Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Economics

My blog is distinctly missing a Christmas greeting and it’s not because I’m Scrooge in the flesh. Despite appearances, I am a Christmas fanatic. I studied in Catholic schools where every year, traditional tableaux reminded me of whose birthday it was we were celebrating. For some strange reason, I was never chosen to play Mary, Joseph or one of the three kings. The closest I could get to a role in a school tableau was as donkey alternate.

My home situation contributed too to developing holiday eagerness. I grew up in Baguio where some houses, including our own, had chimneys. That and the cold weather gave my mom an excuse to to feed her kids the illusion that the Philippines was part of Santa's itinerary. So I came to believe in St. Nick even if commonsense told me that Santa needed a century’s worth of Atkins or South Beach to fit through our non-western, slim, robber proof chimney flue.

So if I love Christmas so much, why don’t I have a post about it? I’ve been preoccupied with worldly, economic concerns. A few months before the holidays, a company beside my husband’s workplace announced that it would let go of all of its probationary employees. Of course, that was not pleasant news but that was still too far from home to cause me more than the expected distress at someone else’s misfortune. Two days before Christmas, my husband tells me they’ve all been put on forced leave. For daily paid workers, that’s some kind of “whoa!” That hit home.

No, we are not about to starve, but all of a sudden, the impersonal, intangible statistical figures on unemployment rates, inflation and falling stocks are singing carols at my doorstep. It may soon be my misfortune and not someone else’s. Today we lost the Christmas ham. Tomorrow we could lose the daily bacon.

That’s why Christmas almost flew past me. It’s a good thing I live in the Philippines. This is where even the dirt poor always have smiles to spare even when it’s not Christmas. This is the land of eternal smiles where worrying, especially during Christmas is out of place. It goes without saying that this is one of the countries where Christmas is most at home. No amount of economic crunching can detract from the collective happiness, the perpetual sense of family and the timelessness of His kind of love.

*Photo from Download Free Pictures


  1. a donkey alternate???
    are you serious???

  2. hehe. yup. we actually had real people play the animals which was pretty stups now that i think about it. then again, it saved us lots of time cause we didn't have to paint them

  3. The mere fact your family is intact, that is more than a reason to celebrate the Yuletide season.

    There is nothing sweeter or tastier than having all family members together during this time of the year.

    Happy New Year!

  4. that's a nice idea darwin. thanks

  5. Y'know ma'am, technically for Filipinos, Christmas officially sorta ends sometime on the 3rd week of January as marked by the sinulog or ati-atihan festivals. So there's time for you to still celebrate christmas. Merry Christmas and Hope you can still enjoy your christmas ham, even figuratively if you're gonna settle for an economic feast of PB&J. :-D God Bless!

  6. thanks mary. merry christmas and a happy new year

    yeah i know about the third week thing. i'm from cebu remember? :)

  7. Oh yeahhhh...I keep forgetting that. Hee, my bad. Have a great new year too ma'am! May it be more fortuitous for you and your loved ones!
    Wish ya all the luck, wealth and health!


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