It just isn’t Christmas without our annual family photo. ☺️ Wishing you the warmest holiday greetings, from my family to yours. 🎄
Day 359 of 365
December 25, 2013
Earlier this year, we were worried that Ralph wouldn’t be having Christmas with us. He got accepted into the Junior Term Abroad program, where he spent a semester at one of Ateneo’s partner institutions all over the world. While initially accepted for a university at Spain, he eventually settled for Sogang University in South Korea. Luckily, his semester ended a week before Christmas and he was able to come back home.
We didn’t expect mom to leave. As I mentioned before, my mom booked a flight to Canada soon after she heard of the passing of her brother-in-law. She was reluctant to go at first, but I told her that I would handle everything at home, and that unlike her sister’s family, we’re still complete. I suppose my latter statement is what pushed her to confirm her booking. She’ll be home on New Year’s Day.
On Christmas Eve, I was trying to put everything together, just as mom would. I looked everywhere for our Christmas hats (which we wear every year), urged the boys to wear color coordinated outfits if they could, put on the music, checked on the Noche Buena spread, and arranged the entire house. I tried to feel as much of the holiday spirit as I could, but it didn’t work as well. It’s really different without mom around.
My mom went online a few minutes past midnight. She was getting ready for the funeral mass, but she let us say hello to our relatives in Canada. We Skyped with my mom, her sister, my cousins, and my 3 year old nephew, Liam, who was really shy at first, but later on couldn’t stop singing nursery rhymes and his favorite Transformers song. Every time mom would say that they had to get ready already, Liam would look at her and ask if he could sing one more song. He was so cute! Unfortunately, Ryan, his twin brother, was still sleeping.
After they signed out of Skype, we resumed our Noche Buena. My yayas prepared a cheese platter, roast chicken, pumpkin soup, crackers and pita bread. What I like about Noche Buena and Media Noche is that my yayas eat with us at the family table.
We opened presents next. I really liked what Ralph got me this year. He bought me socks from Korea, and he tells me that Koreans are crazy about socks. The socks he got me have animals printed on them. I also got six bars of Toblerone chocolate from my yaya, which I absolutely love, even if all it does is make me fat. At least I’m fat and happy.
We stayed up for an hour longer and just talked to each other. I felt very tired by the time we started opening presents, so I decided to go to bed first. Despite doing things the usual way, and despite seeing mom for a few minutes over Skype, it felt very, very different. I don’t want to get used to this difference.
Anyway, I hope your Christmas is merry. Just a few more days till the year ends.