Why celebrate Christmas?

 

Why do we have Christmas trees? (Photo courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu)

By Anthony O. Alcantara

Last year, I wrote about Ramon Sabilo, a vendor, around Christmas time. For months, I returned to the place where I found him, hoping to give him the money he needed to go home to Bacolod. I failed in my quest. I just hope he’s okay now, wherever he is.

Anyway, since almost a third of the world population probably celebrate Christmas, and probably more are affected by it, I just thought of why people celebrate Christmas at all.

I remember this story about five monkeys. They’re all in a cage with a ladder going to the top, where a bunch of ripe bananas dangle tantalizingly. Soon enough, a monkey climbs the ladder. As the monkey reaches for the bananas, the four other monkeys are hosed with cold water.

This goes on for some time. The monkeys soon learn that the bananas on top of the cage are off limits. Then one monkey is replaced with a new one. Having no idea about these forbidden bananas, the new one promptly climbs the ladder. But the other monkeys pounce on him and beat him up. So the newcomer learns his lesson.

Then another one of the original monkeys is replaced. This newcomer quickly climbs for the bananas. But before he reaches simian nirvana, he’s beaten up by the others. So the newcomer learns his lesson, too. This goes on until all the original monkeys have been replaced.

The ripe and delicious bananas are still there, but the monkeys don’t have any idea why they can’t have them.

I don’t know if this story is true, but it’s still a good parable.

So if we don’t plan on becoming monkeys this Christmas, we can ask ourselves:

1. Why do we shop for gifts for other people for Christmas?

2. Why do malls put on the “Christmas air” months before Christmas day?

3. Why do we spend so much for Christmas parties?

4. Why do we give gifts to people who will probably give us gifts in return?

5. Why do we spend money on new clothes?

6. Why do we buy new gadgets?

7. Why do we buy jewelry?

8. Why do we have a Christmas tree?

9. Why do we have Christmas lanterns?

10. Why do we have Christmas lights?

11. Why do we sing Christmas carols?

12. Why are there Christmas bazaars?

13. Why is there a Christmas sale?

14. Why are there so many Christmas music albums?

15. Why do we plan for vacations during the Christmas holidays?

16. Why is there a Christmas bonus?

17. Why is Christmas day a holiday?

18. Why is Santa Claus part of the Christmas season?

19. Why are Santa’s elves so busy wrapping presents for kids all over the world?

20. Why do we have Noche Buena?

21. Why do we celebrate Christmas?

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