Christmas season is the most awaited celebration yearly for it is the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, our Savior. It is a feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it closes the Advent season and initiates the twelve days of Christmastide. Also, it is the time of loving, sharing and helping each other but also throughout the year. The popular celebratory customs associated in various countries with Christmas have a mix of pre-Christian, Christian and secular themes and origins. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift giving, Christmas music and caroling, an exchange of Christmas cards, church celebrations, a special meal, and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, garlands, wreaths, mistletoe, and holly. In addition, several closely related and often interchangeable figures, known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas and Christ kind, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their own body of traditions and lore. Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity among both Christians and non-Christians, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses.
The economic impact of Christmas is a factor that has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world. Our country, Philippines has earned the distinction of celebrating the world’s longest Christmas season, with Christmas carols heard as early as September and lasting until Epiphany, the feast of the Black Nazarene on January 9 or the Feast of the Santo Niño de Cebú on the third Sunday of January. The official observance is from 16 December with the beginning of the Simbang Gabi to Epiphany. One of the activities mentioned is so called “gift-giving.” An activity which is annually held to each family, an organization or even conducted by a certain institutions to extend a hand to those who are less-privileged in life. But what is gift giving?
It is a voluntary transfer of property or of a property interest from one individual to another, made gratuitously to the recipient. The individual who makes the gift is known as the donor, and the individual to whom the gift is made is called the done. Besides, it’s been a practice to a certain organization or group conducted in a certain selected areas or places. Through this noble activity we’re able to show and let others feel the essence and spirit of Christmas in our simple ways. This study aims to establish how unity and camaraderie comes within from the different sectors particularly in the immense involvement of the constituents of a certain place especially with the participation of the youth in the conduct of this noble and heart-warming activity yearly. Its significance is highly noted with the ideals of the camaraderie, unity, cooperation, benevolence among the sponsors who annually conduct this dignified and meaningful activity to gear up the true spirit and essence of Christmas to the people who are either needy or less-privileged in simple but meaningful ways.
II. SCOPE AND DELIMITATION
This study was conducted in Barangay Bibiclat and Sta. Monica, Municipality of Aliaga, Nueva Ecija on December 22 and 23, 2012.
The Taga Aliaga Ako Fan Page (TAFP), a non- partisan, non-profit and non-religious but a socio-civic organization of the Municipality of Aliaga, Nueva Ecija exists for about three years ago. Its existence aims to establish a harmonious and unified relationship among its constituents among youth and across the seas. It is also committed in nation-building as well as helping the people through a simple but meaningful ways.
With its existence in the town, the TAFP has previously conducted socio-civic activities that will call the colossal efforts of their town mates in the conduct of their activity in the fulfillment of their mission and vision as an organization. The TAFP selects two barangay’s in their town in which the activity will be held. Mainly, the beneficiaries or recipients of this activity are the youth ages three (3) to fifteen (15) years old. The activities usually conducted are the so called “feeding activity” games and the most waited part is the gift-giving moment.
With the joint effort of the members and volunteer corps of the TAFP, the said event was successfully conducted for it was overwhelmingly participated by the youth as well as the parents/guardians of the selected barangay’s. Approximately 150-200 persons in Brgy. Bibiclat while 50-100 persons in Brgy. Sta. Monica who participated respectively.
V. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
The activity shows that it was fruitfully conducted because of the unified effort of the members and volunteer corps of TAFP. Anent to this, the activity aims to let other fees what is the true essence and spirit Christmas despite the social differences in life.
It is therefore recommended that the leaders, members and volunteer corps of this socio-civic activity that they must plan well the conduct of the said activity through identifying the beneficiaries and the place that are really in need of their help through a ocular observation or survey or any means of assessment in the places. As well as to identify the necessary needs of the people and the place itself. Particularly, the youth must participate in this noble intent/activity in order to sharpen their minds in the present status/scenario of their fellow in the society as wee as their ability in leading the people. Hence, as times goes by, they will be able to know more about the condition of their fellow constituents and their leadership skills will be hone in order that they will become the future leaders of the successive generations.