Christmas 2012

When I reached high school, Christmas began to frustrate me. Why? It is no longer as happy as my past Christmases. When I was a kid, just the thought of staying awake till midnight and being allowed to stay outside the house and mingle with your friends and relatives in festive spirit was enough to make me happy. Presents were just something at the side. They never really contributed to the joy I would feel back then. Then for some reason things just started to feel different when I got older. Or maybe that’s because we left the province where Christmas spirit is always alive when its season comes as many people would say. Maybe they are right. I wish they are right.

My recent Christmases were dull. The activities are no longer as colorful as before. Lanterns and lights appear to no longer mean anything other than expected displays for the season. And very few people appear to look forward to attending the simbang gabi with their families and enjoying the hot chocolate, bibingka, and puto bumbong with them later. I can no longer feel the spirit of Christmas. And being just sentimental and probably not at all materialistic, that just makes me feel sad and frustrated, ’cause hey I want those happy Christmases back.

The clock currently says it’s twenty minutes past eight in the evening on the 25th of December and I’m home alone. Yeah so much for celebrating the day with one’s family. Merry Christmas to me. But no, they actually wanted me to come with them to visit our relatives. I just chose to be left alone. Some people will readily say that I’m such a grouch for this but no, I choose to say otherwise. Parties and celebrations aren’t really my thing. I just hang around to see happy people, remember their smiles, and partake of the pleasant feeling then I go back to my own private universe. But I’ve just been into a handful of meaningless, ergo depressing for me, celebrations lately to consider attending a potentially not so different one so that’s it. No more for me. I had enough for this season.

But not everything was awful this year. I could say that I’ve just been a little too busy. And that’s something I would prefer than having all the time in the world and still failing to get even half the holiday I wish to have.

After a long time I got to actually pray to Him again. Yes I pray every night. Okay, let’s make that as long as my body lying on bed can still muster the strength to make a sign of the cross and mumble a few words. But I cannot really call it praying. It’s a routine. It lacks the heart. But this time during the misa de gallo I got to really pray to God again and thank Him.

I spent the few minutes I had on three things. I of course thanked Him because everything has been a lot better than before. Life is not grand, maybe it’s mediocre still but better than it used to be. I asked for forgiveness. Maybe I haven’t wronged anybody but we commit sins to God and ourselves. Then I prayed for a lot of other people. I didn’t pray a single thing for myself; He always gives me what I deserve. It has become some sort of an established fact. In addition to that, I don’t feel I deserve to wish something for myself. So I prayed for the wellness of people who I believe deserve it and all the souls who need it. This might sound weird but I always pray for souls in the purgatory. I may have questions about my belief, but if ever hell is true and I find myself in there someday maybe a lifetime of praying for souls has already enabled me to send one soul to heaven. One soul in heaven for one wicked soul in hell. Fair enough for me.

I also spent my four day break from work on books. There’s a handful of them on my bed right now you can call each night a book orgy if there is such a thing. I sleep with them. My girlfriend has a right to be jealous.

On the other hand my mom’s quite furious about it. I currently have four books on my bed, two planners, a notebook, two jackets, some handkerchiefs, and four bags. My sister and I sleep on bunk beds with me occupying the upper deck. (Yes, It is perfectly fine to picture Gumball.) I want my things to be within my reach and I haven’t gotten a shelf installed on the wall yet so all my things end up on my bed. I’m actually known to be quite organized but so much for that.

oh look! there's gumball!
oh look! there’s gumball!

I haven’t gone into doing a movie marathon ’cause I was not able to prepare anything to watch. But I got to catch Rise of the Guardians in the theater because my girlfriend paid me a visit and I’m such a lousy host to prepare not even a single activity for us. I just decided we hit the theater and watch whatever they are showing and that’s it. (Well I got her something for Christmas but everybody knows I got something for her and exchanging gifts is rather too commonplace to be a notable activity.) The movie was not exceptionally spectacular but very appreciable. Yes it may be for kids but it reminded me that it’s the Christmas season and if things aren’t as delightful as you want them to be, find yourself a reason to be happy. Maybe I only need to see a shrink. I may be late but Merry Christmas to everybody. -aB

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