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Monday, January 28, 2008

Celebrating Christ's Birth

Anthony Prince B. Merluza
(11 years old)

Reindeers neighing… lovebirds hissing under the mistletoe…big socks hanging over the chimney…familiar sleigh riding over the moon…shimmering tinsel reflected in round colorful ornaments…a magical land of Christmas.

We commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ every Christmas- December 25. It is the day that signals great festivities and enjoyment. The merriment and excitement filled the air as people await the most joyful event of the year.

As we celebrate this wonderful occasion, we also remember the first Christmas with Mary, Joseph and Jesus. We honor the sufferings of Mama Mary as she humbly gave birth to our Savior in the manger.

Part of the Christmas tradition is the completion of the midnight masses or what we call as “simbang gabi”. It is believed that if you can complete it your wish will come true. After the mass, we savor the sweet aroma and taste of the “puto bumbong or bibingka.” Then, we walk back home under the glint of thousand sparkling Christmas lights that adorned the streets and different houses.

Young children like me also believed the coming of Sta. Claus. We anticipate his coming every year with our reward for being good the whole year. It could be toys, bicycles or just simply sweet candies and chocolates.

The lanterns, Christmas trees, wreaths and snowman make the occasion more colorful. It is with wistful feeling that we look at them filled with Christmas spirit.

The buttery smell of cookies as our parents prepare for the noche Buena completes the custom of celebrating Christmas. We share the good food on the table that includes ham, chicken, spaghetti, and others while listening to carolers. It is indeed a beautiful feeling to behold.

The best thing about Christmas is the peace and forgiveness the season brings. A friend in Beaverton, Oregon U.S.A. told me about his last Christmas when he and his family shared forgiveness with their competitor in business. They opted to become good friends because of the hearts and spirits that surround Christmas.

We learn the value of the occasion in different ways. What is important is what is in our heart as we celebrate it. Let’s keep the baby Jesus in our hearts because Christ is Christmas.

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