it feels like Christmas

Christmas 2008 — it was just my sister and my brother, with his wife and daughter. Everybody else was somewhere else.

It finally feels like Christmas.

I grew up with a big family that is very, very close to each other. We joke a lot and we know each other down to the bone. It can be a bad thing, sometimes, but primarily, it’s a great thing. We’re there for each other. Always. I wouldn’t know who I’d be without them.

Growing up, Christmas time was always spent with my family. We always spent Christmas together but as the years went by and everybody started growing up, we all started going on our way. My eldest brother went to military school and eventually became a soldier. My sister became a singer and would schedule shows during Christmas because the pay would be enormous. And they were the best show band at the time. My two older brothers eventually went to Bacolod to study. As the years went by, we were spending Christmas separately. And then, eventually, we scattered to the wind.

Somewhere along the way, Christmas lost its magic for me. I started thinking about how unbearable the traffic would get and all the Christmas parties I’d have to go to because of work. By the time Christmas came, I’d come home to see only half the family there, if we were lucky.

But this time, I can feel again. It’s been years but I feel it.

Christmas 2008. I miss my sister so much.

We’ll be as complete as we can be. My sister and her family is in Los Angeles, unfortunately, and I miss her terribly but I always feel close to her because I write her e-mails all the time and we talk in whatsapp or viber. She is never far from my heart. But I will miss her.

But everyone else is going to be here. My parents, my brothers and their families will be here. My nephews and nieces, the new additions to the family, will be celebrating all together.

I miss this. This is what Christmas always was about for me. I didn’t care about the gifts. I cared about being with my family. And with the exception of my sister and her family, we’re going to be together.

And all of a sudden, the Christmas songs on the radio or in the mall sound so lovely and cheerful. I’m so excited to buy gifts. I can’t wait to start preparing the menu for the dinner.

It’s here. After so many years, it is finally here. It’s the Christmas season.

Have yourself a merry Christmas.

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