Category Archives: Christmas

What Makes Your Christmas Special?

Everyone wants to have a perfect Christmas – perfect presents, perfect dinner, and perfect little family. It’s natural and it’s even human nature. Even though there are a few imperfections here in there, people just want to make the season extra special. Our wanting to have a certain kind of Christmas makes the season personal and something we can call our own so that by the end of the day we can say “Yeah, I had a great Christmas, how about you?”

Christmas is subjective as much as it is objective. Though it is a season commonly celebrated by everyone, each individual has his or her own wish lists every Christmas. Everyone wants a family to spend time with, parties to go to, dinners to attend, and presents to open, and so on and so forth. But we all know that each year, there’s a possibility that each Christmas will be different. Maybe your brother won’t be home this year, maybe your dad got a Christmas bonus, maybe you finally get one of those ipad things, and the possibilities go on. They may be good things or they may be bad as something like a relative passing away this year.

What’s inside of us that make us want to make Christmas so special? Or is it the other way around wherein what’s with Christmas that makes us seem obliged to make it perfect? Somehow the season has a voice of its own and makes a people a little bit merrier than normal. Words like forgiveness, giving, care, and love are often forgotten not until the month strikes December.

Do you think people act a certain way just because it’s Christmas? You’ve heard the phrase, “people do crazy things when they’re in love,” but I bet it can also be applied in Christmas! People do things out of the ordinary during this season. You see businessmen donating money to charities, people volunteering in homeless shelters, families reunited, friend forgiving friend, and more. Not to take anything away from any of these activities, but somehow they just seem more common in Christmas. Maybe it’s the season, maybe it’s us, or maybe it’s both.

In any case, it’s your life and it’s essentially your Christmas. Maybe this year is special but then again maybe it’s not. Maybe everything seems perfect but then again maybe it’s just another ordinary time. The season is special in its own right and the time now you spend with the people who care for you is special. Whatever situation you’re in, don’t take it personally. Besides, it’s not your birthday anyway.

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What If Christmas Time Isn’t Actually… Christmas Time?

Let me start off by asking, did you know that Christmas isn’t technically supposed to be celebrated in December? If you go back to the history of how the whole tradition of Christmas began, the birthday of Jesus is not December. In reality it was supposedly during the middle of the year. I’m not sure which month exactly but it was maybe between May and August. I believe it was the Roman Catholic Church who moved the date so that it would fit better in the Christian calendar or so that it signified the end of the winter solstice. I’m not exactly sure of the history of this and you can go ahead and research for yourself but it’s kind of interesting don’t you think? It’s celebrating someone’s birthday on a totally different date.

Can you imagine if we decided to have Christmas on July 25 for example? That would be so weird. That would go against everything we thought of for Christmas. Everyone has their own thing when deciding it’s actually Christmas – when the kids start singing carols, when you hear that famous jingle on your car, or when the decors are up in your house, and the list goes on. Every little that makes a Christmas special has to be set up at just the perfect time. Now if we have it in the middle of the year, I can’t even begin to imagine what would happen. If you’re American or living somewhere where it snows and you celebrate Christmas when it’s not snowing, then that would look really weird.

Another strange idea that popped into my head is what if we have two Christmases in a year? That wouldn’t work right? Try Christmas shopping twice in a year. I also don’t believe offices will spend two bonuses in a span of a couple of months. Plus, the season wouldn’t feel that special anymore.

You know what else is crazy? I have to admit that my family doesn’t recognize Christmas in December. Now how does that work you may ask. Well, no gifts, no decors, no Christmas lights, no Noche Buena (a Spanish tradition wherein a midnight meal takes place every Christmas eve, no nothing. I mean of course my parents still give gifts to their offices and stuff like that to make them seem normal and we do have a mini reunion with my mother’s side on Christmas day, but other than that, that’s it. No presents on Christmas day yo! Now we weren’t always like this but one day my mom just went to my room and frankly said we’re not having a Christmas tree this year because of so and so. I’ll go Freudian with this one because I was maybe a teenager at that time and that was like an arrow to the heart and that sting bugs me till now. I guess now that I’m older I kind of get her point, but still, I’m a bit disheartened with a tradition that I know means something. More than the carols, the decors, and the presents, it truly is a season of giving and spending time with each other and that’s what I miss the most.

