All posts tagged: christmas

The Changing Seasons

The nights are much longer now and even in a tropical country like the Philippines, evenings are much, much colder. We have no snow, no winter, but the cool, dry season from November to February gives us respite from the rains and typhoons brought about by the rainy season. The cool months are the most pleasant for many Filipinos, a stark contrast to the scorching summer days, which begin soon after the cool February days come to an end. The Philippines celebrates Christmas in a grand way – and for a long time. Stores and malls begin to display and sell Yuletide items as early as September. There are plenty of glitter and snow-themed displays everywhere. Many of the displays are so colorful, whimsical… and so western!     Poinsettias One of the more popular and ubiquitous displays during Christmas are the poinsettia flowers. Christmas in the Philippines is never complete unless there are poinsettia flowers – either real or artificial. The poinsettia is indigenous to Mexico and Central America, where the climate is cooler. …

Sunday’s Blessings: Writers’ Thoughts on Christmas

“I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.” -Charles Dickens “There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.” – Erma Bombeck “Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.” – Washington Irving “I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old, familiar carols play, And wild and sweet The words repeat Of peace on earth, good-will to men!” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and …

The World and Beiber Continue to Help

In the Philippines, many companies have decided to forgo their Christmas parties. The amount they would have spent for the festivities are instead going to the people in the provinces hard hit by Typhoon Haiyan last November. This is admirable indeed, and understandable because after all, the people in the Visayas are our countrymen. Aside from the additional help from these local companies, the survivors of Haiyan will also experience the joy of receiving aid from many people who work in German companies that have decided to scrap their Christmas parties and donate the money intended for the parties to the people in the Visayas. Germany‚Äôs acting head of mission Joern Rohdesaid said that various German companies operating in the Philippines have provided assistance in kind and through donations from their employees. The German companies have also used their own funds and some have tapped into the resources of their headquarters and global networks. An early Christmas gift for the people of Tacloban was a visit from Justine Beiber, who flew in from Australia. Before …