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3 things Christmas in Canada has taught me

By Margie Miranda on December 10, 2018

Ah yes, Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas is celebrated differently all over the world. I grew up in one country and now live in another. I have learned that there are a lot of adjustments that have to be made even in a celebration as well-known as Christmas.

Coming from a little country called the Philippines, I noticed big differences right away, from the weather to people’s behaviour but I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised since Canada and Philippines are in opposite sides of the world.

As this is my third Christmas in Edmonton, I think it’s just right to share all the things I’ve learned when it comes to celebrating the Yuletide season.

Christmas does not start in September

The Philippines is known for having the longest Christmas in the world. People start to put up their Christmas trees and play loud holiday songs on September 1st. My mom put up ours mid-October and I’ve gotten tons of questions as to why. I always reply that it’s how it is back home.

Snow is pretty and pretty cruel

I remember the first time I saw snow, boy was I happy. “Just like in the movies,” I said. “Go out, we’ll take pictures,” my mom said, and that we did. Those pictures are still up online, no regrets. Snow is great but it is cold. I grew up in a place where it is 30°C all year round so having -30°C winter nights make me ask myself ‘the air hurts my face, why do I live where the air hurts my face?’

Family is whoever you make it

Most of my family are back home, but not once did I feel like I didn’t have any when I moved here. Good friends become family and I think that’s one of the most beautiful things life has to offer. People I’d never thought I’d have in my life are here with me now. What makes me feel thankful is knowing that we’ll be here for each other through the ups and the downs.

I believe that even though we celebrate the Yuletide differently, we still have the same meaning for it; Christmas is all about celebrating the birth of Jesus and enjoying the company of family and friends, and isn’t that just wonderful?



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