What Holiday Spirit?

Christ­mas is a big deal for Fil­ipinos.  It starts ear­ly in the Philip­pines, and ends after the Feast of the Three Kings, around the first week of Jan­u­ary. Some­times, it gets extend­ed until Feb­ru­ary. We used to dec­o­rate as ear­ly as Sep­tem­ber. There were many rea­sons to be joy­ous as Decem­ber was my dad and my grandma’s birth­day month. I remem­ber feel­ing cheery as Decem­ber 1 rolls in, being excit­ed for Noche Bue­na, the tra­di­tion­al Christ­mas din­ner before 12 mid­night on Decem­ber 24, and for grandma’s birth­day par­ty where the whole fam­i­ly gath­ers.

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After Dad passed away in 2004, we stopped cel­e­brat­ing Christ­mas until around 2009. Just when we got our bear­ings back, Grand­ma passed away in 2010. My Christ­mases after that were usu­al­ly spent with John­nie, Jack or Jose. Yup, I drink myself numb while the whole world rejoic­es. Last year, Gre­tel, one of my furba­bies, died on Christ­mas day. Why do you hate me, God? I silent­ly screamed as we buried Gre­tel. This sea­son offi­cial­ly became a sad reminder of hap­py days gone by.  I hat­ed Christ­mas.

On New Year’s Day 2017, I resolved that Christ­mas this year will be dif­fer­ent. I said to myself that I will try not to be a grinch. I was also hop­ing that this will also be the year when I cease to be a hol­i­day orphan since it is my first Christ­mas with Chris (even the pun is mak­ing fun of me, rub­bing it in). Well guess what? It is just my luck to be with some­one who doesn’t cel­e­brate Christ­mas for rea­sons I don’t want to put here. Or maybe he just doesn’t want to cel­e­brate it with me. On top of it all, one of my furba­bies, Hansel, Gretel’s twin, is sick. I’m afraid he might not make it. I’m just steer­ing myself ready for the heart­break that is to come. What else is new?

My Christ­mas wish is just to be hap­py for once dur­ing this season—my fam­i­ly (furba­bies includ­ed) to be healthy, and spend it with Chris, mak­ing new mem­o­ries. But hap­pi­ness is elu­sive to me. I hate Decem­ber. It is a month of too many sad mem­o­ries, and heartaches. I need a coma, a month long coma. I want to sleep and wake up in Jan­u­ary. I’m total­ly okay with not wak­ing up at all and just slip­ping into obliv­ion.

I’m tired.

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