The celebration of Jesus’ birth is one of the most important events all over the world. People everywhere are always happy and in good mood. One can easily feel that love is in the air. Christmas connects! But here in the Philippines, it’s really something more special. For me, as a young person from Germany, the preparation for Christmas starts with several weeks of advent. That’s why I was deeply fascinated about how early it starts here. On the day I arrived in Manila last September 25th, I already saw the first Santa Claus puppets climbing up walls that were decorated in some houses. I often hear Christmas music being played in huge malls and in many stores everywhere I go.
At first, I thought that this was a strange impression for me. But later on, I realized that this early preparation goes hand in hand with our heart’s desire to create a positive atmosphere of love and happiness that builds excitement for Christmas. I think people here in the Philippines love these wonderful feelings of friendship and sense of community so much. They want to start preparing for Christmas as early as possible. And I must say that it is truly amazing!
Here at the CMS Children’s Village, it makes me really happy to watch the kids during this joyful time. They work together as teams for the little Christmas competitions like the most beautiful Christmas decoration with colorful lights in the house and the most creative Christmas lantern. And I say again – Christmas connects! Young and old, big and small, boy and girl – every single one of them worked together with passion and dedication to prepare for these special events. It is an amazing and wonderful way to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ – as a family, as a community, as a society! Currently, I live among the young boys in Hebron house and it is really encouraging to see how Christmas washes away all pent up emotions and aggressive feelings among them. Every one of them gives his best to help create a polite, friendly atmosphere and a peaceful Christmas spirit.
CMSP welcomes many visitors during Christmas time. Many individuals, groups or even companies come to show their support and love for the children. They donate many kinds of much-needed food items like sacks of rice, making special presentations and giving little gifts to the kids during the Christmas programs. The children also dance and sing, and celebrate the hope that is in Christ Jesus! It is a wonderful time for all the children to experience this joyful season. It is filled with warm feelings of love. It’s amazing and a great privilege for me to be a part of this unique and fascinating Christmas experience in the Philippines. ‘Maligayang Pasko sa inyong lahat!’