Year 2022 will soon lapse and will be cast into the abyss of eternal ages. The time of December brings us closer to the commencement of another future year.
The characteristic of the Christmas season was distinctly marked out by the birth of a Child wrapped in swathing bands and in a Manger, laid, before it was even notched down by man.
Months have all their several and defined characteristics, but December, known as Christmas time, have its characteristics precisely delineated.
On such a time, reflections of no ordinary present themselves. We have taken a long, then to a coming adieu for a year that will soon be passing, to soon join itself to others that have preceded it. With it, it has carried our virtues and our vices.
But for now, Christmas has descended.
Once again, will we hear the nostalgic strains of the venerable song, “Auld Lang Syne” raised by happy voices before Christmas bonfires or merry gatherings.
Indeed, why Auld Lang Syne is popularly sung by festive crowds during Christmas and New Year, we better ask the crowds that love to sing the song.
As for Daily Laborer, he says, “Oh, thou hast come again, our old, our good old kind-hearted Christmas of Auld Lang Syne.”
“Well, old gentleman Christmas Auld Lang Syne, here is Daily Laborer’s hand for thee to shake and we greet thee lovingly with great good will. Bless your frosty head, cold nose and cracked lips. Are they the same when we hailed you welcome during our boyhood/girlhood days?”
“Aye, old gentleman Christmas Auld Lang Syne, Christmas was Christmas then, and the light of your venerable countenance carries joy to every bosom.”
“Many Cordillerans, lowlanders and other Filipinos deem thou art growing old, what with your growing beards and all, old neighbor Christmas Auld Lang Syne. They say that thine eyes overflow with rheumatism and that thy hand is freezing cold.”
“But not to worry, Christmas Auld Lang Syne. For you can come to Daily Laborer’s house and warm yourself before a bonfire of Benguet pine wood. Only, we gotta keep the fire low as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-CAR), Baguio City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO), members of the Baguio City Police (BCPO) or the barangay, upon smelling good pine resin wafting into the air, might come snooping around suspecting Daily Laborer had cut down a Benguet pine as firewood for Christmas.”
“And even if eventually they will discover our bonfire of Benguet pine wood and Daily Laborer explaining to them that he painstaking gathered those broken branches of Benguet pines during past typhoons, they will cast their eyes at the cute bonfire, extend their cold fingers towards it for warmth but will still look at the both of us with scowls of deep-seated suspicion.”
“Aye, Christmas Auld Lang Syne, it being the height of the season and “tis the season to be jolly,” op kors naman, we will forgive them. For sometimes, they know not what they are doing, eh?”
“Christmas Auld Lang Syne, if your hand smacks somewhat of the icicle, let thine enemies shake your hand till their blood tingles again in their veins.
“Is there anyone feeling melancholy this season? Go visit them, Christmas Auld Lang Syne, for you are the veriest wit for any family, the grand marshal of fun and frolic. Are families feeling cold? Let them build a fire for thee. Pile on the wood. ”
“Let them welcome thee, Christmas Auld Lang Syne – an old fashioned wit – in the old fashioned way. Let them draw out that guitar, marshal their ranks, the young and old, mothers, fathers, aunties, uncles, cousins, nephews, the whole of them, and sing “Should old acquaintance be forgot. . .”
“Come, O bearded Christmas Auld Lang Syne, come down from thy northern mountain home. Glad hearts are waiting to hear thy hoarse voice. The tingling bells are impatient to ring forth the joys of your appearance.”
“Come, Christmas Auld Lang Syne, because even the miser’s unyielding heart begins to warm at thine approach.”
“Tarry not, Christmas Auld Lang Syne. Come and breathe on the Benguet forest pines. Their branches, twigs and needles will become networks of burnished silver, sprinkled with the cold. That even in the cities, thou set lively spirits in motion.”
