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Tuesday, April 22, 2014



As a young child, I am already filled with this noble excitement about
Christmastime. Although, just looking at my Mum and Dad on the 24th
of every year makes me tired! Why, I seem not to locate them
at the same place at the same time.
Father would be decorating the house like Bethlehem. There is
a Nativity display in the lounge room aside from colorful lanterns
hung on three windows. I was not surprised that I am almost
suffocated without too much oxygen. The windows are almost
blocked with these huge lanterns. I could not figure out at this tender
age, what in the world is the relationship of lanterns to Christmas.
In the future, I will realise... "Traditions... Culture and so on!"
The Christmas tree is just so interesting. Although, I prefer those
evergreen trees to Dad's one, a brown tree with all the
trimmings of bark and several simple Christmas lights. I know now,
culture, isn't it?
Here comes Mother with Leah from the market. They seemed to have
been gone from a catastrophe because of their disheveled hair and
panting breaths; probably because the market has all the specials
today and one really has to compete with her brawn and wits to
be successful in getting a coveted price. Well, I resolved
just to be assigned in cooking or cleaning.

Mother called me, "Mary Rose, I thought you have cut already the
clover and onions." Musing, I replied, "Oh Mum I thought that it is Charm
who will do it. Remember, I will just cook and clean. By the way, I just
hate to cut those onions; so terrible with the eyes.

And the ordeal of cooking came, but I am happy because I have two assistants.
This is the advantage of being the eldest in the family. It took about three
hours to prepare the Noche Buena.

Later, as a blooming teenager I really like to attend the Midnight Mass; Mum
and Dad preferred the Christmas day Mass. Mum was adamant to let me go
alone but I said Ed, my brother will accompany me. Mother told Ed, "Be sure
that you go home as soon as the Mass finished."

After the Mass, Angelito our neighbor was at the gate. He said, "Hi! Mary Rose,
Merry Christmas." My brother remembering Mum's order slightly pushed my
skirt. I exclaimed, "Ed, I will just greet our neighbor. Remember, its Christmas,
we have to be good today and everyday!

At last, we were home just in time for our family meal. We had lots of laughs
and Dad as usual did not like too much revelry. Afterwards, we all slept with smiles
on our faces!

No! It is not yet finished... Today is Christmas day and there is hustle and bustle
in preparation for the 9:00 am Mass at St. Joseph's Church. We left altogether
and there are only a few seats left. The church is usually full on Christmas and

What a beautiful sermon! I delved on the Nativity scenes from the beginning
to the end. How the Lord was born on the stable and how the three Kings gave
homage with gifts! I try to picture it in my mind and I could not help but admire
the simplicity and the solemnity of the birth of Jesus. After the mass, we hopped
on the decorated jeep full of streamers. A fiesta indeed, the most important fiesta
in our country.

Upon arrival at home, there were about thirty children waiting for Mother and
Father. These are their godsons and goddaughters. Thanks, Mum had prepared
already beautifully wrapped lollies and chocolates. Some money has
to be distributed, too! We offered them food on the table. How joyful the
children were. I remembered what the Lord said in a gospel,."Let the littlechildren come to me..."

At 6:00 pm, Dad led the prayer after which we had a traditional supper. What a
day! These memories will always be with me especially on Christmas Day.
*Christmas is a day of Thanksgiving, for it is a remembrance of the Lord's
incarnation... God is with us! Come and praise God for His everlasting love.
He came and he had walked on this earth. What a privilege for us!
Let us be vigilant for His coming again...

Merry Christmas to all New World staff and to our valued readers!

All rights reserved: Cynthia Abegail

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