I’m no Grinch, but I used to not-so-love Christmas.
I grew up celebrating it with my tita and lola. We would attend the 10pm mass, put on new clothes and share a small-but-sweet salo-salo right after mass. It would consist of not-so-much talking, just a little TV, a little chit here, a little chat there and we go back to sleep. In the morning, I’d be so delighted to uncover my Christmas stockings filled with so many presents. I believed in Santa up until high school so I guess my tita found it amusing to make me believe Santa does go down houses’ chimneys and present people with gifts for quite some time.
You might picture it nice and cozy, but I guess I was searching for more.
You know the proverbial merrymaking, the opening of gifts, the talking and talking until dawn breaks, the almost-endless blasting of videoke machines, the if-possible reunions. Mine was a small family, and we used to not really invite other extended family members (maybe for the most part, thinking, that they have their own parties too) so I guess I was just looking for some big celebration on a supposedly big day.
And I don’t have either of my parents with me. I guess, that too.
So I was really looking forward to my own family’s first Christmas celebration. That chance to make traditions of our own. That opportunity to put up Christmas decors our way and pick up noche buena menus of our own choice. And our first, to my liking, didn’t disappoint.
There were alot of gifts, mostly for my daughter. Though I didn’t get one from my parents (the pains and gains of a father-slash-son), I was content with the fact that my daughter had enough, and more. I was also surprised to see mom give my wife a pair of expensive slippers.
Wow. One year of being married and my mom already forgets she has her own son and loves her in-law and apo more. Ha! ha!
There were also alot of food. We had spaghetti, some fruit salad, a graham cake, a chocolate cake, a couple Christmas hams, medium-rare slabs of tenderloin steak and a bunch of fruits (those Korean pears – Ccino and I go gaga over). Mom also cooked menudo, some mixed veggies and binagoongan for dinner. We also had hotdogs on stick (my cousin Nep, his wife and two kids are also spending Christmas with us, so the idea of hotdogs on sticks would surely appeal to the little ones). That night was also mom’s pre-birthday dinner for Saab so she made sure there would be enough food for everyone. Christmas sure has never been this good.
My mom and I had a bit of a falling out before all of these by the way, but it seems to me we’ve both forgotten about that and moved on. We’ve always been like that. I am used to mom’s tough love and though I don’t get it for the most part, I know that at the end of day, we’ll always be each others refuge and run-to persons.
So I think it’s pretty obvious that I had a blast on my first Christmas day as an official padre de pamilya and I can’t wait for more of those in the future.
I hope all of you enjoyed your 2011 Christmas as much as I did mine. Till next time 🙂