Grandiose Christmas events, flashy lights, fine dining and expensive gifts! These are probably the things we can imagine when we think of the Christmas season. Some people back home would even wonder how grand Christmas celebrations could be when you live abroad. But let me tell you, you got it all wrong. It is nothing when you celebrate Christmas with your family.
Think about this. You have your family with you, delightful home-cooked dishes, you see state of the art Parols and everyone else around you are celebrating the best season of the year! You go to Simbang Gabi, stroll to different malls, listen to fascinating and lively Christmas carolers and you get to attend every reunion you can ever imagine. You have your big Christmas tree at home with overflowing gifts! Everything is just too perfect!
But to those living abroad, things may get a bit different. Oftentimes we reckon how people actually celebrate Christmas. Do they have Parols? Do they serve so much food on the table like we always do back home? Do we hear people carolling at each one’s doorstep? Do we have this month-long Christmas parties to attend to? How long is their Christmas holiday?
We realize it will never be the same. The Philippines has one of the longest holiday seasons in the world. We celebrate from September up to January of next year. And being with family during this season is the best. But it doesn’t mean we could not celebrate the true essence of Christmas when we are away from home.
Christmas is the best time of the year, as we hear most people say. It’s an annual event when we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. It is the time where we give respect to what we believe in and show our love to everyone.
Even though I’m far from my family on this year’s Christmas, I’m grateful to be surrounded by these cheerful and inspiring brothers and sisters. They actually made me feel that Christmas is, in fact, every day! Christmas will always be with us no matter where we are. Gifts do not measure up the meaning of Christmas but on how much joy and love we give to one another.
Ang Lingkod ng Panginoon Singapore, Filipino Christmas Community in Singapore
Recently, we had this Christmas party which is themed as Paskong Pinoy. It featured most of the Filipino culture when it comes to Christmas celebrations. We have Parols, Simbang Gabi, Filipino Christmas decorations and the Nativity.
It made me feel proud of how we celebrate Christmas. It is truly one of a kind! Each presenter showcased superbly our Christmas traditions! I just didn’t manage to get photos of each group but when you those presentations, it will make you feel at home.
To all people celebrating Christmas away from home, we are very lucky that we have social media and online video calls that connect us to them. Also, we are lucky to get bonded with our friends during this season. To those celebrating Christmas with their families, have a blessed one!
Always remember that Christmas is in our hearts – wherever we are in this world.