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Spending Christmas & Christmas spending

Manila, Philippines – It’s Christmas time.

I bet you can feel and see it, too.

Check out the blinking lights and lanterns, both gigantic and elfin, that don buildings and houses.

Take note of the worsening flow of traffic caused by vehicles of shoppers scurrying into malls, hypnotized by “sale” and “discount” gimmickry of many stores; the early merrymakers who flock Star City, Mall of Asia, and Enchanted Kingdom, competing in attendance with the El Shaddai flock.

Observe the sudden flooding of dinner-show tickets in offices, nightclubs and restaurants offering Yuletide specials.

In the dark side of the season, some law enforcers distribute empty envelopes (with their names written on them) to nightspots with a promise to return for them, already filled, a few days before Christmas Day. Pimps and prostitutes have increased in population in known sex spots such as Quezon Avenue, the LRT Monumento Station, and the plaza fronting the Aristocrat Restaurant and Malate Church in Manila.

Everywhere one goes and everything one does this season seem to spell peso.

So everybody becomes Santa in his own right. Nothing wrong.

But only a few, perhaps, have thought of becoming a non-squandering Christian this Christmas. Something’s wrong.

Today, living in a material world of Madonna, Christmas time is more of spending time with spending money than making a spiritual splurge on the Child whose birth we commemorate. Somehow, most of us have forgotten its true meaning.

Yeah, it’s the same old commercialized Christmas, all right.

Why can’t we just be what Jessie J tells us in her song “Price Tag”?

“It’s not about the money, money, money.

We don’t need your money, money, money.

We just wanna make the world dance.

Forget about the price tag.”

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