EDITORIAL | True Christmas

Christmas has always been a very special holiday for Bicolanos. As early as September, strings of flashing lights, sales, and carols are everywhere, making it easy for everyone, to get into the holiday spirit.

One’s response to the festive season, however, largely depends on how he or she views Christmas.

Some stress over finding the perfect gifts, putting up the best decorations, and planning the best parties. For them, Christmas is a competition, an opportunity to impress and outdo their friends or even themselves.

And then there are those who turn to crimes, stealing and harming others to put food on the Noche Buena table or gifts under the tree. Their resolve proves too weak for the extraordinary pressure of consumerism (which, perhaps to their defense, is comfortably ensconced in the Christmas culture).

A few, however, share their blessings with their family, friends, or even strangers. Inspired by Christ, or even merely by a continuing belief in kindness, these people are often the most satisfied once the holiday ends. Regardless of whether they receive anything in return, they feel fulfilled, having done something good for others.

It is perhaps this last view of Christmas that is best and truest to the original reason for the celebration. Centered on love and goodwill, it renders one’s class, race, gender, or age irrelevant. Instead, it recognizes our equality, our common and basic need for each other’s love and care not only during Christmas, but also on all the other days of the year.