'tis Ever the Season

falalalalaaa, lalalalaaaa~

My Filipino social conditioning dictates that the Christmas season starts in October and ends around January.  Meanwhile, Boyfriend ranted against the commercial bombardment that began here in November. He believed that Christmas programming should start only after Thanksgiving.

It's a bit hard to explain that I was raised in a culture that celebrates everything at the drop of a hat. What? The volcanic explosion that ejected 10 billion metric tons of magma didn't kill us? Party time!!! Say again? We kicked out a corrupt dictator and the military was on our side and nobody got hurt? Bust out those folding tables, we are roasting a pig and eating it!!! Eh? Our politicians are corrupt beyond redemption and an unconscionable number of people are living in abject poverty? Well, tomorrow is another day and maybe it'll be better than today! Hand me a party hat and that fresh coconut, I'm thirsty!

My old coworkers at BOOBS marveled at my unflagging cheerfulness in the face of horror, a trait they alternately labeled "obnoxious," "crazy," and "what is wrong with you?" Granted, a significant portion of my Happy Face can be attributed to sheer cluelessness -- sometimes I'm just too dumb to figure out that I should be angry/sad/drunk. But it also has to do with faith. To believe, without any shred of evidence -- in fact, with all available evidence pointing to the contrary -- that everything will be all right, is actually not a Filipino thing. It's a faith thing.

A couple of months ago, as I wallowed in misery and flailed around for a new job, NOWplease, my eldest sister said to me: "Have faith. It can move mountains." And I did. I believed. I knew, in a place beyond the reach of reason, that I would succeed, despite the terrible economy, despite the statistics showing that it took six months to a year to land a job, despite the fierce competition I faced with all the job hunters with better degrees and better suits and more charming personalities. I knew that my grandma and my sisters and brother and my mom and dad were all praying for me. There was absolutely no way I would fail.

Of course, the counterargument is that it had nothing to do with prayer. It was my resume, my interview skills, my power suit, and the good luck of being noticed by the HR person at the right company that cinched it for me. Maybe. We all make up our own realities. In Nikkiverse, my family's prayers formed a halo of Awesome around me and helped me win my new job.

I think it's always the season to be jolly. I think it's always the time to reflect on our blessings. But I guess there's something about the end of the calendar year that adds a sense of magic and urgency to the process. Plus, the coming of a new year seems like the perfect time to promise to yourself to be a better person. I like it. I like it all!!!

ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!