Wednesday, December 2

The Christmas Spirits

photo by JOSE JAIME RAPHAEL B. TAGANAS/ THE FLAME

AS the festive season approaches, every citizen is filled with joy and gratitude in anticipation of the coming holiday. Or so one would think. Over time, the true reason for celebration has been forgotten and the spirits of the holiday excitement, giving, and familial gatherings have been overshadowed by some less inspiring replacements.

The Spirit of Holiday Stress looms over the teacher as she walks home from the store. Not only does she have to put up decorations around their small house and ready a large meal for her sister and nephews, she also has to spend all night trying to finish preparing the final exams of her students.

The Spirit of Consumerism coaxes the Angkas driver to buy each of his daughters nicer dolls this year. He is grateful for the extra tips he has been receiving, but he worries he will have to work more to be able to top the gifts he gave the previous year. He will have to treat them to a nice restaurant as well.

The Spirit of Awkward Family Reunions lurks behind the hairdresser. The thought of having to return to the province and see his relatives yet again and remembering that his aunts will be asking to “borrow” money as they do every year, is too dreadful to think about. But knowing his father would be angry if he did not come was an experience he would decide not to revisit.

This year, Christmas will not be including joyful spirits. F ANA MURIEL R. VERON

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