Those dratted -ber months are back

It’s September again, and that means the so-called -ber months are back (i.e. September, October, November, December). Merry Christmas folks! Yes, that is exactly what you just read, Merry Christmas!!! September 1 marks the beginning of the bizarre concept of Filipino Christmas season and on this day, without fail, all radio stations in the Philippines began the Christmas countdown and the first carols hit the airwaves.

I pause for your laughter to subside…

Christmas already?©FrogDiva Photography

I’m still in summer mode here in Berlin, even though the temperatures took a much needed dip Sunday night, and we awoke to a lovely 14C this morning! So the -ber and the brrrrr! months are truly back and it is time to wake up to the end of 2019 already. Gulp.

I have never understood this crazy habit of the extended Christmas in the Philippines. Much as I love Christmas, it is really no excuse to begin the festivities and selling decorations in September, when the leaves haven´t even turned yellow yet. Heck, my butternut pumpkin plants are still flowering! Though Filipino by birth, I grew up primarily with American and Mexican influences in my life, celebrating Halloween and All Saints Day as well, and will go all out to turn my house into a veritable haunted house during October. Each time the -ber months roll around I always looked forward to seeing the Halloween decorations, pumpkins, ghosts and ghouls, and am greatly disturbed when I encounter Christmas decorations, Lebkuchen and Spekulatius cookies for sale already. Last week in the office I also received the first offer for Christmas cards from UNICEF – it was still August, for crying out loud!

“It’s more fun in the Philippines” they say… and we do boast of the longest Christmas season – from September 1 to January 6. You do the math. Needless to say my colleagues in the office here in Berlin were a bit befuddled when I greeted everyone with Merry Christmas! yesterday.

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