Tales of Christmas
Isn’t it the most wonderful time of the year?
No other season can perhaps bring as much as cheer, warmth and excitement as Christmas does. Bright glittering lights; festive decor and fancy trimmings in every corner; sumptuous meals shared among family and closest friends; and of course, that familiar frenzied holiday rush of finding the perfect gifts for everyone—it really is quite difficult to ignore all the positivity this season exudes. As the songs go, Christmas is the happiest and merriest season, the most wonderful time of the year.
That is simply true in a country like the Philippines, where Christmas is most likely celebrated the longest—at the onset of the so-called “ber months.” And by November, you’ll see many homes already all spruced up, adorned with a well-thought-out themed decor that was probably planned a few months back. With all the sights, smells and sounds of the holidays, Christmas is truly in the air.
Beyond all these however, many look forward to the holidays for a number of reasons. December is the time that many Filipinos come home to their families. Others meanwhile see it as a fresh start—an opportunity to reflect on the year that was and to prepare for a new chapter in their lives. Some take it as a time to finally unwind, hang loose and enjoy the company of family.
But what makes this year’s holidays more meaningful is the fact that there’s now so much hope for a brighter future. In the midst of the pandemic’s heart-wrenching impact on individuals and families who may have lost their jobs or loved ones, many are now more optimistic as they look forward to a better 2022.
Let’s take a look at how some families decorated their homes, and know what makes this year’s Christmas celebration more meaningful than ever for them.
A FAVORITE TRADITION
From her childhood, Matilde P. Robles has always remembered seeing a heavily decorated Christmas tree and elegant trinkets and trimmings in every corner of the room, as soon as this holiday season rolls in.
While the president of Royale Homes Marketing Corp. comes from a family of 10 siblings, Robles was the one who eventually took on the task of decorating their home every Christmas—and even other family milestones such as birthdays—as this was something she really enjoys.
“It became a hobby of mine to style events for my family and close friends just because it makes me happy. Of course, when they do love the decorations, it would make all the planning, the work and the effort all worth it as I was able to help them have a good time celebrating,” Robles said.
“Now that I’m a grandmother to 10 beautiful apos, I want them to feel the spirit of Christmas and the festive decorations at home definitely help me to achieve that goal. It really fulfills me to see them enjoying the decor I design and I’m hoping this tradition will be passed on to the next generation. I am really excited how they will add their own unique twist to this classic Christmas tradition and who knows? Maybe they might even design something better than some of my previous creations,” she explained.
According to Robles, she often gets her inspiration from her travels abroad. She would then source the materials from her regular go-to-stores in Divisoria and malls, and mix these with the items she got abroad. She, however, makes it a point to either recycle or upcycle her decor to fit the new theme for the year.
“We are living in a time when sustainability and minimalism are the new trends and it’s your creativity that will make the difference between ordinary and extraordinary,” she said.
A staple in all of Robles’ decors are vibrant, colorful flowers as these makes her feel “relaxed yet energized at the same time.”
“Flowers never fail to brighten anyone’s day, and with what we have seen in the design space recently, nature elements are becoming popular. They give a sense of soft comfort and they’re something you’ll never get tired to look at. Sure, flowers are not really a new idea, but there is a reason why they are always present in home decorations,” Robles explained.
For this year, Robles takes her inspiration from her farm as the pandemic and the lockdowns restricted them from traveling outside the country.
“During the pandemic, I was not able to travel anywhere but stayed indoors in our farm. I was surrounded by nature and animals so I got inspired by it. I attached some birds, bears and other white animal stuffed toys and mixed them up with recycled silver and white Christmas balls to have that monochromatic winter wonderland theme,” she said.
“I also made use of white flowers to make sure it has that feminine touch. While some might say white is a safe and classic choice, I like to think that it is a flexible color that you can always use if you want to maintain that clean and elegant look while you try something different out of your comfort zone,” Robles added.