As a Filipina-American growing up in suburban Chicago, we always had a tree, which is also part of a Filipino Christmas. We also had the usual American complement of outdoor lights -- including a 3-foot plastic light-up Santa my mom placed next to the front door, there to greet guests. (I hated that thing.)
As an adult, I haven't had many Christmas trees, mainly because I have cats, or it seems like it's kind of a hassle and mainly for kids anyway, which we don't have; or I've lived in apartments where there just isn't room to have a tree.
But for years I've wanted a parol, which is to Filipinos as a Christmas tree is to Americans. A parol is a star-shaped lantern traditionally made of rice paper; the modern ones are also shaped like stars, but fancy and made of capiz shells. Me, I've always gone for simple designs.
|That's me in the Philippines at age 2, holding a parol.|
My dad dressed me that day.
Fortunately, I found a place where you can order a parol kit and make it yourself! Mind you, my husband and I are not DIY-ers, but this seemed like it would be a fun project for the holidays that we can do together. I got the confirmation e-mail that our kit is on its way and I'll post pics once we've made it. I can't wait!