The Philippines has the longest Christmas season on the planet. Fake pine trees start appearing in the stores Sept. 1 (though as stated above, the music started even earlier this year).
I kind of like it.
This is a shopaholic country to begin with, but when the Christmas season hits, look out! The malls go all out with decorations and snarled traffic to match. Tiangges, or bazaars, spring up everywhere. Makeshift booths line the side of the road, selling a crazy, blinking menagerie of capiz lanterns and rope-light creations shaped like Santa and other Christmas characters.
My favorite Filipino decoration is the parol (pictured). Made from bamboo sticks and colored plastic sheeting, these 3D versions of the Bethlehem star come in all sizes and are a common sight at Christmastime. They look stunning hanging from tall trees, backlit with clear, twinkling lights.
So call me crazy if I lug out the decorations well before Thanksgiving. If I can't have snow, at least I can have my four-month long Filipino Christmas.