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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

FinDinG XmAs

Published in Edge Davao Business Weekly

I must admit, it took me a while to get into the Christmas spirit this year. I am a partyphile; giddy excitement was not an emotion I wanted to be associated with. I had carefully crafted my party persona, and I am nowhere near giving that up for some lame season. Somehow, I have become jaded after all those Christmases when I didn’t get the “it” gadget or wasn’t allowed to party as hard as I wanted to. I had always been one of those people who wanted to have a perfect Christmas; I expected everyone to be nicer, I expected to be showered with lavish gifts, I wanted Christmas to be, in a sense, all about me. My Christmas realities never lived up to my Christmas expectations, and that taught me to suppress my excitement for the season. Plus, getting excited for Christmas has ceased to be “cool”. The business student in me told me that Christmas bazaars, promos and packages were invented to gain extra income before the year came to a close. I was somewhat of a Christmas pessimist. Yes, I had suffered from the Grinch-syndrome.

But something sparked inside me when I saw that popular soft drink commercial on TV announcing that Christmas was indeed coming. It brought me back to the days of my childhood when all I expected was the privilege of opening presents come 12:01 of December 25. It had brought out the wide-eyed child in me, and I realized that this Christmas would be different.

This Christmas season, I was excited, I was giddy, I felt like a child waiting for the stroke of midnight. This Christmas I was the one who was nicer, I was the one who wanted to give gifts, and I was the one who wanted to feel and enjoy Christmas, even if it made me seem like I wasn’t “cool”. This Christmas, I swore not to pretend that I was all grown-up, because the season gave me a license to feel like a child again. I realized the power of Christmas to transform a jaded partyphile whose only joy is gimiks and alcohol into a five year old child who was content by the fact that people cared enough to actually buy him presents.

I realized that Christmas has indeed come, just like the TV commercial had announced, but this time it came in a different mode. It had not come because the latest gadgets were released, or because the malls were filled with Christmas trees; it did not come because our house was filled with presents, and the air waves blasted Christmas carols; it did not come because the TV commercial announced it or because there were Christmas bazaars everywhere.

Christmas had come because I welcomed it, I allowed it to; and I allowed myself to look at the world through my 5-year old eyes again.

And although the things that now make me happy are completely different from the stuff that I used to write in a letter to send to the North Pole; the meaning of Christmas has not changed. And I am glad to say that the idea of spending Christmas with the people who really matter still excites me.

Remember: being excited for Christmas does not cramp your style; it does not make you any less of a partyphile. It does not make you “un-cool”, it does not take away from your partyphile persona. This season, forget about what anybody else has to say and stick with what you know will make you happy. After all, joy and happiness have never gone out of style… no matter what season.

Confession # 15

I am writing this while staring at our Christmas tree, and I must admit: there is nothing better than thinking back on all those carefree Christmases in front of a fully decorated tree. Somehow all the sparkling lights relax me after a chaotic day. Maybe because it brings back the happiest days of my childhood… or maybe because they mimic lasers and disco lights and bring me back to the happiest days of my adult life? Who knows? All that matters is I have found the Christmas spirit again.