It’s something every Filipino knows: yes, you can start listening to Christmas carols in September, and once All Saint’s Day and All Souls Day are one and done, it’s time to bring out the Christmas decors. We’ve always said that Filipino celebrate the longest Christmas in the world, and that also means Filipinos use Christmas decorations the most.
Staple Christmas decorations include the parole, belen and of course, the ever-present Christmas tree and all of it are rooted in deep meaning. Holidays are incomplete without having these decorations in the house, which is why finding a way to have all of these in the most inexpensive yet tasteful way is a must.
Christmas can be a stressful time too — gifts to buy, food to prepare, gatherings to go to while battling holiday traffic, and making sure that your house is festive enough for everyone to feel the holiday spirit.What people don’t talk about enough is how Christmas forces almost everyone to stretch their resources: time, money, and yes, energy and effort. Being able to save on Christmas decor will help a lot, and here are some ways you can do it.
- Make that trip to Dapitan Arcade
Do this on a weekday if possible to avoid the crowds, but Dapitan Arcade gets it reputation for a good reason: it’s where the most tastefully made yet reasonably-priced Christmas decorations are found. This shopping mecca found at the corner of Kanlaon and Dapitan streets in the border of Manila and Quezon City has the famous Dapitan Tiangge and every time the Ber months roll by, it is chocked full of every Christmas decor you can think of. Here you’ll find meticulously-made Christmas villages which can be a bit pricey but still better-priced than the ones you’ll find in malls and other retail stores. Walk around some more and you’ll see stalls that sell carousel music boxes for less than PHP500, miniature Santa Claus figurines, Christmas balls, poinsettias (which you can buy in bulk), Christmas trees and even plywood decor.
To reiterate: Dapitan Arcade has everything you’ll need for Christmas, so go and make that trip! It will be worth it.
- You can also try shopping in Divisoria and Tutuban,
Besides Dapitan Arcade, you will also find Christmas decors in bulk (translation: inexpensive) in Tabora Street, Divisoria and Anding’s Toy and Flowers, Tutuban Center. The latter has been around for nearly half a century, and is actually well-known in corporate circles for providing decorations and floral arrangements for all kinds of events. And of course, Divisoria is that one place everyone knows has everything, so is it really a surprise you can get great Christmas decors here at a great price? Tabora Street, besides Christmas decors, also has a lot of arts and crafts related products which enthusiasts will surely enjoy.
- Hang-up those Christmas stockings in the living room
Especially if you have kids, Christmas stockings can give your home a very home-y vibe. Christmas is the best time to be sentimental, and having personalized stockings for each family member is perfectly acceptable and not at all too corny. Just make sure to choose tastefully-designed ones, and you’ll be surprised at the selection mall department stores offer. The best part? You can get Christmas stockings for as low as PHP150 each if you go to the right store. So go and choose whether you prefer a stocking that has Santa on it, or a reindeer with a bright red nose and feel the Christmas spirit!
- Go for a simple yet beautiful parole, and then decorate around it.
A parole is a MUST for every Filipino home come Christmas time. While it’s tempting to go for the expensive ones made of special materials, it’s perfectly acceptable to go for a simple parole and then embellish it with Christmas lights, tinsel and other materials you have at home. Corny as it may sound, the real reason for the season isn’t found in going for the most expensive Christmas star possible, and going for a tastefully-made parole is more than okay.
When doing Christmas decors, always keep in mind that it’s always meaning above the aesthetic. Our Christmas staples all have deep significance attached to it, and it’s best to prioritize that above making sure you have the most lavish and elaborate decors possible. Simple, tasteful and meaningful are truly the way to go, and it’s very possible if you know what to look for and where to find it.