Pinoys would take a cue.