It is exactly 41 days before Christmas and although I can feel that the temperature around has dropped down, still I can't feel any Christmas spirit in the air. And as I am listening to Holy Night and other Christmas songs over You Tube now, the more I feel sad knowing that I will be spending Christmas away from home...again.
This is the second time that I'll be celebrating Christmas here in Thailand and I am still on the process of learning to get used to it. Yes, Thai people acknowledge Christmas day but not as how we Christians highly regard it. For them, it is only an ordinary day with Santa Claus as the main symbol of the celebration. It is not surprising at all that we do not hear any Christmas songs played in the malls or in their radio stations. In the malls, some Christmas Trees are seen but they lack several ornaments that make a Christmas Tree live up to its name.
"Paskong Pinoy" is truly different. What I missed most about it is the usual putting up of Christmas decorations at home and in the classrooms in school. It has become a tradition that decorating the house as early as September has to be carefully planned. I missed the carolers too - though at times children have become annoying as they keep coming back every night singing the same songs but that is something that you don't see here. Then, of course, the "Noche Buena" shared by the whole family and friends on the Christmas eve. These are just few of the many things that a typical "pinoy" anywhere in the world misses during the Yuletide Season.
Nonetheless, Christmas far-way from home need not be gloomy and blue, we can choose to make it merry and joyful as we have friends whom we can share it with. After all, the real essence of Christmas is not all about Christmas decorations, foods, or gifts but the immeasurable love of God for us through Jesus Christ.
Advance Merry Christmas to all.