Hello, everyone! I just wanted to share this journal entry I wrote on Christmas Eve last year, when I was still a college senior:
"Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat.
Please put a penny in the old man's hat."
I won't deny it; when I was younger, I was incapable of associating Christmas with anything other than presents. I used to wonder how my Mom and Dad could just leave their gifts by the Christmas tree, with none of the curiousity and excitement I felt at the idea of getting to tear off all the wrapping paper after Noche Buena. When they do get around to opening their presents, there are no hysterics involved, as opposed to my gleeful screaming at the sight of a new dollhouse, or a new book of fairytales.
This year, the Christmas rush came a bit late for me. I was preoccupied with school and all the stuff I had to work on, but the minute my friend Maris and I stepped into the Church of the Gesu for the first simbang gabi, I was finally embraced by holiday cheer. Everything just felt so magical: lights twinkling, children singing, bells ringing. It was one of those moments when you have no intention of doing anything other than sitting back and allowing the sights and sounds to wash over you. And somehow, despite all the papers I had to finish, tests I had to study for, errands I had to run, conflicts I had to resolve, and confusion I had to straighten out, I felt strangely at peace with myself. I guess that's what Christmas does to you—it takes your hand and invites you to breathe, reminding you that in the end, everything will be alright.
As I sat there, basking in the quiet happiness of my newfound holiday spirit, I realized something: I was still incapable of associating Christmas with anything other than presents. But this time, the presents are no longer dollhouses or fairytales. As the Christmas carols filled the air, I thanked Him for the year-round gifts of family and friendship, of love and laughter, of real homes and real stories.
And at that moment, I knew I was blessed. Because honestly, what more can I ask for?
Sometimes, all you really need is a penny.
This year, I decide to put pennies in other people's hats.
Last Saturday, I woke up early to participate in Living Dreams' project for the Payatas kids. We treated them to an advanced screening of Santa Clause 3 in Eastwood, then moved to nearby Club 650 for lunch. I was paired with a sweet 12-year-old named Justine, who called me pretty (Aww!) and kept thanking me for the M&Ms and popcorn I bought for us at the snack bar. We laughed at Tim Allen's antics and pigged out on our junk food together. We talked about normal stuff—school, family, friends, and even crushes! Justine's really smart and funny, and even if we were only able to bond for a few hours, I can definitely say we enjoyed the time we spent together. Here's a photo of us in our matching shirts. Thanks for being a great partner, Justine!
Wishing you all the warmth of the holidays,
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3 Responses to “Let your hearts be light.”
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