Most Meaningful Christmas Greeting

My Uncle Erning, an Iglesia ni Cristo diakono, visited our home today. Conscious about being sensitive to the religious beliefs of others, I would usually say ‘Happy Holidays’–a greeting more safe. (For those who don’t know yet, INCs don’t celebrate Christmas.)

But when I kissed Uncle Erning’s hand, he smiled at me and greeted me with a voice most joyful and sincere: Merry Christmas, Anak.

So there. The warmest Christmas greeting I received came from a man who does not even believe in Christmas. Most INC members I know are very fiery in the expression of their beliefs. But there he was, my Uncle Erning, realizing that it was not about himself, but about our family’s happiness.

He greeted me… and it was not cliché.

Christmas accomplished.

Embracing Humanity



WHENEVER Christmas time comes, newspapers are abound with preachy editorials lamenting that the true meaning of Christmas seems to have been forgotten. Capitalists are usually vilified for poisoning our minds with the gospel of commercialism. Even Santa Claus gets his share of flak.

But what is the true meaning of Christmas? And who dictates what it should be?

To a child, Christmas means having new toys; to a student, it means a long respite from the pressures of school; to an employee, bonuses; to the child of an OFW, missing a loved one; to a lover in despair, cold nights made even colder by the low temperature in December; and, to a security guard on duty, just another day at work. The list goes ad infinitum.

While Christmas is mainly a Christian event, it is an occasion that transcends the bounds of religion. It is humanity at large that we celebrate, the same humanity that Christ embraced in the lowly manger in Bethlehem and, later on, in the cross at Golgotha. How is it to be human? How is it to be not only in December, but at any given time? Only when Christmas has permeated our daily lives, be it in March, June, or September, have we experienced it at all.

Only when we have befriended love, joy, compassion, and also sorrow, anxiety, and suffering—and other emotions that characterize our existence have we unwrapped the present of all presents.

And only when we have gotten to terms with the reality that no two persons are exactly alike can we achieve the oft-spoken-but-perennially-elusive world peace.

To many, Christmas is about giving and receiving. But happier are those who appreciate what is already there, and which cannot be taken away—the chance to be human. To celebrate Christmas as an occasion is to be occasionally human.

Ayanmo, Paskua? –by Mickle Cris Peralta

Ayanmo, Paskua? –by Mickle Cris Peralta
Ayandan dagiti tagtagari
Rimrimat ti silaw a di mapundi
Aglalo no matungpal dagiti karkari
A mangted ragsak kadagiti umili

Ayandan dagiti agkerkerol
A maragsakan ken makaayat uray laeng no binting
Iti bulsada ket agkiling-kiling
Urnungenda nga pagay-ayam ti tatsing

Agawid ngata ni tata wenno ni nana ita a paskua?
Tapnon maarakupdakami a pamilyana
Umayda iparikna ti nagpaiduma a dungngoda
Uray nakagalutda iti ubra sadiay adayo a daga

Adtoyen ti panagkasangay
Tay naibaon nga umay mangtarabay
O pada a tattao, ikurimedtay pay lang ni liday
Umaykan paskua, ay, umaykan ala

Sagidem daytoy puso a maul-ulila.

Paskua Manen–by Marceos Ibasan

Ti rabii ket atiddogen
Pul-oy ti angin nalamiisen
Narimat dagiti naraniag a bituen
Sinyales dagitoy, paskua manen!..

Marnekka a maturog
Wen ta appayaunayen ti busbussog
Ngem no agriingka iti bigat
Gapu’t lamiis, agkursing ti lalat

Disyembre ket diak pulos isukat
a bulan daytoy a napnuan gasat,
Ngamin ni Apo Jesus ket nayanak
Isu a rumbeng nga inta’y agrambak..

Ngarud, panawen ti panagkaykaysa,
Panag-iinnayat, pinagkakadua,..
Lipatentayon iti gurang-gura,
Ngamin daytoy ti pudno a paskua..