Happiness Project: Real Meaning of Christmas

Looking back when I was younger, I love the month of December because of Christmas holidays. I always loved receiving gifts (until now). For me, having received a gifts from dear friends signifies that I held importance in their life. It is also the time of the year where I get to go with my Mom to shop for new clothes and do our grocery and marketing errands. I love pitching in cooking and preparation and I am the one who always insist on putting up a Christmas tree. I always loved having Christmas decorations in our house because for me it’s a reminder that holidays are just around the corner and the weather is getting chilly every night.
When I already had a family of my own and got our own place, I was the one who was scrambling to set up and decorate the house for the holidays, the one who was mad around the kitchen and loves the grocery trips in between. Now that our son is growing up fast, I want to build traditions in our family especially this holiday. I can still remember my younger years yearning for my Mom’s delicious molo soup and our sleepless night bonding with my sister. I want my son to grow up remembering our own family traditions. Since my son already knows how to help around the kitchen, I want him to grow up remembering our bonding through baking and cooking during holidays. I want him to feel the warmth of our family bonding over Christmas and New Year just like how my parents raised us. Though we were far from our relatives in the province they never forget to emphasize the true meaning of Christmas.

Another of my unforgettable childhood experience during Christmas was during gift-giving season. I was young back then but I couldn’t help but complain and cry to my mom why I wasn’t receiving gifts as much as my sister. You see, my god parents were all my parents’ closest cousins and best friends. Most them were either based in the province or relocated in abroad while my sister’s god parents were all my father’s colleagues at work. So during Christmas season, my sister gets most of the gifts because her god parents were just living nearby while I would be miserable with few presents she does not want. It was a pathetic feeling for kid at that time. My parents were explaining to me that Christmas is not about the gifts but the meaning of family and blessings. I must admit during that time I got jealous with my sister and my childhood friends because they got all the latest gifts they want. My parents make it up to me by buying me gifts during Christmas. My dad encouraged me not to be disappointed because my “turn” will come in the right time; still for a young girl like me those moments were like my “unfair” moments.

Fast forward and few years after, I think I already realized the wisdom behind my dad’s advice. I have met my god parents when I was a little older. For most of the time they were away I think they made up for the lost times… because the gifts I’ve received was far better. I get to received jewelries, branded bags, clothes and even monetary funds or “baon” for my travels (because they learned that I love to travel and shop :P). I was elated to know that they were proud of me because they knew that I graduated from college and got a nice work after college. Even though I was already working, my god parents were still giving me gifts and souvenirs when they come back to Philippines. When I had my own family, the gifts were extended to my husband and son as well. The relationship I had with my god parents were great because we keep in touch via Facebook and get to meet them when I visit our province or when they are in Manila for a short trip or visit. I realized that having god parents is not a ticket to get better or lavish gifts but their support in your growing up years. I learned to appreciate that your “turn” will come and good things will come to those who patiently waits. Because of this experience, choosing the god parents for my son has a deeper meaning. We picked the god parents for my son not because we want to visit them every Christmas for gifts or solicit donations for birthday parties but because we consider them as good friends and someone we can trust to help us raise our son towards greater good.

I know Christmas has different meaning to all of us and despite of the busy, erratic and chaotic schedule due to all Christmas related activity always remember about the real meaning of Christmas…. It’s not about the lavish parties and get-togethers, it’s not the truck loads of gifts we received, it’s not the most outrageous decoration you can think of, it’s not about that drool worthy vacation you are taking this holiday, it’s not the raffle prizes you’ve won during company parties, it’s not about how you successfully survived the family drama but it is because of one thing… Christmas is all about dear Christ who was born so that he could save us all. Christmas is not an avenue to post all you can brag about your holiday parties, gifts, spreads and family affairs but Christmas is an event to reflect on the good things that happened to us this year, give back to those people who means a lot to us, spend more time with our family and pray to our good Lord to thank Him for the blessings we received.

PS. Images not mine.


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