It might be a little more than a month away but Christmas spirit is already being celebrated in Samoa.
This is evident through Christmas carols being blasted on the buses, the bright lights at residential and corporate places and the emergence of Christmas displays in the shops that are hard to miss in Apia.
These all mark the beginning of an exciting time.
It’s also a stressful time of the year for parents with the pressure of juggling kids, cooking, and dealing with the crowds at the local store, as well as for many other institutions such as the church preparing the Christmas midnight mass.
But it’s a good kind of stress.
And here in Samoa, people can hardly wait.
“There is already a huge inquiry for Christmas articles,” said Fu’a Filifilia of Farmers in Apia. “Therefore all our preparations already start around October. We expect a big rush towards the middle of December.”
The Christmas traditions of Samoa is a labor of love and happiness, all shared with the beloved ones.
It is the time to cultivate the contemplative spirit.
“The Christmas season is all about family. Wherever we may be throughout the year, we all make it a point to be together on Christmas time,” said Finauapai Siatuolo.
Finauapai added: “It is also a time where we share from our hearts - with those who have less in life – not only during this season but for the reason that we can be conduits of blessings to them all throughout the year.”
Danish volunteers Natasha Schmidt and Jeanette Svendsen think back to their Christmas traditions at home.
“It is a time of politeness and love. The atmosphere changes especially at this time of the year,” says Jeanette Svendsen.
“Christmas is the sparkling of lights everywhere,” Falefia Ah-loo adds.
“I can’t wait for it.”