From Scrooge at Christmas

HUMMING IN MY UNIVERSE By Jim Paredes (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 29, 2015 –

I have experienced 63 Christmases in my life.

I’ve had really happy, festive ones. I’ve also had religious spiritual ones. Of course, I’ve also had sad and tragic Christmases.

I have experienced the varied moods, feel and ambience of Christmases past. I have played Santa, Ninong, inaanak, caroler, one of the Three Kings, a host of celebrations, etc. This year though, I feel very different. In the past few Christmases, I have noticed that the holidays have become less fun, not exactly something to look forward to with delight and enthusiasm. This feeling has been building up through the years.

And this year, that feeling has intensified.

I must come out of the Yuletide closet. I am going against the tide and will reveal my problem with Christ- mas. Yes, folks, my inner Scrooge has sprung from the depths ready to experience the season in a different way.

In short, Christmas has stopped being magical and happy for me. Here are some reasons why I am beginning to hate the season.

1.The malls and media start playing Christmas carols too early. Hey guys, there is a time and place for everything and September is too early to think about Christmas. It is premature excitation.

I feel violated when I hear a Christ- mas song played months before Christmas. I know malls do this to get people into the mood of the season and start spending. But in the process, they deprive Christmas of its romance. You guys don’t really care about Christmas, admit it. You care about money.

2.With the way has completely taken over our schedules, I know the Christmas rush will be total carmageddon. Without it, we are already drowning in traffic. What more when malls let loose upon the unsuspecting populace the monsters of Midnight Madness, Christmas sales, etc.? It’s goodbye to calm and sanity. Say hello to stress and take away all the cheer!

3. Christmas has become more and more about commercialism. It is about going in to credit card dept to finance every gift you want to (or must) buy. It’s great to give, you feel rich and generous. But after the holidays, you go without the meat and curse the bread!

4. One’s heavenly peace can easily be shaken by bad carolers. And believe me, the cards are stacked against getting the good ones. For every good group of carolers, there are about 67 bad ones. They don’t actually serenade you with Christmas songs, they terrorize you with their discordant voices and bad renditions and you end up paying them to stop already. And when you shell out, word immediately gets around and infinitely more carolers rush to knock at your gate. It’s like being attacked by Yuletide Zombies.

5. And yes, there is a price to pay for all the food you eat during the holidays. Binge eating and consumption of all that alcohol will alter your relationship with gravity and your wardrobe. After the Christmas carols have stopped playing, you will stand before the mirror and ask yourself in disgust, “How the hell did I allow this happen?”

You look for your gym membership card and rush over, but you end up waiting for your turn at the machines because everyone else is also burning their fat.

I don’t want to end this article on a negative note. I do have some suggestions on how to make Christmas a better experience.

1. Let’s implement coding. Let’s make sure everyone enjoys a great Christmas, even if not all at the same time. If we divide the population by three and assign three weeks of the year as Christmas holidays for three groups, everyone can be less stressed

be Christmas spending all throughout the year and businesses will be happy.

2. Be a real Santa. Put CCTV cams in your children’s and godchildren’s rooms to check if they have been naughty or nice. Remember to check twice.

3. Finally, leave the country. Go to North Korea. There is no Christmas there. It might just be the right place to avoid the holiday stress, carolers and pesky godchildren.

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