Father Christmas

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Friday, December 13, 2013

IN THE first place, the closest to a white Christmas in tropical Philippines are the ersatz snow we see in the malls or of the corpulent image of Santa Claus and his reindeers in the North Pole.

Better for the country to shift gear to Father Christmas in his green suit, whose image was last seen in the 1920s before Coca-Cola hijacked his image and expanded the icon’s waistline and donned him in red to promote the beverage.

Back then, Father Christmas was dressed in green, cut a slim figure, helping children and people in need. More appropriate in this season of Yolanda’s victims than that red-suited glutton with his ho-hos and breaking and entering into people’s houses as akyat-bahay, right?

The bearded man in green should find a warm welcome here in Bacolod. The Bacolod City Sangguniang Panglungsod approved the draft resolution of Councilor Em Ang that urges Bacoleños to celebrate an environment-friendly Christmas season.

The resolution said that Christmas is one of the widely celebrated holidays in the Philippines, and is also the biggest season for retail and commercial activities. Crass consumerism and pigs-outs get a hold on Filipinos – and the world, for that matter. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, fa-lala, lala, no matter if one is even a Christian or not.
The resolution noted that Christmas celebrations generate more recyclable waste than any other time of the year as these activities generate unnecessary trash, use precious resources, and create a large carbon footprint.

“We can help cut back on the impact of pollution generated during the season by exchanging eco-friendly Christmas gifts, using green Christmas trees, homemade Christmas decorations, and LED Christmas lights to save on energy,” the resolution added.

Ang’s resolution urged the public to re-use or recycle wrapping paper, put gifts in reusable bags, patronize products of companies or organizations known to implement green practices, and tree planting.

I heartily endorse the resolution. Finally, my time has come. Not a few made fun of my practice of keeping and saving Christmas wrappers for the next year. Councilor Ang and the Bacolod Sanggunian made my day.

As the Environmental News Network pointed out in a blog from a mock interview of Father Christmas, “Some of the elves at Abundance Generation have come up with a gift of a ‘green energy investment,’ perfect for those boys and girls who already seem to have everything! Over the last few years I’ve received an increasing number of letters requesting less disposable “stuff.”

After all, Christmas is really not about pig-outs and frenzied shopping.

As the Sanggunian resolution emphasized, “Christmas should be a time to give thanks to the Creator for giving the people an earth to live in, and the best way to show this gratitude is by being responsible stewards of His creation.”


Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on December 13, 2013.


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