Wednesday, November 09, 2005

You’ll Tide Over This Season

In a few weeks it’ll be Christmas.

My feeling towards Christmas was never ambivalent: I love the season. Oh sure it’s much too commercialized, traffic is extra heavy, and people expect you to be generous to them even if they don’t deserve it. Still if you focus on what’s really essential in Christmas, it’s really all about love. And unlike Valentine’s wherein romantic love takes precedent, Christmas is all-encompassing: love for family and friends, God’s love (if you have the faith), love of mankind. Yes, Christmas and the miss-universal prayer for world peace are made for one another. My relationship with my family has been peachy-keen so far. I have tried-and-tested friends who’ve known me for years. I have no reason to doubt God’s love. And I have no stupid ex-boyfriends to ruin my Decembers.

Before I was the one who’d put up the Christmas tree and the lights; my mom and sister would decorate the tree. My dad would install the parol and the lights around the house, while my mom made a career out of putting up the belen. This year will be the second Christmas we’ll have without my dad. I’ve taken over his duties; I’m planning to buy a new parol because our old one is too dilapidated already.

My saddest Christmas happened when I was still in high school. I remember waking up before everyone very early that Christmas morning and checking out the gifts under the tree. I started counting the gifts for me and then those for my older brother. He had two gifts more than me. When we were growing up we always had the same of everything—clothes, shoes, toys. Now for the first time there was inequality, and it hit me hard. I felt a heavy sadness descend on me, and I found myself crying alone under the tree. I went back to bed; later that morning during the distribution of the gifts no one in the family had any idea of how bad I felt earlier.

My happiest Christmas was also my dad’s last Christmas. We spent it in Bohol; it was just family and close relatives. I remember my dad telling us how he’s at peace and that he was ready to die anytime. Of course none of us wanted to take him seriously and so we just made a joke about it. But I remember feeling we were one family, how close we were, just us inside the ancestral house of my mom’s parents. Just as the Visa ad says: priceless.

This year we’ll be spending Christmas in Manila, but we’ll be flying back to Bohol for New Year. It’s our annual getaway from the hectic metropolis.

This year I wish that all of you find your special place in this season of love and peace.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being an orphan myself, I can relate to looking back at happy Christmasses when the family was whole, we kids were young, and being together was all that mattered. I now have my own family but long to establish our own Christmas traditions when we eventually move out of my in-laws place. Wherever that is will surely be SPECIAL!

11:21 PM  
Blogger J. said...

Sana lahat masaya sa pasko. Para sa iyo, ang wish ko, sana um-over bell curve ang saya mo. Lalo na sa buhay-pagibig. :-)

10:01 AM  
Blogger McVie said...

J: Hay naku, kahit walang buhay-pag-ibig, okey lang! I've had happy Christmas seasons sans buffra.

6:45 PM  

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