Teachers' Christmas Celebration in the Philippines
A Teachers' Mind and Heart for Christmas
Today, I'd like to share some Christmas thoughts as we feel how fast time captures the festive spirit of the season. The simple dwellings of the Filipinos are alive with all the trimmings of Christmas, the streets are colorful and lighted, the air is filled with Christmas tunes, all giving importance to gift-giving and excited to face a dawn of a new year.
Life is indeed a celebration like Christmas.
I wonder how teachers individually and collectively celebrate Christmas.
Christmas is just around the bend. Undeniably and surely, the holiday that looms year-round for our eagerness is starting to be exhibited by the brigthly colored lights on houses, trees, and establishments in our province, the merry sound of Christmas carols aired on radios, the cold breeze we always associate with the season and not-very-musical sound of cans and soft metal accompanying the youthful voices of carolers.
It’s funny and absurd how we wait for the whole year to pass just to celebrate Christmas. But it’s heart warming and delightful how we reach that time of the year to show our love for our family and friends and be able to give and share what we have no matter how trifle.
Christmas is always associated with gifts, goodies, and reunions. But for a school teacher, it’s time for vacation. It’s time for children’s Christmas parties and teachers’ parties. It’s time for family; time for our own children away from our children in school. It’s time for household chores not classroom routine.
Christmas is a time for curling up around our blanket while being hugged by the early morning breeze, if only for a few minutes that our usual first light wake up time on school days.
For a teacher who puts everything away for her responsibilities at school, with her students, and with her community, Christmas is God’s way of affirmation for her dedication and enthusiasm in her role as mind-shaper, mentor, guardian and civil servant.
Christmas, in the mind of a teacher is a time to spend her long awaited bonus and additional cash gift from the government’s ‘Santa Claus.’
How fortunate and exciting! Some more amount for gift-giving and family pleasures - acts which delight the heat of a teacher.
Throughout the year, the teacher’s mind and heart think and beat for school, her students and the many paper works that popularly press the teaching task of every teacher nowadays.
Now Christmas is just near the curve. Teachers are eager to finish every detail in her job because she’s sure that soon as the evaluation is done, Christmas is next to come.
In the heart and mind of a teacher, it’s fulfilling when he waits for Christmas.
Christmas is Peace
Christmas is always super special for us because this is the time we celebrate the birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ. The cool winds of December, the warmth of love and good cheer permeate the hearts of everyone.
Christmas in the Philippines is a season of traditions and family togetherness. It is the time of the year when families gather together to share joy with and love for each other. In this season, we wish to be with our love ones and experience the strange happy and sad kind of feeling making us emotional and driving us to tears of joy.
The nine dark cold nights before Christmas – the traditional Simbang Gabi (evening mass), our deeply-rooted faith calls us to church, preparing us for the coming light of Christ’s birth. Churchgoers would flock the stalls outside after the dawn mass and excitedly partake of delicious rice cakes and steaming beverage such as bibingka, puto bumbong (rice cakes) with hot chocolate or salabat (ginger tea).
How our children’s eyes sparkle with their merry hearts in anticipation of a wish coming true – receiving gifts, delectable presents and partaking of their favorite food.
But, are these things of the past? Sad to say, in these tougher times, we fear of bombings and terrorism. We yearn for peace and quiet. We can let go of material things and control our wants. Most important is the security in our abodes and safety of our lives. What better gift this Christmas we can share – the gifts of unity and humility. There are unique gifts money can’t buy emanating from our hearts. That is being one, despite different beliefs, respecting each others’ rights and humble enough to be forgiving. Christmas is peace, love and understanding among our Christian and Muslim brothers. Our Omnipotent God has been born to redeem us.
Through prosperity and adversity, let us find time to reflect on our present and future relationship with Him who is really the reason for the season. Let peace reign in our hearts.
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!