Yeay, happy December friends. December morning breeze. It’s cold outside.
Did you notice? WordPress has again activated the falling icicles in our posts. It’s lovely, isn’t it?
I’ve been looking forward to December. I guess it’s actually the best month of the year, a joyful season to celebrate and to bring joy to others too. Trite as it may sound and no matter how commercialized the celebration of Christmas has become, it is still the best season to share, to bond with families and friends and to remember the sacrifice Jesus has made for mankind. It’s the season of faith, the season of joy and the season of togetherness.
I remember some old Christmas past. Back in the province when we were younger, Christmas was celebrated solemnly, attending the midnight mass and having Noche Buena later. Although it was way, way different from how we celebrate it today, it was the best. Mom would prepare a simple Noche Buena meal of pancit bihon, suman and hot chocolate. Dad would bring home lots of apples and quezo de bola and a big box of old clothes donated by the high school students of the university (UST) where he used to work and mom would distribute them to our neighbors. My uncle would cook binungey, a delicacy native to Pangasinan. It’s made of malagkit (sticky rice) and coconut cream cooked in bamboo and is lined up over fire and charcoal. I think that’s the best there is in cooking rice cakes. You just have to cut the bamboo in half to get the cooked malagkit inside.
Back then, we didn’t have exchange gifts at home but Mom and dad would buy us simple toys to play with. The grade school days were the same when Christmas comes near. We would find a robust tree outside and decorate it with hand-made paper strings, cut colored paper made into small parols and stars, candies and occasional plastic decor brought by our teacher. Exchange gifts are of simple things like hand towels, bath soap, pencils or box of candies. We were happy receiving gifts that way.
Nowadays, celebration of Christmas has become a little extravagant. Instead of simple gifts, we give gadgets, expensive toys, and the like. Gone are those days when a box of candies would suffice. Christmas wouldn’t be one without ham, pasta, meat recipes, sweets,cakes and what have you.
I hope we would always remember why we celebrate Christmas. I hope we would always remember the little child born on Christmas day.