“Don’t be afraid to be weak Don’t be too proud to be strong
Just look into your heart my friend
That will be the return to yourself” – Enigma. Return to Innocence
The ‘ber’ months begin once more and September sets the holiday mood. Different ages react differently to this transition however. For most adult this is the start of expenses pouring in as everything seems to get listed in the needs section of the budget list. The wants list becomes empty for the time being. For most children, however, this is just the season to be jolly. Period.
I could still remember my excitement as a kid when our calendar flips to September. It was as if the calendar would play the song Santa Claus is coming to town on cue. The Santa Claus I would soon discover as ordinary adults who get restless when the ‘ber’ months arrive. Twenty years later, I would become one of them.
It feels like it was only a couple days ago when someone reminded me to start buying gifts to avoid the rush. Just like any broken vinyl record the thought of Christmas shopping skips and repeats. Sadly, the rush doesn’t skip. It just repeats. It intensifies even. The farthest I can remember panicking at this level was since I started having my own pay check–now I wonder if paydays be celebrated or cursed. My wife and I normally kid each other usually around every January to start buying Christmas trees and gifts. But before I know it, the ‘ber’ months are here again.
Now we’re staring at November. The mall sales are getting more frequent. The bonuses are coming in (or shall I say passing through). The yuletide songs are as common as jeepney noise. The dreaded traffic worsens. The horrifying thought of the inaanaks knocking at the front door getting realized as December nears. It’s funny but now when someone says “Christmas is just around the corner” this to me is like a windtalker’s code that someone is out to get me.
So have I become the Grinch? During this season most adults are anyhow. Well it must be the cycle of life. Some call it karma. The act gets repeated but the recipients change. If before I was thankfully receiving crisp bills, now I’m…I’m not giving one. Beside, the crisp bills now are of less value. Hehe. Every time I’m in this situation I think of an old Filipino song (by Asin) with the following lyrics:
Itanong mo sa mga bata (Ask the children)
Ano ang kanilang nakikita (What they see)
Sa buhay na hawak nila (In the life they have)
Masdan mo ang mga bata (Observe the children)
Sila ang tunay na pinagpala (They are the lucky ones)
Kaya dapat nating pahalagahan (We should appreciate them)
Dapat din kayang kainggitan? (Shouldn’t we envy them)
Although this is not a Christmas song, this describes how having the innocence matters. It’s about taking the simple meaning of the season for what it is. Children love Christmas for Santa Claus. (If they love it for Christ’s birth, the better of course. But that’s where our adult explanation comes into play and that’s another topic worthy of a long discussion.) So if only us adults could see this significance even just during December, then I think this is only when we could wholeheartedly join the children in saying, “’tis the season to be jolly.”