‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Well, not this house, that’s for sure. Ü Christmas Eve celebrations in this extended family are drawn-out affairs, with the requisite chatter, laughter, and food consumption that goes with trying to keep awake until 12am when tradition dictates a noche buena feast be had. Nobody here waits until morning to distribute and open presents, either. Last year and this year I played party host and in-house Magus, handing gifts around to their recipients.
Occasions like Christmas, New Year, and when the grandparents are in town are the only times we all really come together under one roof, and last night I realized that we all haven’t been seeing each other as often as we should. The proof lies in my receiving clothes I can’t wear because they’re too big. It hadn’t registered with them how much weight I’d really lost over the past six months. (I could joke that I’ve lose a whole toddler’s worth of weight, but it doesn’t sound wholesome. Ü)
We used to have bigger parties, but as nuclear family units moved to distant provinces and the grande padre y madre de familia moved to Bacolod to take care of my bereaved uncle’s children, the celebrations haven’t been the same. They’ve become less about making merry and more about getting re-connected with the rest of the family. Every Christmas I am reminded that family is a gift. Every year, the people are the same, but one year older. My aunts and uncles have wrinkles! My younger cousins are growing up!
I’m of a marriageable age!
I’ve got so much to be thankful for; this whole year, with its highs and lows, has been a gift in itself. I learned so much about myself in such a short span of time, and that’s never a bad thing. Ü The New Year is only seven days away, and since I won’t be around that weekend, I’m going to sit here right now and write, off the top of my head, what I have to be thankful for this year.
- Losing weight. Woohoo! I cannot believe it actually happened, but I am so grateful that it did. I still have ten to 15 pounds to go and a slight tendency to yo-yo, but it’s such a weight off my shoulders (pun may not be unintended) and a boost to my self-confidence to be in shape after trying so hard for such a long time.
- Graduating. After 19 years, I finally got out of
jailschool. I’m still not sure what these degrees are for, but I’m sure God will put them to good use in his own time. Hopefully, next year.
- Landing my first job. Although I miss having free time, I suppose I should be thankful that I’m now a woman with sort of independent means and that I’m not just mooching off my parents. I think that having this experience has helped me get honest with myself about what I really want in life, and it’s made me think deeply about what I am willing to do in order to get it. Passion is key in succeeding in and enjoying anything we do, and if we don’t have that, what’s the point? It’s like prisoners moving rocks from one end of the yard to the other, and then back again.
I hope and pray for God’s blessing for all of us in the last days of this year and in the coming year. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to us all!