Growing up in the Philippines, I remember going around town visiting families and godparents around Christmas time to visit, do "mano po" and giving our store giveaways while receiving little gifts in return. Carolings started in September and Christmas in the Philippines officially ends on the 1st Sunday of January which is the Feast of the Three Kings. Here is another link from Wiki which says that Christmas in the Philippines officially ends on the 3rd Sunday of January which is the Feast of Santo Nino.
We visit our grandma every Sunday but around Christmas time more of the families and some out of town families and friends come to visit and celebrate. Of course we have the Filipino "lechon" (roasted pig) to gather around and chow down on and other traditional feast food dishes.
As for the Feast of Santo Nino, traditionally called "Sinulog" it is a big feast in the City of Cebu. I got the pleasure of celebrating this feast in my college days in Cebu City. Here is what Wiki have to say about Sinulog.
As for gifts, we do a lot of gift exchanging in parties or gifts for games in the parties but Santa's gifts under the Christmas tree or the stockings is not the highlight of the season. I am sure some families have gifts under their trees but we don't have those growing up in my family and we never expected it. More and more families are adopting the western way of Santa's gifts under the tree these days though.
New Year is also another family event. Although we don't go out to celebrate it. We stayed home to welcome the new year. That is so we won't have the urge to go out a lot in the coming year. We make lots of merry noises around the house like banging pots, firecrakers, etc to ward off any bad energy in the house. I remember having the loudest in our neighborhood. We jump a few times to grow taller in the new year. Have 12 fruits, 7 dishes including "pancit" for long life and others. Most especially my father makes sure nobody goes out or do any shopping on this day. We wanted to start the year the way we wanted the rest of the year to be. That is to be together a lot and not be spenders.
Here is wishing everybody a Very Happy and Prosperous 2011!!!