AN OFFICIAL of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) yesterday urged the Filipino faithful to consider spending a "Green Christmas," instead of the "White Christmas" many Filipinos dream of.
In a statement, CBCP-Commission on the Laity Chairman Bishop Broderick Pabillo said it would be good if Filipinos will promote a Green Christmas by advocating a clean, healthy, and simple way of celebrating the festivities.
"What is a green Christmas? We may also call it an ecological Christmas. We are called to have a change of lifestyle if we are to avert disastrous wayward weather conditions," said Pabillo.
"This call for change of lifestyle also means a change in the way we behave at Christmas time," he added.
The prelate said this means that the people must not let the culture of consumerism eat up Christmas.
"Yes, people have more money, what with all the bonuses, the 13th month paychecks, and the aguinaldos people receive. A lot of these money, unfortunately, end up buying useless things and useless gifts. They end up in the cupboard or in the trash can!" he said.
Similarly, Pabillo pointed out how the food consumed during this season are not nutritious, and are even harmful to our health with blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels shooting up.
"Many traditional Christmas foods are harmful like ham, cheese, cakes, lechon and chocolates. A green Christmas can also mean green leafy vegetables for our Christmas meals. Have we tried this?" he asked.
The prelate also assailed how much money is spent on Christmas wrappers alone, with the glittering ones being non-biodegradable, while plastic toys end up in the dumpsites soon after Christmas.
"How many plastics litter our streets, parks and malls during the Christmas season?" lamented Pabillo.
Instead of the usual practices that have been harmful physically and environmentally, the bishop urged the faithful to do something different but more meaningful.
He said Christmas can be celebrated with more of togetherness in activities and sharing with families and neighbors, such as cooking, playing, and praying together.
"Companionship is what we need, and not things. Why not laugh together in the family, tell stories of what happened the past year and share one another’s dreams and wishes for the coming year? These catching up with one another’s lives will be etched more in our memories," he said.
In doing so, the prelate said it is essentially celebrating Christmas just like Jesus, Mary and Joseph did in Bethlehem.
"No one were happiest on the first Christmas other than Mary and Joseph. They had no light. They had no food. They did not have the comfort of a bed or even a warm room. There were no sounds. In simplicity, poverty and silence, they were most happy. They had a new life with them. They had Jesus with them. Theirs was truly a green Christmas!" said Pabillo. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)