Christmas has always been one of the most anticipated holidays every year. When I was still a kid and in my teens, we visit the province to the home of my grandparents (father side) and me, my mom/dad, sister, and grandparents (mother side) would have to travel 2 hours by car to get there in the morning of Christmas Eve. We would prepare the day before and they cook the food that we will share with the rest of the family. There are indeed some food that isn’t very healthy to the heart such as ham, fried chicken and pork. But it’s just once a year that we celebrate so we have those for our feast. We just ate moderately though. Also, since we’ll be staying for a few more days after Christmas, we would pack our clothes and other stuff as well.
On the day of Christmas Eve, one by one my uncles/aunts and cousins would arrive at the home of our grandparents and it would be such a wonderful reunion. I am the eldest among everyone in our generation but our ages aren’t that far from each other. We would just play all throughout the day and the afternoon and probably take a nap (as instructed) for about an hour or two so we won’t get sleepy on Christmas Eve.
On Christmas Eve, it’s just pure plain fun but before we start anything, we would all be silent and pray together to give thanks for what we have and what we will be having and most especially, for making everyone safe and complete for the most glorious day of the year. Then, we would greet each other a Merry Christmas. After that one, the party begins. Sounds are turned on and even the neighbors hold their own celebration and we even share food. While we’re eating, we usually get surprised by someone knocking on the door and leaving gifts for us. It was Santa. Then after that, we would exchange the gifts we have for each other. We usually get toys and even cash as our gifts. After eating, some of us would watch TV and we kids would play some games. At around 2 in the morning, we’d sleep.
The next day, the celebration would continue by going to church and celebrating Christmas mass. Then, off to eat again! This time we celebrate it along with our neighbors and the community. It’s really fun when the people living on the entire street know each other just like extended families. We continue to prepare delicious food until dinner and there are some occasional visitors and follow up gifts. As the years passed by, we were not able to visit them as often as before. I already have work and it’s a part of our industry that during Christmas, it’s inevitable to be in the office during Christmas Eve.
It’s really a fun-filled day but we always remember what we’re celebrating and it’s the birth of Jesus. We give thanks for this wonderful day and even we’re far apart from each other, we never forget to at least remember and greet them every Christmas day. We include everyone in our prayers as well. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.