Thursday, December 25, 2008

happy christmas

When I was a kid, I used to see Christmas as the highlight of my year. We really knew how to do Christmas then. We’d plan months in advance and our tree would be just the most stunning thing ever. There were years when our house looked like it was taken from some holiday version of Architectural Digest.

When we started moving around though, Christmas became blander and blander. Slowly, it had to be placed on the back burner in favor of other priorities and less-extravagant holidays. I see our tree this year, a silver and blue thing and it kinda looks like a sad disco tree from the eighties. If you think about it, nothing’s really changed though. It’s still us. It’s still the same tree. Some of the decorations have become staples throughout the years but as we became busier and busier, we slowly forgot the little kid in all of us who absolutely pimped up Christmas.

I woke up today feeling hungry like anything. I went downstairs and foraged for food but nothing left me satisfied. I tried to watch a movie but for the next 2 hours, all I could think of was how hungry I was and how a double cheeseburger and a side of nuggets just might do the trick.

For a second there, I forgot why I didn’t have work today. I can’t believe it’s all happening so fast! I feel like I just blinked and poof! It became Koko Crunch, err Christmas.

After the movie I got dressed and went to McDonald’s. Surprisingly, there were a lot of people. I wondered why these people weren’t getting ready for Christmas. Some teenager took my order and I could hear a bored edge to her voice. It’s like she couldn’t wait to get out of there and start with the Christmas festivities. I stifled a chuckle, not wanting to add insult to injury. I, of course, had the wonderful privilege of staying home this Christmas. As she gave me my food and change, she said a very stiff Merry Christmas, sir. I forgave her lack of enthusiasm and wished her a merry Christmas as well.

Outside, three kids came up to me asking for money or some of my fries. I didn’t even bother to look at them. As I crossed the street, I overheard one of them say parang hindi pasko. Napakaramot naman niya.

It seems that in the eyes of three little kids, I had become Scrooge. I completely forgot the meaning of Christmas. I guess to a child, Christmas could mean something else. I guess I was more… logical. While I see it as a time to be grateful that the baby Jesus was born because He inevitably saved us from the eternal fires of hell and all that, they see it as something completely different. I don’t know where he got the notion that Christmas = free food and endless mercy from strangers.

So I wasn’t exactly feeling generous or anything. In fact, I was in a slightly sour mood all day. I went home, ate my burger, fell asleep and woke up in time for Christmas dinner. We were going to celebrate at my sister’s house. I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to make such a big deal of the whole season. In fact I didn’t even send my annual text blast. Because of how I felt, I decided that this year, Christmas would be celebrated at a minimum.

God probably had something else planned for me, though. On our way home, I caught a glimmer of the little kid in me (the one who absolutely adored Christmas). I began to feel like maybe I could still see Christmas the way those three little kids saw it. Some folks were getting into a weird argument over some really small thing and I said para naming hindi pasko. Ang babaw-babaw ng pinagaawayan niyo. Everyone was quiet after that. I usually mind my own business but the kid in me didn’t want any animosity this time of the year. While it wasn’t exactly groundbreaking or anything, the thought that I still cared about dear old Christmas made me smile.

So that’s Christmas for me this year. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Thank you to all who greeted me and stuff. I hope you have a wonderful time with your families. Merry Christmas, everybody!!!