Cover A miniature Christmas town is a Pinoy must-have (Photo: John Matychuk/Unsplash)

In the Philippines, it's not Christmas without the presence of these beloved holiday items!

There are quite a lot of indications that you have landed the Philippines on its busiest season ever: the holidays.

A parade of enormous Christmas lanterns, mellow holiday carols, and a bumper to bumper traffic caused by year-end sales in malls have always been present during Christmas season. While these scenes may have temporarily vanished due to the looming threats of COVID-19, it didn't stop many Filipino neighbourhoods from decorating their areas with unique items. 

In this article, Tatler lists some of the things you can find in every Pinoy home this Christmas.

See also: Will Christmas Finally Spark This December?

1. Parol or Christmas lantern

The bright and shining lights of the Filipino parol or Christmas lantern is everywhere during the holiday season. These decors, which vary in colours and sizes, are put up in front of houses or along the roads as designs. For many families, the star of the parol symbolises the star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Kings to the manger of baby Jesus.

Tatler Trivia: The parol’s traditional simple design may be credited to Francisco Estanislao, an artisan from the province of Pampanga, who crafted a five-pointed paper star lantern in 1908. 

Read more: The Parol: All About This Uniquely Filipino Christmas Décor

2. Christmas lights

Christmas is not complete without multi-coloured, twinkling little Christmas lights. In the Philippines, families love to wrap their houses with these items to show that they are in a mood for festivities. Because of this decor's popularity, Filipinos flock annual Christmas lights shows presented at the Ayala Triangle, Makati and Cubao.

Related: Where to Go This Christmas 2021: Places in the Philippines With Festive Decorations

3. Nativity scene or the 'Belen'

Most Filipinos think highly of the Holiday season as it reminds them of the birth of Jesus Christ. This is why most houses display figurines of the Nativity Scene in all shapes and sizes. There are few who love to be grand and build life-like structures of the manger, while there are some who keep small statues on cabinets or tabletops. 

4. Holiday candles

The spirit of Christmas is felt throughout the house with scented holiday candles that Filipino families put on top of the dining table or above their shelves (if unlit). These candles emit scents that remind the family of pure joy and harmony. 

More from Tatler: Can't Catch a Flight? Catch a Whiff of Your Favourite Destination Instead

5. Miniature Christmas village

There are only five climates in the Philippines, they are tropical rainforest, tropical monsoon, tropical savanna, humid subtropical, and oceanic. All of these are characterised by relatively high temperatures or plenty of rainfall. In a place where snow doesn't fall during the holiday season, most families make up for this by installing miniature snow towns or Christmas villages on their centre tables. 

6. Christmas tree

Most Filipinos do not adhere to the traditional tree chopping festivities during Christmas; most of them put up store-bought trees that are often made of synthetic materials that last for years. Multi-coloured Christmas lights and ornaments are hung around the branches of the tree.

The final touch is seen on top of the Christmas tree. Some families put the classic yellow star, while some opt for more creative designs like their family portrait, a small Santa Claus figurine, and whatnot.

Read more: 7 Ideas For Decorating Your Christmas Tree 

7. Santa Claus figures

Filipino children do not have to wait until the crack of dawn for them to see the big, gift-bearing Santa Claus. Almost every household in the country has a figurine or a poster of the beloved Christmas icon. 

Tatler Trivia: The origin of Santa Claus can be traced back to a monk named St Nicholas who was born sometime around 280 A.D.


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