Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Celebrating Christmas in Cebu

- Honey Jarque Loop -

It has been said that the Philippines has the longest Christmas holiday celebration. I tend to believe that Cebu in particular holds that distinction as the activities do not end until the celebration of the Sinulog which is observed every third Sunday of January.

Christmas is both a holiday and a Holy Day.  Christmas traditions center on the birth of Jesus on the 25th of December. This is a special time of the year for reflections on peace, love, harmony and good will to humankind.

But over the centuries, classic Christmas traditions have evolved, beginning from the yule log  followed by the Christmas tree and  finally winding up in the present day with giant inflatable snowmen and tivoli lights.

Christmas fare is also a delicious combination of harvest feast foods, like turkey,  roasted meats and an array of baked goods, fruit cakes, gingerbread houses  that outshines any other time of year.

Outdoor light displays and other decorating traditions have created Christmas activities of their own.  Schools and churches, hotels and tourism oriented establishments  often stage Christmas pageants that reenact the Nativity.  These also include carols which are still sometimes sung door to door by groups of friends or neighbors.

Christmas is a time of gift giving  but not necessarily of  material things. It can be small acts of kindness. A smile, a greeting, or a helping hand. Your satisfaction comes in knowing you gave to someone without expecting something in return.

Christmas trees, Santa Claus, decorations, exchanging gifts, and the many other seasonal traditions that most of us observe are wonderful ways for family and friends to make at this time of year. What we must all take care to remember is that these customs, the reason for the season – enjoyable as they are – is found only in the message of the gospel beautifully  portrayed in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Let me share with you some photographs that beautifully captured the essence and spirit of Christmas.

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