Saturday, July 13, 2013

Thrifty and uncreative

I grew up in a home that doesn't care about Christmas decorations. I never found it unusual because even the homes of my paternal cousins exhibit the same Christmas decor-less atmosphere.  When I went to school, that's only when I noticed that something is missing in our home. I never asked my Nanay (mother) about it because I know what will be her response. There are other more important things than a Christmas tree.

When we transferred to another home, it was only when I finally experienced a home with Christmas decorations. Perhaps because of the new house, my parents were inspired to make better and happier Christmas memories. But no, we still didn't have a real Christmas tree. What we often have is something like this

A makeshift Christmas tree from bamboo poles adorned with those classic colorful plastic balls

So DIY that I don't need to explain how was it made Haha 

We have a sad and malnourished tree but most of the time, this would become the subject of everyone's laughter. My cousins would often tell, what the hell was that and we would often end up laughing. 

Aside from a trying hard Christmas tree, I was glad that my Nanay finally appreciated Christmas lights. In our new home, there was never a Christmas without the lights.

  Too bad, this tree went to heaven after our place was attacked by typhoons I can't even remember.

If you don't like to spend and is impatient enough to impose some creativity, a tree and ordinary Christmas lights can do. 

But I guess to any Filipino home, the real light of Christmas is defined by this

We call this as Parol (Christmas Lantern). Most Filipinos try their best to own a Parol during Christmas. I believe that this is the Christmas decor that Filipinos can proudly own. The Parol is inspired by the star of Bethlehem. Most Filipinos are devoted Catholics so this explains why we consider the star as a significant representation of Christmas. We have attributed the star to hope, new life and the triumph of light over darkness.

As soon as the BER months arrive, Parol are almost sold everywhere in the country. Some provinces even organize Parol or Lantern Festivals. Most schools would even require making Parol as a requirement in Art subjects. Back in Elementary, I cannot count how many times I made a Parol. Wooden sticks, colorful cellophane or Japanese paper can already make a simple Parol. As long as you can assemble the wooden sticks to a star, the decorations will easily follow.

Linking this to

Dear Betsy,
I hope I didn't ruin the party. :)


  1. christmas is my fave holiday of the year :) hindi din into Christmas masyado ung mga tao dito sa house so its kinda sad. ako lang ung high in christmas spirit lagi :D i love seeing decorations like these. even the parols :)

  2. I love the lights in the trees, Diane, and the Parol is just beautiful!

  3. Thank you Diane for sharing your Christmas decorating traditions. I love the picture of the ornaments decorating the bamboo and all the pretty lights covering the huge tree. Love those Christmas lanterns. Looking forward to seeing you at the party.

  4. I love the lights at Christmas! I would like to see them year round, they are so pretty. Have a happy weekend!

  5. The long strings of light are the best. Those star lanterns do look very festive -- each culture celebrate in their own distinct way. To be honest, I'm not sure if it is necessary to have a chopped-down or plastic tree in the house...


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