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Jake Crisologo, The Philopino

Christmas: A Note on Hope


The Philopino | Jake Crisologo

Around two years ago, I wrote a note about Christmas because my crush had a note about it too. If that’s not inspiration then I don’t know what is. Or maybe it was me being papansinand hopeful in spite of it being very pathetic. But assuming that it was a matter of inspiration, I sadly conclude that this Christmas, or at least this article, is bereft of that beautiful thing.

I am uninspired, and I’m trying to pull off a Sara Bareilles move who wrote a song about not writing a love song because he asked for it because he needed one, whoever he was. I apologize now, in case this sounds too ranty and Tumblr material.

So let’s talk about Christmas, and the way it’s not just a season of giving but more importantly, in my opinion, it’s a season of wanting. Albeit being a cultural obligation to give, Christmas is an excuse to expect. Simple economics. Charity is an illusion, because giving something even without the tangible returns necessitates exchange for the intangible ones- like feeling that you’ve done a bit of good in the world.

We want a lot of stuff. Even Mahatma Gandhi, who lived possibly the most materially-deprived lifestyle I’ve heard of, wanted a lot of stuff. He wanted India to be free, to alleviate poverty, to extend women’s rights, etc. Though many of us would be happy with an iPad, an iPhone with Siri or whatever expensive thing Mac can spew out, or whatever else there is to want, like the paradisal promise of true love of all things, I want to talk about what I want, ultimately.

I want to be happy. As to how that will happen, I realized, is to ride along the times when I am sad with as much composure, good-humored cynicism, analysis in the grander scheme of the universe, cathartic karaoke and the shining comfort of hope- hope that sadness doesn’t last long enough to consume you, snuffing out living a life in the process.

Christmas, after all, is founded on the idea that Jesus was born, supposedly to save mankind. Though the historical accuracy of the date is questionable, and that a lot of people don’t really celebrate it with Jesus in mind, I think Christmas exists to remind us of the capacity of people to be good and to hope- that at least once a year we can feel all fuzzy inside because love, wherever it comes from- from a friend, a boy/girlfriend, family, a bottle of vodka- walks into our lives in a more concentrated form.

For me, Christmas is about love, or at least hope for the power of love to fix the world- a world that has oftentimes felt as if it had too little of these two things.

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