I don’t want to sound too depressing, but like always, I’m just here pondering the questions for people and ask what if their favorite time of the year is not in the right time of the year. It’s something to think about. Maybe it’s as simple as “thank goodness there’s only one Christmas because of the shopping” or as deep as “I’m grateful we only have it once a year because that’s what makes it special.” Besides I shouldn’t feel all that bad to it because it isn’t my birthday anyway. In any case, have a wonderful December. As for me, I’ll be okay alone with a couple of beers on Christmas eve. 😉




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What Are Cheap Presents You Can Give This Christmas?

It is that time of the year again dear friends when we get excited for the month of December because of Christmas. There are many facets of this season that makes us joyful and thankful for the year that has gone and most importantly for the people we love most. One thing I’d like to focus on is the whole idea of gift giving and the inevitable Christmas shopping. Whether it’s for your family, boyfriend/girlfriend, officemate or whoever it is, it’s that time to empty our wallets and head to the mall.

Every year, it amuses me when I see friends and workmates get so excited with the money they’ll get for Christmas and then become slightly sad all of a sudden because they spent it all. I’d say slightly sad because there is a cheerful feeling whenever you give someone a present. But still, the money you worked so hard for can simply fly by you in a blink of an eye.

With the money being an important issue, I thought of ways how to lessen the cost of your Christmas shopping this year but still give tons of presents to your love ones. Here are a couple of my suggestions:

1)   Do-it-yourself presents

This is when you can be creative. Get your bond paper, colored markers, paintbrushes, glue, and all that and just make stuff up. I would say this is perfect for kids (or people you think it’s okay to give them a mini Art Attack). You have to be careful with “kids” though because it’s in their nature to be materialistic and if they say they want a Barbie doll, you have to get a Barbie doll. Trust me, you don’t want to mess little girls and their Barbie dolls. Don’t give them like a painting or anything (though Meg gave me one awhile back which was cool because it was really good) but for kids I think it’s something that they can play with. It can be an origami and you can have fun by teaching him/her how to do one. See, it’s simple fun, plus doesn’t require an app on your phone.

2)   Downloaded music or movies

Another cheap thing you can do is to make a modern day “mix tape.” You know how people back then use to give mix tapes to their girls containing love songs and stuff like that? Well, I wouldn’t 100% percent recommend this now but there’s still some level of sweetness into this.

This isn’t restricted to couples however. Euge used to give my classmates and I CDs that contained random songs that reflected our personalities. He would select songs that he thought we would like. Pretty thoughtful don’t you think?

In this day and age when you can just download pretty much anything online, you have a wide range of music and movies you can give. If you know that your friend’s favorite movie is “The Royal Tenenbaums” then you can give him/her that movie.

3)   Letters

This is probably as cheap as you can get. Get a pen and a piece of paper and just write stuff. Though seems ultimately low cost, there’s a big sense of sincerity into it, because well, it is still a letter. Somehow, there’s just more things you can say with a letter than with a material present. The good thing with letters is that you can give it to anyone: your five-year old nephew, your grandfather, old classmate, and more.

I’ll tell you this though: a letter has more chance getting remembered years after than let’s say a t shirt or something.

4)   Time

Now I know what you’re thinking; giving time this Christmas is common sense. Of course we have to spend time with our friends and loved ones. However, I hope you’ve realized as much me that dividing your time proves to be difficult. There’s your family, friends, workmates, old barkadas, and the list goes on. It’s like one Christmas party after the other.

Time is truly important because I know that there are a few people in your life that you only get to see during Christmas time. It’s an annual thing and people just try harder to see each other every December. Time is a precious gift, let’s not forget about that.

Of course if you’re really rich you can forget about all the things I’ve said and just buy stuff. Then again, you can always choose the ones you’re going to give a new pair of shoes or a letter. That’s the beauty of giving; you get to decide what to give. In the end, the other person will always appreciate what you give. As cliché goes, “it’s the thought that counts.”

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