As we turn the calendar from August to September, there’s no stopping people or establishments from playing Christmas music and taking out their holiday decorations. Filipinos are known for having the longest Christmas season in the world – from September to January. Because we have such a lengthy Christmas celebration, there’s so many activities to look forward to during the holidays.
What are some of your favorite Filipino Mormon Christmas traditions? Here’s a few that comes to mind.
- When youth and single adults go caroling. It doesn’t matter if you’re musically gifted or totally tone deaf, everyone participates because it’s the perfect opportunity to hang out with friends and visit member’s homes. As you visit family after family, you are secretly hoping that someone offers you something to eat because food makes everything better. Like icing on cake. Ooooh… Cake!
- Crashing at your friend’s ward Christmas party. If you’re lucky, your friend’s ward will have their Christmas party on a different day which means that you get to attend both! You get really excited because there’s so many people who attend those gatherings and it’s just like going to a reunion of some sort.
- When we say Christmas party, it is indeed a PARTY!!! It’s that one activity of the year when you see your Bishop dance in public. Everyone is in high spirits and nothing can dampen the mood. Primary kids are running around after having eaten loads of chocolates and candies. The youth organization have more than one prepared presentation because it’s the perfect time to showcase their talents. SA’s are eyeing new faces that could be a potential date for the coming year. And the Relief Society sisters are just busy feeding everyone. It’s a crazy night, but everyone is having fun.
- Unlimited amount of Pancit and Shanghai. Every party you go to has pancit in all its different variety. Miki, Canton, Bihon, etc. Sky is the limit. And you can’t have pancit without lumpia. It’s just the perfect combination. Ward members go out of their way preparing their favorite dish to make the celebration a little bit more special. The best part is that there’s always extra to take home with you.
- The anticipated Christmas raffle! It doesn’t even matter what the prizes are, but having a Christmas raffle gets everyone excited. It can be a box of chocolates, a gift certificate, or even kitchen utensils. The possibilities are endless. In the end, it’s the idea of winning that really gets us all on the edge of our seats.
It’s fun to have the festivities, but hopefully we do not forget the reason for this season. As we prepare for Christmas, may we all look towards the Savior as the source of love and happiness.
Merry Christmas Pilipinas!