Tag Archives: Advent

Christmas Symbols

Last week we trooped to watch my son’s class sing Christmas carols in the tree-lighting ceremony of the city.

People at work pointed out that it was too early to light the Christmas tree.  After all, it wasn’t even December yet.

I just had to smile because clearly, they have not heard about crazy Filipinos decorating Christmas trees as early as November (after All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day), or Christmas songs hitting the airwaves as early as September, or even Filipinos who do not even bother putting away Christmas decor.  (My mom had her Belen in our atrium for the whole year.)

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The Christmas Decor in our house in Manila

I don’t put out Christmas decorations early.  The earliest I have bought a Christmas tree was Black Friday, and the latest was Dec 22.

There were Christmases that we didn’t even have a Christmas tree.  My husband felt that it was wrong to cut trees just to be decorations for the holidays.  So as a sign of protest, he was adamant that we not support the Christmas tree growers–we had a potted rosemary topiary with lights instead.

Then I argued that the pine trees were grown and cut precisely for the sole purpose of becoming a Christmas tree.  I countered that if a tree were left in the lot, then it did not achieve its purpose in life: That tree would have died living an unfulfilled life.

So the next year, I got my tree.

IMG_6748Our very first Christmas tree

While we decorate our house with pretty trimmings, we also prepare our minds and hearts for the birth of Jesus.   On the four Sundays leading to December 25, we pray and light the candles of the Advent Wreath.


During this season of Advent,  I am hopeful that my children understand the difference between Christmas and Christmas symbols.

With Santa Claus in the malls, advertisements for stocking stuffers everywhere, ninongs and ninangs asking them what they want, it will be challenging.


My children will be supporting their school’s Toy Drive this year.  They will purchase toys using the money that they earned from their car wash business.  It is not a lot, but I told them that for every dollar of their own money that they use, I will match it.

Because they are using the money that they worked hard to earn, they are giving up a part of themselves which I think, is the true meaning of Christmas.