My aunt handed me a small paper bag from Silverworks, saying “Oh hindi ito pang Christmas ha. Ah, year-end bonus lang ‘to.” A few hours later, her husband goes to me and hands me an angpao with Php2000 in it. I said thanks to both, but I was a bit “weird-ed” out. They are Jehovah’s Witnesses. They don’t celebrate Christmas. Well, maybe they handed me stuff because they were both Catholics before converting. Maybe because they were rich. Maybe because most of the family members were Catholics. Or maybe, they were “celebrating” Christmas with us. But what does Christmas mean anyway?
December 25, 2012 – 12am. We turned on the TV. Sakto, sa channel 2, may misa. After the TV mass, my parents gave my brother and I got our present from our parents: external hard drives. FINALLY EXTERNAL HARD DRIVES! My brother and I returned to out room (yes we share a room) and he handed me a gift bag from The Gift Factory and it contained a stuffed koala. I thought to myself: THIS IS THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER! We went to sleep at 2 am, hoping for a bright day ahead.
We woke up and daddy had a fever. It was only my mom, my brother and I who went to mass; dad attended the TV mass in the morning. When we came back, I took Kola the Koala (my koala hat) and my new stuffed toy (still does not have a name), rode the car and went to Nanay’s (my mom’s mom) house in Valenzuela. I got a planner and colored pens from my mom’s sisters, and I feasted with my family. Later on, Tatay (mom’s dad) came, and everything went kinda ugly. He said that he wanted to change his life; he wanted to break-up with his mistress and go back to Nanay’s house. Mom, as the most outspoken and the fiercest daughter (don’t forget the closest daughter to Tatay), told him to think it out. They have forgiven him, but to go back to Nanay’s house is different. I didn’t really eavesdrop that much because I was busy doodling on my new planner that has no dates on it. Deep down, I was like “Really Tatay… Really Mom… Really…”
We left after 30 minutes and headed to my Lola’s (dad’s mom) house in Malabon. In there, I didn’t really feel the Christmas spirit. Maybe because the people there are influenced by my relatives who are Jehovah’s Witnesses. My nieces did make me happy via their cuteness, especially Hilary… WHAT A CUTIE! More food (and more sweets…hmmm bad for my sore throat but it’s Christmas!) and some “bonding”. Then my aunt and uncle gave me what they gave me, and I had fun with Kola. Then my eldest niece (she’s about 21… YES 21) left for her house and left her daughter (YES I HAVE A GRANDCHILD) with my Lola. Then, her great grandfather (my uncle) and my aunt (the same aunt that gave me the small paper bag) kind of interrogated my granddaughter. They told her that lying is bad, and I could see the child’s confusion in her face. Her mom was really up to something, and my dad’s siblings thought that my niece got her daughter’s Christmas money (worth Php1500) since my granddaughter only bought cheep stuff, yet all she had left was Php400. The child told them that her mom did buy clothes for her two siblings, but my uncle saw nothing. The drama ended there, and I got bored.
We left at 10:30, and my parents and I were talking about the upcoming clan reunions in dad’s side of the family. They asked me if I was going to sing for the two reunions. I said that I’m not sure, but my tone gave them my exact thought: I don’t want to. They gave that short “you should share your talents” talk, but I explained why I don’t want to sing:
- It’s like no one appreciates it… Especially in dad’s dad’s side. The Sioson family is full of good singers (which means way better than me), so why would I make a mess of myself there? The Tapang side (dad’s mom’s side) are dancers… They really don’t appreciate my singing, the way I see their reactions to my past performances. I’m sorry if I can’t dance so well.
- I’m sure that the songs that I like singing wouldn’t be liked by my relatives. Come on, would they appreciate “I Knew You Were Trouble.” when they haven’t heard it? My mom told me to choose my songs according to my audience, but she also told me to introduce myself to my relatives. Well, can’t I introduce myself through my songs?
- Lastly, I don’t like being forced to sing. Period. I think that encapsulates everything.
I shut up during the whole trip, and my parents were talking about my eldest niece. Poor her. I really pity her. She doesn’t want to go to her mom in Italy… She found love in a very hopeless place, and she remains hopeless.
What does Christmas mean? Even with all the religious whatevers in my whole life, I still don’t know what Christmas is. Is it a time to make people happy? Is it a time to bond with your family? Is it a time of acceptance and forgiving? Is it a time to give back to those who gave us so much? Or is it a time to thank God for the gift of Jesus? I honestly do not understand why all of these grandness (is there is a word) is happening when Jesus was pretty much in a state of poverty when He was born. I don’t get the aguinaldo thing… You know, when the kids go to their godparents’ houses and the godparents give them money. It’s teaching the kids materialism. I mean it’s good to give, but if the kids don’t get anything, they’ll be mad. And it’s as if that that is the only role of godparents: tagabigay ng aguinaldo.
Well, it’s tradition. It’s hard to bend tradition, but people should understand why we have such traditions.
ANOTHER SABAW POST YAY!