Everyone knows that I had a sad Christmas last year. It was our first Christmas without Papa, so early on (I think it was around November 2010), I already made a declaration that I would sit out the entire Christmas season. And I really did. I can’t even remember if I bought Christmas gifts at all. On the eve of Christmas last year, we had mass at Papa’s crypt and then headed home and slept.
This year, however, I feel that the Christmas spirit is back. Of course I still miss my father— no Christmas will ever be the same, for sure— but I can now feel my heart able to celebrate this joyous occasion again. And even though there’s nothing in my immediate surroundings that would prove this because our house still has no Christmas decor, and I still haven’t bought a single present, my heart is now filled with joyful anticipation. I think it was a good decision to start the season with an advent recollection, which was followed by a session with my spiritual director, which was followed by successive reunions with good friends. A friend was texting me this morning about how all her sadness and issues about life are being reinforced by this season, and I surprisingly realized that in contrast, I’m not having any of those this year.
And it’s not even because there’s something different this time around. I can imagine this season being filled with the usual things— Christmas presentations with varying degrees of endurability (haha!), endless reunions, last minute shopping (because that’s just so me on any given Christmas), feasting on Mama’s experimental dishes, Christmas carols, lots of time to sleep, read, blog and play fruit ninja (yes, that mindless game I surprisingly enjoy), exchanging gifts, and making it a point to hear Simbang Gabi at Gesu whenever I can. So you see, as far as my activities go, it’s pretty much the same. As far as my disposition goes, however, there’s a world of difference. Now, I can again say that it’s the most wonderful time of the year.