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the holiday epiphany

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Happy holidays! With the holiday spirit still lurking around, let me juxtapose this with the epiphany I had.

While I was in my room on Christmas morning — avoiding the growing crowd in our living room. I was baffled that it was Christmas day when it felt like a normal day — nothing felt special — the magic was not there.

I think the older I get, the less exciting Christmas (or the holidays) get. This year, we didn’t hang up Christmas decorations, we didn’t have our Noche Buena post-mass on Christmas Eve, nor did we have anything jolly to do. We just greeted each other “Merry Christmas” and went to our respective rooms and went to sleep.

I realised we got less and less festive as the years went by. I don’t blame anyone tho, things get more and more expensive and celebrating Christmas has been rooted in a capitalist conditioning. Bear with me on this, I’m not trying to kill the holiday vibe, but these are just what I realised.

I don’t know if it’s the same in other countries, but here in the Philippines, on Christmas morning, children usually go to different houses (usually their relatives’ family-friends’) to receive aguinaldo or gifts. This usually goes on until the child reaches college (or old enough to be embarrassed to go house-to-house receiving aguinaldo).

I have nothing against aguinaldo and gift giving. I just hate the unintentional conditioning we're putting children through that they'd receive gifts every Christmas. That's not what the holiday is about.

I remember the Christmas I stopped receiving gifts and I felt so robbed off the tradition. It was also the time when the holidays didn't feel so festive anymore.

Why don't we just have a simple celebration that's not centred on gift giving, but more on being in the presence of loved ones. Rather than worrying about what gifts to get or how much aguinaldo to give. Come to think of it, we can't bring material things to the afterlife.

So for the next year, I'll try to be more mindful of I celebrate the holidays –– more on the memories and experience, and less on the cost and monetary value.