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Honoring my Mother | That holiday fill

Anticipation is in the air, thick as fog on a Marilog morning. The faint strains of a Christmas tune plays somewhere near the road, perhaps inside a sari-sari store already getting ready for the start of day. The street corners slowly fill up with students and office workers, as they wait for the first jeepneys out of their garahe inside our subdivision. Others board tricycles until up to the gates, to a stop where a bus waits to take them downtown. On this particular morning, a lot of the students noticeably carry colorful decor to school. It could be that this early, Christmas motifs have already been given as class assignments.

Everything is slowly coming together, and it’s not yet even December! In the evenings, on the way home from the city, one gets used to the sparkle and grandeur of Christmas light installations on the many establishments and office buildings hugging the roadsides. You would think a city-sponsored decor contest might again be in the offing, because you get the impression that there’s a competitive spirit behind these setups. Even gasoline stations look as if they’re trying to outdo each other. Once back in suburbia, several houses already have Christmas lights on, both inside and outside. I like to think it’s all for the kids in the house. No contest here. It just is. After all it’s Christmastime, and the common motto here is: forget January’s electricity bill, the more lights, the merrier!

Truly, with the year’s end coming near, the mesmerizing feel of celebration is contagious. However, for a hopeless dopey who sees conspiracy in everything, the swirling colorful lights and all-too-familiar sound of carols only make this mental conditioning all the more encompassing and complete. The urge to participate and celebrate, when sifted for what it really is, is basic: spend, spend, spend.

So, while we’re at it, let’s be a wee bit original for a change, and there’s still a lot of time. As we begin our Christmas list, let us consider buying from small businesses. The bulk of the population, us included, have long been so used to patronizing large business and brands whenever we shop all year long. Oh sure, foreign brands have quality and are more durable, but that is actually myth.

Colonial mentality seeps deeply even in our buying preferences. Truth is, the money they make from out of our pockets only make them richer, and the returns do not benefit us at all, as it all goes back to the home office in the west. Maybe this time, we could help empower the small local producers by buying from them, at the same time endorsing and supporting their creativity. That way, we are actually helping our own classes with their products by spreading the wealth (and love) around. That’s just a thought, my own holiday feel. In the end, it’s still all up to you, how you fill your holiday cheer stocking.

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