Christmas etc

Monday, December 28th, 2009 12:09 am
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
This Christmas has been intense. I miss the days when I was too young to take part in serious family issues. Really do. Really really do. Phew! This post shall ignore all the bad stuff. I suspect everyone can fill in the blanks with their own family holiday dramas :-)

As usual we did all our celebrating / rituals on Christmas Eve; absolutely nothing on Christmas Day. We went to my grandpa's place and ate dinner at the usual time, hung out a bit, and then at near about to midnight, we started opening presents. After that, we had our Noche Buena -- Christmas feast.

This is approximately the same as what we do for New Year's, except then it's called the "Media Noche" and there are no presents and no money. But! We do get to watch other people light fireworks.

Some... guh, three years? ago, we used to celebrate Christmas at home, and didn't meet up with my cousins or grandpa. Back then, we'd go to the Christmas Eve mass after dinner, and then come home to Noche Buena and opening of presents. I used to protest a bit, because I always felt out of place in mass, but it was one of the few services I'd go to, and always always only to please my mom. Now, only my mom goes Christmas mass. Oh, perhaps I feel guilty for not going with her, but I'd feel guiltier participating in a service for a religion that's not my own.

(A nubbin of a thought: Given how intertwined christmas practices are in the general culture, I don't think it's possible to even see Christmas in the Philippines as a purely religious thing anymore, no matter how much the ads talk about remembering the reason for the season. But I wonder how much of this is the same in different countries? In countries that are secular enough, are christmas traditions seen as imposing/intrusive? Is it the same here and I just don't see it because, no matter my personal convictions now, I was raised Catholic and see things filtered by my religious upbringing? Are religious elements as background as I think they are, or do I only think that because that's the religion I was raised with? That is, are they only invisible to me because I've never had reason to think any of this was not "normal"?)

Still squeeeee because everyone liked the design of the scarf. I secretly think my execution was terrible (lots of uneven areas that I become very aware of when I look at the scarf), but remain really proud of how it turned out. I spent the whole of November and December listening for any hints for what my family members all wanted. I gave up with my dad and asked him outright -- but it's okay because by the time Christmas rolled around, he'd forgotten that I'd asked him so he was still surprised! Heeheehee.

(Grandpa likes it, but seems afraid to use it because he may lose it. I have secretly in my head promised to make him more less-fancy scarves for everyday wear)

Ash Wednesday

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008 12:52 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Today is Ash Wednesday. Hard to miss all the people coming at me with gritty gray crosses on their foreheads.

I used to think that the ash was made from cremated dead people, but I still didn't mind when they made us line up once a year in school and get it smudged onto our foreheads. However, I tried to keep it on my forehead as long as possible (out of respect?), and I couldn't bring myself to touch it because, ew, dead people remains.

But on my forehead was fine.