4am. The world is still asleep and I quietly sit in a corner of our living room watching the steady glow of the Christmas lights from our seven-foot Christmas tree. Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “arrival” or “coming”. It’s the beginning of the Christian Liturgical year.
We have lots in store for friends at the Catholic site in Facebook where I am one of the admins. Fr. Louie, Jlyn and I did some research the past few days to share with our AFCC (Apostles Filipino Catholic Community) friends. Most of them are overseas Filipino workers who are far from their families, miles away from their children, miles away from their wives and husbands. Come to think of it, there is something so meaningful, so touching and so inspiring when we celebrate Christmas with our family. Every year, people from all walks of life plan for this big event, Jesus’ birth, with all fervour. For me, it is still the best season of the year. How I wish sometimes, that Christmas could be celebrated quietly, just being focused on the Christ Child. Christmas celebration has been so much commercialized but still, the essence of it remains in our hearts.
Yesterday was another family bonding for us, and Obet, helped us to put up the Christmas tree, string some lights on our fence and garden. We started as early as 9am and by 10 pm we were outside admiring the view . It’s not much but the important thing is we spent the day together, sometimes laughing at some jokes, remembering Christmas past, and thinking of how we will celebrate Christmas 2010. We still have lots of things to do, put up our more than ten-year old manger set sent by a close friend one Christmas season. I could not remember now, but years ago, I also bought a Christmas water globe which I put up every year. It’s been a regular Christmas decor for quite sometime. When it comes to celebrating Christmas, I am quite big on traditions. We try as much as possible to complete Simbang Gabi masses, and gifts from friends and family quietly stay under the tree until we have attended the Christmas Eve mass and celebrated Noche Buena.
My favorite Christmas decor, a water globe Belen!
I actually took some pictures of the Christmas tree we decorated yesterday. It’s not yet completely done, we need to put more icicles, I think. You see I am documenting our Christmas preparations because I would love to put them on video later. I finally learned to make one a few days ago. Poor old me, but I was proud of it. It is never too late to learn, don’t you think?
Obet painstakingly lined our front fence with rope lights. Nissa was his assistant and they worked non-stop even under the heat of the noonday sun. We were rewarded by this and I love how the green lights reflect on the clear waters of the pond.
It’s the First Sunday of Advent, so I say, Happy New Year. Let us prepare ourselves for Christ’s coming. Let Christmas be not just a season of gift-giving and endless shopping, let it not be a season of food galore and merry-making. Let it be a season of hope and joy and thanksgiving. Let it be a season of forgiving people who may have hurt us in the past. Let us welcome the Christ Child and what He represents in our lives - LOVE.
“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love .” Hamilton Wright Mabi