Christmas is just around the corner. Many of us are already planning how to spend our vacation. Some are even singing a tune or two of their favorite Christmas carols. Christmas in the Philippines is really special. In fact, the season spans at least 3 months, starting in the early “ber” months of September until the misty dawns of December and even extends until the first few days of January. What’s with the three kings and all? 🙂
With all the 13th and 14th month pays being given just before the month of December, everyone enjoys his own “extra” jolt of cash. Suddenly, people have money to spend. So they spend their money left and right, partying, buying gifts, busily getting into debt through the “easy monthly payments” for the brand new “ultra cool” mobile phone or flat screen TV. These expenses, if not controlled, can cause a strain on your budget even with the sudden influx of cash. Worse, after spending more money than you have, you end up needing to break your piggy bank.
Here are 7 ways to Celebrate Christmas Without Breaking Your Piggy Bank
1) Give your time.
Time is indeed gold. In the world of business, it is an undeniable fact that your time is worth money. As a contractor or employee, you get paid per hour of you time. Your business generally earns money as long as it is open, which is also restricted by the time of your employees. As the world becomes busier by the minute, your ability to give time is becoming more valuable more than ever. In my opinion, your time is even more valuable than money.
So give your time. Spend it with your family. Take a walk. Play outside the house. Enjoy some time gardening. Smell the fresh air. Your precious time is more valuable than any gift you can ever give them this Christmas season.
2) Decorate your Christmas Tree Together
When I was growing up, we’d always decorate our Christmas tree together. Most of the time, we’d use indigenous materials as decoration. We would use white soap for a snow. We would pick up stones and wrap them up as candies and hung them under the Christmas tree. One time, we even made a “parol” (star) out of banana stalks. It was a lot of fun and we didn’t even have to pay a dime. 🙂
3) Sing Christmas carols with your friends
There was a time when me and my friends would go out at night, knock from door to door to sing a Christmas carol or two. Our neighbors being so kind and gentle would give us coins and gifts. We enjoyed it so much we even brought our musical instruments along. We had a lyre, a trumpet, drums, and my favorite – a home-made tambourine made out of flattened aluminum caps. And at the end of it all, we even earned some money from the whole thing.
4) Share stories with old friends
The yuletide season is one of those days where everyone is going to their home town. It is a great blessing to be able to catch up with your old friends and enjoy the season together. Long lost high school friends ask who is already married and who is next in line. They might even ask you to be the godfather of their own kids. There is something refreshing in meeting up old friends. With all the stress we endure at work throughout the year, it is a very welcome opportunity to spend some time with those you’ve spent most of your childhood with.
5) Sing and dance to your heart’s content
We Filipinos are a happy people. We love to sing! We are all singers, even if we cannot carry a single decent tune! Everyone knows the hottest song on the radio is the Korean hit sensation “Nobody, nobody but you?!”
We also love to dance. Why do you think noon time shows are full of dancing from hip-hop, to modern to ethnic dance?…They even have dance contests all year round!
During Christmas, you have an excuse to celebrate. So sing your favorite song on your videoke! Dance like crazy! Live life and have fun!
6) Watch the stars
During the whole month of December, the cool winds clear out the clouds so the stars can come out at night! Watching the glittering stars on a clear night sky is both relaxing and peaceful. The stars are saying…”settle down…be calm…rest for a while”.
It is one of those rare opportunities to really reflect and reconnect with nature and the universe. So grab the chance to watch the stars and marvel at the wonders of the world!
7) Give love!
Just like what the popular Christmas carol says…
Give love on Christmas day (Christmas day!)
No greater gift…is there than love.
What the world needs is love!
Yes the world needs your love…
Why don’t you…give love (Repeat Chorus)
Love is priceless. Love is “cheesy”.
Love other people. Love your neighbor. Love your dog. Love your son. Love your daughter. Love your parents. Love yourself.
Love is the only thing that grows and comes back to you a million fold when you give it away.
Christmas is a season of celebrating joy and happiness. Be happy! Smile! There’s nothing that can take that away from you. Not working on a night shift on the eve of Christmas day. Not enduring the very long ride home just to catch your family’s Noche Buena. Not even your problems on work, money or family.
You dictate how to celebrate Christmas. You alone can make it the best day of the year! You have the power to give, to sing, to dance, to share, to love, to be happy and smile! You can do all these things…even without breaking your piggy bank.