Ber Months-A A +A
By Rox Peña
Thursday, September 5, 2013
AS SOON as the calendar turned September 1, Facebook was flooded with early Christmas greetings. Christmas carols started to be played. I was at the MarQuee Mall in Angeles City last Sunday and the piped-in music is playing Christmas songs. Soon, spectacular Christmas displays will pop up in malls across the country. The onset of the Ber months signals the beginning of the world’s longest Christmas celebration.
Let us make Christmas 2013 green. The early start of the joyous season allows us to plan for an eco-friendly celebration. Let’s start with re-using Christmas decors like Christmas trees, lanterns and lights. You can also decorate your home with live plants instead of a plastic Christmas tree.
If you’re thinking of replacing your old Christmas lights, consider LED holiday lights. They are better than incandescent bulbs. They use less electricity, don’t burn out or break. They are more expensive than ordinary lights but they last longer and save you money and energy in the long run.
For greeting cards, there are numerous electronic cards in the internet. Those who want to send cards the old fashioned way, try giving out eco-friendly Christmas cards like those made with recycled or handmade paper. You can also make your own Christmas cards. On shopping, plan early. Also, buy eco-friendly gifts.
I miss the old ways of celebrating Christmas. Today’s festivities are no longer the same as before. Modernization has caught up with the most awaited holiday of the year. Take food for example. Fast foods, instant drinks and commercially produced native foods, have slowly replaced the home-cooked Pinoy delicacies that we enjoyed eating during Christmas before.
Today, most households would rather buy mass-produced rice cakes, leche flan. suman bulagta, ale ubi, and other kakanin,, instead of sweating it out preparing and cooking them. The reason being the lack of time and absence of able bodied men to do the hard task of mixing the kalame. Whatever happened to bayanihan?
It is not only Filipino food that is fast disappearing. The native parol, made of bamboo and papel-de-hapon, is almost extinct. It has been replaced by plastic covered and lighted modern lanterns. The Star of Bethlehem, has now been replaced by lanterns of different shapes and design. The yearly family activity of re-wrapping the parol is no longer done.
Modern conveniences and fast paced lifestyle have greatly influenced the way we celebrate Christmas. The change is not only physical, or material, but something deeper. The closeness that the Christmas celebration brings to the Filipino family is somehow affected.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 06, 2013.