Whenever I hear that song being played, I am filled with Christmas cheer. My heart smiles. My eyes twinkle. I become that giddy child waiting for Christmas day. As a child, although we did not have the grandest of feasts, for as long as my family was together, Christmas was merrier.
Five years ago, Christmas took a different meaning for me. It was the year I did not make a fuss about Christmas. My father was bed-ridden for 5 months. I saw his frail body being eaten by cancer day after day. I was numb to the Christmas spirit around me. There was little I could do for Papa. I just hugged him everyday. Hugging meant pressing my face to his face as he could no longer wrap me in his embrace. On Christmas day, I greeted him with a loud cheer. He smiled back acknowledging my greeting. And that was more than I could ask for. My father died the day after Christmas. It was his way of giving me my Christmas back.
Since then, I was able celebrate Christmas with my family like that giddy child again. Being an only child, single and an orphan, family means my aunts, uncles and my cousins. Christmas becomes more meaningful. Here are ways I make my Christmas meaningful and memorable:
1. Feel the spirit of Christmas. I do this by putting up my tree. Having a tree changes the mood of the house. This is a special tree because my mama and I bought this together with my own money. It has been 14 years since we bought the tree. My mother had long gone and the tree still looks good. You do not have to buy a tree to feel the spirit of Christmas. Sometimes, listening to Christmas Carols will already fill the home with holiday joy. You can also spend time at a park where twinkling lights make the season more festive. Malls have stepped up their game. There areas for families to enjoy the Christmas season.
2. Share your blessings. You might be surprised that it takes little to make another person happy. It does not have to be a grand gesture. You may share your blessings with your loved ones. However, they say the best way to share your blessings is doing something for someone who cannot repay you in kind. You get repaid with their prayers and well-wishes. I am not really the kindest person around. I can be selfish but I have to admit that the selfish me can also see the wonders of being able to share my blessings to others.
3. Spend time with family and friends. My nephew is already 3 and I plan to spend some time with him this Christmas. My aunt and uncle will be spending their Christmas in Cebu but they will be back in the afternoon of December 25 so we still have a chance to celebrate Christmas together. I am compiling easy-to-make recipes so that I can still have a wonderful time with my family without slaving in the kitchen. I have tested one of such recipe. You only need cubed gulaman, cream, condensed milk and cubed mangoes. Layer the ingredients. Put them in a nice glass and voila! These ingredients are readily available in the supermarket.
This year, a number of my friends will be home so there will be a lot of catching up do. For sure, there will be lots of laughter till our bellies ache.
4. Reward myself. Although I looked like I have not worked hard this year, I did. The best reward I can give myself is rest. I am dreaming on resting my head on a soft pillow while curled up reading a book. Maybe I’ll get a tub of ice cream and have a movie marathon. This is just me. You can reward yourself with that jacket you have been eyeing for a long time, that gadget to get in touch with family or that massage chair to ease those back pains for working hard. It is okay to treat yourself to something you greatly deserve.
5. Remember the reason for the season. JESUS. Christmas is the season of advent. Advent means coming. We prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus. As Christians, it is a time to reflect on our lives and make changes in order to be ready for Jesus Christ. We do this by emulating how Jesus lives while He was here on earth (i.e. a humble and obedient servant) and by following His commandments. We should really do this not only during Christmas but every day of our lives. This is a part of my life where I need to improve on. God never faltered on me yet the sinner that I am easily forgets God’s greatness.
Each of us may have different ways in celebrating this wonderful time of the year. SM Supermalls have their way of celebrating this merry season. Drenched in the spirit of love, family, sharing and giving, SM Supermalls show us how #MerrySMChristmas begins. Adorable Cheska and Kendra Kramer and the delightful Elevator girl, Cheridel Alejandrino star in this short video.
SM Supermalls have a lot in store for you this season. Visit http://bit.ly/MerrySMChristmas for more details on their various #MerrySMChristmas events.
I wish you and your family a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!