A roundup of Team YS’s personal holiday traditions

Art by Gianne Encarnacion

 

The holidays demand a lot. From picking out the perfect gift for the perfect person in your life to being the pacifier of an incoming family fight, things can go awry so easily. Factor in the demand to expend exclamatory, joyous energy wherever and whenever. In fact, we’re anxious now just thinking about it. Welcome to 2018, where our anxieties birth other anxieties.

As the gruelling year comes to a close, surely we’ve developed enough coping mechanisms to get us through to the other side. But what about for the holidays? Here, we share how we stay sane amidst the festivities and beso-beso with our titas.

Jam, copy editor

I only started this a couple of years ago, but every Christmas, I re-watch Tokyo Godfathers directed by the late Satoshi Kon. It’s an animated Christmas film that revolves around three homeless people trying to get an abandoned baby back to her parents as they come to terms with the loose ends of their past. The plot relies a lot on luck and deus ex machina, so watching it always makes me feel that so much of our lives is moved by good, seemingly impossible things. At the tail-end of every year, I like to remind myself that fate can be generous.

Kleona Amoyo, writer

I download Christmas songs and blast them in my house. Two years ago, I downloaded a 100-song Christmas playlist. I enjoyed it, but I think my family got sick of it, so now I just made a four-hour Spotify playlist.

Gaby, online managing editor

I usually spend the hour before Christmas on the road with my parents and brother, en route to a family gathering coming from another family gathering. Nothing fancy, just the four of us, wishing each other Merry Christmas in the car before the actual celebration at my lola’s house. I realize now that it’s funny how we always manage to have that small moment to ourselves in between all the hectic holiday schedules.

Patricia Manarang, writer

I used to watch the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show every Christmas Eve while waiting for dinner. It wasn’t really intentional—they would just play it on TV and it turned into a small tradition for me.

Gian Nicdao, online editorial assistant

Call it typical, but I love watching Love Actually on Christmas Eve. It plays in the background while I prepare my yearly Noche Buena contribution: lasagna. Should probably name it Lasagna Actually.

Kiana Kimberly Flores, writer

Back in 2016, I absentmindedly bought Donna Tartt’s The Secret History — a gripping tale of young ambition and how easily fascinated we are with beauty — and began reading it just as the festivities were beginning to roll around. I found that it helped me cope with the pressure to be cheerful all the time. During a stressful family dinner, I would breathe and remember that when all this is over I could curl up with The Secret History, get out of my life and into the fascinating yet human lives of the six characters. Since then, it has become my personal annual holiday tradition. (Currently on page 117.)

Fiel Estrella, writer

When the holidays come around, silly as it sounds, I always find myself going back on Neopets to claim goodies from the Advent Calendar in Happy Valley. It’s a tradition I’ve kept for over a decade, and it’s always a nice picker-upper I can count on day by day. Through it, I’m able to get into the Christmas spirit and revisit my childhood in a way that’s constantly new and exciting.