The Christnas Season has begun, well, in the Philipines

12-Sep-2020 • San Francisco, California United States

Do you know that the Christmas season has begun in the Philippines? Oh yes, the so called BER months have arrived and I, in fact, received my very first holiday greeting last Tuesday, September 1st.

"What are the BER months?" you might wonder.  Well they are the months which end in BER (September, October, November, and December).  Some people might call it crazy, I find it fun!  I often find the Christmas season in the US and Europe very short.  A mere 4 or 5 weeks.  As a teacher who has a two week break from school, by the time I begin relaxing and enjoying the season, Christmas is nearly over.

Besides, Christmas is so much fun, I really and truly want it to last longer.  I haven't lived in the Philippines in ages, but I do remember feeling the season a lot more intensely there than anywhere else.  People begin going to midnight masses although they really are celebrated at 5 am.   Then at night, children go caroling from house to house singing traditional Christmas songs.  Then there are parties galore with friends, neighbors, officemates, classmates from grade school to grad school to name a few. 

Some people I know call it insane, but Filipino families do put their trees up this month.  In fact, if you go to department stores, you will see the holiday lanes officially open replete with lit trees, ornaments, Santa Clauses, and more.  People start going shopping early too. 

I do miss the Philippines.  While the country's politicians, corruption, and poverty make me sick and sad, I do miss the people and the old days.  

Hopefully, I get to return and spend part of the year there too when I retire.  It is a time I look forward to.  That time can't get here fast enough.