Tonight’s Christmas Eve

VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez - The Freeman

The Christmas rush continues still up to this day with people doing last-minute shopping for ingredients for the feast tonight and for items to buy as gifts to their loved ones. It seems like everyone just ran out of time in the past days to cope with the season of giving, so running at the last hour is everyone’s convenient choice. I’m guessing by this time others are still scurrying their way to the bus terminals, sea ports, and airports just to make it home before it strikes midnight when the big merriment occurs. As usual there are long lines, food supply running out, and a squabble to get what one wants.

My memories of Christmas aren’t very fond as compared with those coming from big families. I only look forward to the fact that I will be able to see my relatives again. Never mind the food, for me it is only secondary. I enjoy more the company that we have with one another and the hearty conversations that we exchange. This is the time to heed useful advice from those who are mature than you. It is also a moment to mentor those who are younger than you in the clan. They say love is spelled time. A quick moment with your family even just once for year is love explained in many ways.

But while I and many others are busy with each other’s Christmases, there are still those who do not know the meaning of Christmas or perhaps has left to forget it intentionally. As I was driving home one night amid the rush, I couldn’t help but get a glimpse of a couple of families who were trying to get by at the side of the road. With only a carton as their bed, they snuggled into the cold night. If they could barely get themselves together for a day without a real home, how much harder is it for them to spend Christmas happily? I bet they would just let the day pass just like any other. Others just shun the holidays and focus on their jobs which require them to be there. They are those in service who render their talents and time to keep everyone in tip-top shape.

It is sad that the holiday that is to be celebrated tomorrow has become a yearly routine for most of us. We know the drill: giving out gifts, cooking food for the family, and singing those timeless Christmas carols. Little do we know that there are those who cannot afford a normal dinner, let alone a decent Noche Buena.  There are those who wish if they could trade places with you only for a day.

However, it is not about who has made the most perfect night ever, or the one who has completely blocked off his/her calendar of the nine dawn Masses. I’d like to believe that other than food, remembering the Christmas story is more important than anything else. Sadly, it is the story most of us forget and if we remember, we forget to be in awe of how powerful God has been in our lives.

The original Christmas story did not have the best dishes served on the most expensive china. It was not even held at a grandiose venue. These are minute details that seem to be forgotten because we want our own Christmases to be better than the rest.

As the day closes and we celebrate the birth of Christ this midnight, my only wish is that we set aside our comforts and own preferences. It is about remembering, giving due to the little baby born who in turn became our savior. Yes, it is a time to be merry but not also a time to wallow in self-pity. We can give and not ask anything in return.

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