Cold. December is cold, and pretty much every year, we spend our Christmases cold. Oddly enough, When I try to recall memories from my childhood years about Christmas, I never remember Christmas being cold. I remember it as that time when warmth, coziness, and love would envelope us constantly; the time when my family and other relatives would gather and celebrate under one roof. Honestly, I don’t know why Christmas is so special. It’s become such a normal routine for we Filipinos that sometimes, we forget why we even celebrate it in the first place. To me, it was just the season where I excitedly open my gifts, eat out with my family, relax, spend time with friends, and get lots of money from relatives. However, as I recall vivid images of my loving grandmother handing a meticulously wrapped gift to me, with one huge, hearty smile stretching from ear to ear, I start to remember why Christmas is so special.
Every Christmas, me, my family, and other relatives would visit my grandmother’s house to celebrate Christmas. As a sign of unity, equality, and respect, each of our families would bring food to share with the rest of the our relatives. My family would always bring baked mac, short of baked macaroni, which my mom would always fail to pronounce properly, referring to it as “big mac” time and time again. Basically, all we would do in the gathering is eat, share experiences, eat some more, exchange gifts, and watch fireworks. However, what I always remember in such gatherings aside from pizza, donuts, and Hong Bao, is the spirit of giving and love that never fails to manifest through the actions of my relatives, especially my grandparents, who despite their old age, would always be the merriest and most generous people in the gathering. After all, this is what Christmas is really about; love! In the same way that love makes the world go round, love is also what makes Christmas special.
Most often, we celebrate Christmas without seeing its real significance. Christmas is not just the season where we open gifts, get fat, and get rich. More than these, it’s the season of love and giving, a time to give and to receive, and a time to love unconditionally; it’s the reason why I believe December to be the warmest month of the twelve.
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