November 18, 2011

Advent and Christmas Through My Eyes

Now I understand Christmas!

Advent Season, the coming of Jesus Christ, is primarily observed by Christians, but since this is mostly a Western tradition I never really encountered it full force until they celebrated this in my son's school. Somehow you can say I grew up with spiritual freedom. My school and my parents allowed my spirituality to grow and glow at my own pace and understanding. I wasn't scolded at if I didn't want to go to church. In short, the "true meaning of Christmas" wasn't really forced on me.

Besides, with all the Noche Buena goodness, loud and fun reunions, and exciting gift-giving, the significance of the birth of Jesus Christ wasn't really my focus. It is a favorite holiday mainly because of the incorporated Filipino family traditions, I failed to put Jesus Christ, the celebrant, right in the center where He should be.

I do know the story very well: Joseph and Mary got turned down by inns and eventually gave birth in a lowly stable. Then the Three Kings came with their marvelous gifts. An ordinary story for me, nothing more nothing less.

My son's school, however, made me appreciate Christmas in "Jesus Christ kind of way". The reason why I failed to appreciate the story before was because I took it all too literally. I failed to see and understand the meaning behind each candle, star, and King. 

The story, the way I digest it now at least, is a beautiful metaphor of Life and Astrological Phenomenons.

December is the darkest month of all. It is cold, gloomy, and it has longer nights than any other month. December 25, in fact, has one of longest nights of all. "Christmas", is how the Christians and Catholics interpreted Winter Solstice (middle of winter). Winter Solstice is literally written in the stars. It is an astrological phenomenon (yet Pagans were burned alive for celebrating Winter Solstice). The world, according to Jesus Christ followers, needs a Savior. He is their Superstar. A Star that will guide them through a very dark night. They say He is the Son of God. If God is Love and everything good, and Jesus Christ is full of Love and everything good, then He is a Son of God. The coming of Light, on the darkest hour, gives people joy, peace of mind, and serenity. And I, not a Christian nor a Catholic, recognize the importance of this.

A handcrafted traditional Filipino parol. Our star. Our light amidst the darkest hour.

It is just like how Catholics celebrate Summer Solstice (middle of summer). The longest and warmest days of all. They have St. John the Baptist Day, where they have "water" to "clean" you. Doesn't it make sense? A holiday where they throw water at people, on the hottest day of the year?  

In a nutshell, what I am trying to say is that these Catholic and Christian festivities are anchored on absolute truth, on astrological phenomenon when you get into the seed of it. The symbols and figures may or may not have really existed in flesh and blood, it doesn't really matter. What matters most is to digest and understand what they mean. At the end of the day it is all about Peace, Love and Happiness. And we all want that.

I don't celebrate Advent and Christmas like how I was taught by one of the Waldorf mom in my son's school. But I respect their tradition, and I admire the passion that is poured on it. I am glad that they were able to shed some light and gave me a reason to SPIRITUALLY celebrate Christmas.

Do read on to see how they celebrate Advent in my son's school! 

Let us Celebrate Advent!

In my son's school, their Advent Fair marks the coming of Christ. And I am only too happy to celebrate it. Although I am all for Santa Claus (because I am one), it is truly important to teach our children the meaning of Light and its coming without the distractions of Santa's gifts which, admittedly if we don't watch what we give, might turn our children into creatures with great material and commercial hunger.

Join us this coming November 26, that's a Saturday, at Acacia Waldorf School in Hacienda Sta. Elena, Sta. Rosa Laguna! Tickets are only P100 each. It will be a day of crafts that will include gift and ornament making, we will also decorate wreaths, there's live music, farm rides, an organic market, outdoor cafe, a challenging maze, and so much more! We are not going to use plastic bags so we encourage that you bring your own bayong

Here are some photos from Acacia Waldorf's 7th Annual Advent Fair:
Enjoy organic vegetables and fruit juices. Also organic coffee at the outdoor cafe!

Fun Farm! Get in touch with cute animals!

My dream pet: Snake! :)
Carabao and horse rides among the trees :)

Enjoyed a peaceful ride and met the "Pocket Lady"
Pocket Lady, a traditional figure in the Advent Fair. Give ticket,
and choose a surprise gift from one of her many pockets!
Ropes and trees provide hours and hours of fun!
Real life Playstation!
Adults can join in the fun! That's my brother enjoying the rope swing,
and my husband on the right, waiting for his turn.
My nephew and my son, enjoying the zip line

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