“Come on in, from the cold, into Daily Laborer’s humble abode, Christmas Auld Lang Syne, you, the harbinger of the dance and the song. Children just like to love seeing you in your garments of red, their hearts as free and warm as thine.”
“Everyone truly loves your hoarse voice and classic Ho-ho-ho, Merry Christmas laughter, the echo of which is good tidings of peace and unanimity reminding each, maybe, of his/her youth gone past, their dreams and their age.”
“For, thou, Christmas Auld Lang Syne bear age without austerity, and art venerable, without being unsociable and unhappy.”
So much has been penned, spoken and crooned anent the merriments of Christmas, that it requires a little courage to utter anything about its miseries.
Yet we take it that the very high spirits and joyfulness of the season furnish the best of all possible reasons for at least halting to ponder about the state of those in whom mirth and joy are shackled by anguish or destitution.
It cannot make us merrier to sing “Joy to the world. . .” knowing others is wretched, but we can greatly amplify our gladness by chipping in, to the relief of those with less.
And be remembered that it is the distinguishing property of all true delights this Christmas to raise by dispersal that the more joy we circulate around us, all the more reason we shall have for being elated, ourselves.
Poverty is a somber prospect at any given time; a thousand-fold shadow in a season of feasting and carousing. Starving is bad enough. But to starve in the midst of plenty is dreadful, more dreadful when it is heaped upon the young and the elderly.
And so it is with Christmas time with the needy.
A Filipino/Filipina may starve in an ordinary way. But when the world is lighted up around him/her and compelled to look at banquets he/she could not taste while listening to shouts of revelry while despair is in his/her soul and hunger gnaws his/her flesh, he/she cannot be expected to starve exactly like a philosopher.
On another score, Daily Laborer has a secret to tell you, fine reader of Herald Express.
As you very well know, a secret is like an aching tooth. It keeps us uneasy until it is out.
It has been a long practice for columnists to make their salutation to their readers before or on the eve of Christmas and compliment their readers on the agreeable or, not-so-agreeable interchange which has stayed alive between them, throughout the foregoing year.
This solemn duty, Daily Laborer performs with much good will, as he cannot but flatter himself (ehem, ehem!) that his columns have been read, maybe with some benefits, maybe with some doubt, maybe with laughter, maybe with a scowl and maybe with undisguised titillating contempt.
Daily laborer can honestly say readers of this column have afforded Herald Express an agreeable engagement and a feeling of cordiality to readers, which forms one of the pleasant frames of mind imaginable.
That cordiality, Daily laborer hopes, in some degree, mutual. As his column, full of unimaginable horror of errors, have now and then filled a vacant hour innocently, agreeably or dis-agreeably and may have left remnants for a more lasting improvement.
In the light of this continuing, good understanding, Daily Laborer proceeds to offer to Herald Express readers the best wishes of this year’s Christmas: that your hopes and dreams will really and truly come true.
In life, as long as we are still kicking, we hope, pundits say. Aye, indeed, we hope, even or as often, hope cheats us.
Your wishes shall be such as Daily Laborer fervently hopes these shall safely form for each one!
As for Daily Laborer’s Christmas wish for each one: May you have a HEALTH OF MIND AND BODY. In it, permit me to add no more will there be a visit of any awful misfortune which disconcerts the structure of the soul and unsettles reason.
Fine Reader Ma’am/Sir, Daily Laborer wishes you this coming December 25 to always keep that good conscience, cheerful spirits and moderate expectations.
Upon all these, except the last, Daily laborer hopes there will be little difference of opinion. But then, and of course, there will be those who will express violent opinions who will say, “Jest (yes, jest) a minute, Daily Laborer, a certain extravagance and immoderate expectations are by no means unfavorable to happiness!”
But so apt are our optimistic hopes this Christmas to exceed all reasonable probability. On the average of life for our Christmas, may it then be better to pitch our expectations so low as may leave a fair chance of their being fulfilled.
Merry Christmas to all and sundry!!!!