Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lessons from the Christmas that Was

As a child, Christmas had always been the most meaningful celebration of the year. I admit, the celebration had been so meaningful and festive to me not because of the season itself but because of parties, Christmas gifts, caroling with my friends and most of all, the food that I could only taste during this time of the year. I always felt excitement everytime this season of the year would come. In fact, my heart used to tremble in excitement and happiness when I knew that BER-ending months were coming and Christmas songs were starting to invade the airwaves.

Christmas had always been so meaningful to me because of the material things it had always brought until I woke up one day realizing that I wasn't into posh gifts, entertaining parties and delectable food anymore. My ideal Christmas celebration has literally changed as I grew older and became more matured. It’s not more on the price of gifts anymore but on the reason behind the gifts I receive. It’s not more on the fun that parties could bring anymore but the warmth of people I am going with. It’s not more on the taste of the food anymore but the sweetness of my loved ones who share a simple Christmas dinner with me. Christmas had become different ever since I learned that I could already have what I used to want for Christmas.

For the past three years, I had been celebrating Christmas away from home. For me, it had been a part of my life as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) – be destined to celebrate lonely Christmases away from my loved ones. I wished I could celebrate Christmas the way I wanted to celebrate it during my younger years but realized I could not.

Last year, I had my salary before Christmas and immediately sent some for my family to have a merry celebration of the season of faith, hope, love and happiness. I thought my parents could have more bountiful noche buena than we used to have but they actually never had because only three of them were left in our house. While me, on the verge of Christmas eve, was in the comfort of my bed watching the pricey (compared to what I used to receive) gifts I received from my colleagues and friends while listening to Christmas songs when I realized that my previous Christmas celebrations were too expensive to be shelled out by the funds I am earning abroad. I have always thought that I needed to sacrifice in order to achieve my dreams but I realized that not everything could be sacrificed in exchange of something deemed significant. Our dreams could be too big that it would cause us to sacrifice little things in life but it could also be too big to conceal the life’s little but precious moments.

This Christmas, I would never be in the same affliction again for I have decided to be with my parents to celebrate the most festive season of the year. I am afraid to wake up one day chasing for happiness but only to realize that I already lost a great deal of it.

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