Is it just me, or is Christmas on steroids this year?
The feasting began certainly early enough. Barely have we entered the first week of December, I have been invited to more than 10 "celebrations" already - take note, I have been accused of being "anti-social" often so that makes that fact even more perplexing. (I can't imagine what the "socials" calendars would look like.) Whether in the office, at school, neighborhood socials, food, glorious food in its various manifestations, preparations and presentations have begun to unravel both before our eyes - and inside our bowels.
Let's not leave out the horrendous (understatement of the year) traffic. It's as if everyone - at least in Metro Manila - has decided to go to one mall (pick any) and challenge the possibility of creating a black hole voluntarily by squeezing everyone and everything into a single space. And the rudeness level? It's at an all-time high. You see parents pushing their strollers and using them as battering rams to get just a few more inches of space, shoppers of both the harried and lazy variety aimlessly ambling along in an omni-directional pattern so you really have to dodge and weave every which way so as not to get schmoozed - yes, that is the scientific term.
And we've all been hearing about how the Philippines is so poor, and how our economy is so bad...really? Judging from the amount of shopping bags, carts, gifts, credit cards, booze, cigarettes and everything else that's being consumed, bought, gift-wrapped, thrown away, I find myself having to suspend my disbelief every day because all I see is spending, spending, spending. Even the kids who ask for alms already turn down 5 and 10 peso coins because they aren't "good enough" - and you thought beggars can't be choosers!
So, really, we should just redefine Christmas. Let's be honest and fair, whatever the original intent was for the season has long been pushed into a distant background, in a moldy box at the back of the closet of your least favorite relative. I propose that Christmas now should stand for this:
Enjoy the head-splitting holidays.