Friday, January 10, 2014

Christmas 2013

This was musings before I head to the province for the Christmas break. Then, I completely forgot to publish it. I stumbled on it today sitting on my draft box. I wanted to just delete it. But then, I realized that what I intended to say is still relevant today even if the holidays are over.

What are you thankful for in 2013?


It's a different kind of Christmas celebration this year.

Christmas decors are less festive... gift-giving is toned down... corporate parties are almost non-existent... dinners and lunches are kept to a minimum... and the malls are less crowded. 

Most people have chosen to forego lavish celebrations. Instead, families are sharing their time, money and gifts to the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda. On a personal note, I've made a decision this year to share with the kids in my barrio's neighborhood. 

Every year, I give back to my family. Christmas is a season that has traditionally made it possible for all of my siblings to be under one roof. It's been 15 years that I have left home. I have been relocated to so many places (I call myself a nomad) but I have always managed to get home in time for Christmas. And my brothers have looked forward to it. In recent years, my niece and nephews mark the calendar for Christmas because they know that we will be home then. 

My 3-year old nephew Joshua was bewildered last September when I went home. The moment he saw me opening the gate, he exclaimed to his mom "Christmas na ba?" So cute.

Spending the Christmas holiday with family makes me less guilty of being away from home all these years. With the two-week vacation, I mostly spend it holed up in my room reading, catching up with sleep, meeting friends in the city. But the little kids always sneak up on me. The moment they're awake, I can hear them outside my door asking the adults if I had woken up yet. If I don't open my door, they would park themselves outside my window and took about me and Tito Tyrone. I don't know if they know that I can hear them but oftentimes, I make them wait because I still want to close my eyes and enjoy a moment's peace.

I love them but they can be a handful. And I don't have the patience. I give them gadgets to fiddle with just so they won't bother me. This year though am going to share with them my passion for reading. So instead of letting them borrow the iPad, PSP and iPhone, I will give them books to read. It should be fun!

My family keeps me grounded. They can also make me lose my temper. But family would always be family regardless of circumstance. 

This Christmas season, I choose to celebrate my blessings. 

1. God's saving grace. Ephesians 2:8-9, "For it is by grace that you have been saved through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works so that no one can boast."

2. God's faithfulness. He provides, all the time. 

3. Tyrone. Because I now have a partner. 

4. Family. 

5. Friends. They make me laugh, dream, imagine the future and hope for a better tomorrow.

6. Job. A steady one that allows me to earn a living and aspire to make a difference in the lives of others. 

7. Travel opportunities. My work has allowed me to touch base with colleagues and friends in the different regions of the country. I am thankful for that. 

8. Vacations. Being able to see a tiny portion of the world with Tyrone and friends. 

9. Material blessings. 

10. Adversities. At work. At home. Everywhere.

Yoga. Bikram yoga. It is by far, my greatest adversity towards my quest for a healthier lifestyle. It is difficult. It is many things. But at the end of the day, it has allowed me to look forward to sweat out the toxins, at least three times a week. Am grateful that towards the end of this year, I won over laziness. I came back to yoga. 

This Christmas, may you find joy and meaning to the celebration.



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