Every year it gets easier to live in the Philippines as long as you can keep being creative. This year as Christmas is approaching I’ve tallied up was owed to me by some members of the family. And I’ve decided to forgive the debt vice giving a present to them. (Don’t go all ballistic on me; the kid’s still will all receive their presents as usual.) I’ll buy a few Christmas cards with a note enclosed to that effect, and see what happens.
Christmas is arriving a little late this year because of Typhoon Yolanda; Mayang has not fully gotten into that Christmas Spirit but it is slowly starting, all the Christmas curtains and table cloths are hung and ready to go. The tree is up and the inside is almost done but the outside only had the Saint’s “blinking light” sleigh on the second floor roof to the joy of all the neighborhood kids. They sit for hours watching it.
But here is the odd part, every year in January the decorations come down and are packed into their original boxes and are put away. Then they are taken out in November and tested and repaired for the coming season. Last year we had a fifty foot running light set up along the railing on the roof patio. They were put up with plastic electrical ties (Which cost about a buck a bag.) But my Brother-in-law Jhun suggested last January that they be left up all year. We all know that catastrophic failure is preordained when anything electrical is left to the sun and rain for tem months. It was a former light never to work again.
I had almost pointed that out to Mayang and her brother, then thought better of it, opened a beer and said nothing. The running lights will be replaced this November as they of course failed. I’ll bet they come down this January.
But here’s the part that I don’t understand. With enough lights already in her inventory to be seen from the International Space Station,why would she need to buy more? Has she purchased the empty lot beside our house, or possibly bought shares in the electric company?
But not wanting to be a Scrooge and my Grandson the Little Dude being at the age that he is starting to understand the holidays and his excitement levels are peaking, I once more mind my tongue, and open a nice cold refreshing SMB and say to the sky; “This is what you signed up for Paul.”
Another sign of the season is the frequency of Mayang’s trips to our two malls in Olongapo, plus the obligatory trip to the huge SM Mall 45 miles away in San Fernando Pampanga (Lord, please poke that stick in my eye and get it over with.) But with the addition of “SMB Beer Stations, placed conveniently around the mall I’ll make the best of that trip.
Thanksgiving is this week, and I’ll be eating turkey dinner at Sit-in-Bull restaurant in the Barrio as they put on a great feed, this is the one concession Mayang gives to me, so the family and friends will get together and enjoy the day. We tried years ago to cook the turkey at home, but found it was just too much work. Oh how I miss my sainted grandmother Molly and her cooking.
So in the spirit of remaining Politically Correct, I close with my new Christmas Greeting:
To All My Liberal Friends:
Please accept with no obligation, implied or explicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the summer/winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2014, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make Canada and the United States great nations. Not to imply that these two countries are necessarily greater than any other country in the world. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wisher.
To My Conservative Friends:
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!