Celebrating Christmas is the highlight of December each year, but is also one of the highly contested and debatable festivities among Christians and other religions, on whether or not this has to be observed.
Interestingly, millions of Christians do not celebrate Christmas as they believe December 25 is not written in the Bible as the exact date He was born.
But here in the Philippines, we make sure the celebration is special and we take time to celebrate it as it is a treasured part of the culture and faith among us, Filipinos.
In fact, the country has the longest celebration of Christmas at the start of ‘ber’ months in September that ends around January 9 with popular nine Dawn Masses known as Simbang Gabi leading up to Christmas Day.
Filipinos believe that completely attending the nine Masses can make all the church-goer’s wishes come true the next year.
While those who commemorate it still believe that it is more on remembering the Christ’s first coming and to value the relationship with our Creator as this is the time to spread peace and love, and to uphold the spirit of giving and sharing, and to forgive those who have trespassed against us.
This is the time where we should exude humility and be grateful of the life that we now cherish. This is the time to count all the blessings and be thankful for them.
This is the opportunity to be with our families and loved ones, be reunited and connected with the people we value the most. A time to refresh and relive our treasured memories, connecting with our relatives, friends and significant others.
But let us not forget that we have to instill restraint in ourselves not to over indulge in all these festivities, especially on the food and drinks that we consume. Health after all, is greatly affected during this holiday season, where food is overflowing and bad cholesterol and sugar silently devouring our health. Moderation is still the key.
As we enjoy the holiday season, wherever we are, whether we believe it or not that December 25 is the birth of Jesus Christ, whether we are Christians or not, as we close the year, this is the time to recall what we have accomplished, what we have done in our lives, and what we can do not only for the next year, but for the future.
Let us all remember that sharing peace, love and forgiveness is not only during Christmas season, but in every single day of our lives.