There is no other country as collectively excited about Christmas as the Philippines! It just pushes all the Filipino buttons: it’s nominally a Christian celebration (though I am not sure how much most people care about the theological foundations of the celebration), it’s a family occasion, and there will be lots of food, and some singing. Christmas season starts in September here. Since no snow ever falls in the Philippines, and few pine trees grow here, you get to admire plastic pine trees (in green, purple or orange) with fake snow spray in the malls. Cute mall sales girls will wear big red Santa Claus hats. Jingle bells and other tunes of bad taste will dominate the background music in shops and restaurants for a good quarter of the year. If you cope with some tackyness, it’s a blast.
So, merry Christmas! If you are still (if you are Filipino) or already (all others) looking for nice Christmas presents, I can recommend that you support a living artist, and check out these awesome books of mine:
A photo book with a best-of of my fish pictures, with lots of interesting biology background information about the photographed fish (in German):
I am quite excited about the synthesis of knowledge I managed in this lovely book: photography meets the science of seeing. Interesting to the photographer, intriguing to the neuroscientist, stunning for those of you who strive to be both:
Also available as an e-book:
Also in German, for all wreck aficionados, by Stefan Baehr, with a chapter about wreck biology by myself:
Happy Christmas shopping, whether under a real or purple plastic Christmas tree!