Yes, it is now so winter...here in the east coast it gets dark at 4:30 in the afternoon and the sun doesn't come up until 7:30 in the morning. Holiday cheer is beginning to fill the air and soon there will be rounds of Christmas parties to attend. I miss Christmas in the Philippines. My mind conjures up images of how we celebrate Christmas. It starts with me and my daughters attending Simbang Gabi. Back home in Gensan starting December 15 we would go to bed early so that we could wake up at 3 o'clock in the morning of December 16 and won't be late for the 1st Misa de Gallo Mass (usually starts at 4:00AM). I imagine the huge chandeliers ( 6 of them if my memory serves me right ) of the OLPGV Parish that are only all lighted up during this season. After the Mass, the parish serves coffee, pandesal or bibingka. Outside the church street food peddlers will be selling freshly cooked goodies of kutsinta, puto bumbong, arroz caldo, etc.These are delicacies specially prepared during the Christmas season.
This year I will miss spending Christmas in the Philippines but there is consolation in the feeling that this time at least I will not spend it alone, and I still have my girls to share that special feeling of being with family. And in spirit, I know my family and friends back home will be spending it with me. I can only imagine this coming Christmas as filled with love and celebration for the many blessings but also an opportunity to share the joy and happiness this season brings.
Merry Christmas to all of you!!!