Christmas is right around the corner again. During this time being away from most of my love ones could be a lonely time. Christmas has always been a very special celebration for our family. We always looked forward to this season with so much anticipation because this is the time of the year when our big family really enjoys spending time together and exchanging presents. The highlight of the celebration would start from all of us going to Mass on Christmas Eve and the good times would continue until Christmas morning. After the celebration, we'd all be sleepy, tired and exhausted but happy. As for me and my daughter Rhea, we could only wish we were coming home this Christmas and be with family in the Philippines. This is one of those times when we feel really homesick.
Having said that, doesn’t mean that I won’t be enjoying the holidays. To me Christmas is special in so many ways. I live in the suburb of Washington DC Northern Virginia. At this time of the year everywhere I go, I hear Christmas songs. At night when I'm home I really enjoy watching Holiday movies on Hallmark channel. Everything just feels so cozy. Every year since I got here I am looking forward to this once a year change in the landscape right where I live. As you drive down the streets of our neighborhood after dark, you are constantly entertained by the panoramic vista of decorated homes all sparkling with myriads of colored lights with thousand tiny bulbs. Some houses have Christmas lights on their trees and shrubs or along the eves of their houses. A few of them have lighted figures of Santa, reindeer, snowmen or other Christmas characters on their front lawns. To me the most spectacular view and the best part is when the ground is covered with a blanket of pure white snow. The surrounding becomes a fantastic wonderland of lights and colors. It is an awesome view to behold. I will always love spending Christmas in the US this way.
Even though I won't be celebrating this Christmas with my family, I will celebrate it with them in spirit. After all the real essence of this season is what's inside our Heart and what it means to us. And to me the message of this holiday is happiness and the joy of giving and not just receiving. Most of all, being grateful for all that we have. Sometimes because of the things that happened to us we tend to focus on the negative part of life. All we need is step forward a little bit far from our door steps so we could see how bad the sufferings of others are compared to ours. Then we will realized how blessed we are in so many ways. I have always feel so blessed in my life. I have the love of my family, I have real friendships that span half of my life; aside from occasional common colds, and muscle/back pains that comes with age, my health has always been in good shape, I have a stable job that gives me the feeling of accomplishment every day. In the world’s perspective of wealth, I may not be rich in material things but I have everything I ever need. What more can I ask for?
May the spirit of Christmas which is peace, joy and love be felt by each and every one of us no matter where we are in this world. May we always find reasons to be happy and enjoy the birthday of our Lord. From the bottom of my heart, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and all the best to come in 2012!