Christmas is not very much my favorite season. Its the coldest though even without rains, that's one main reason why I like it. They say its the season made for kids and those young at heart. I say its not made for me.
My birthday falls within this holiday season, yet I never felt like merry making. I don't really like people greeting me on my birthday, but I appreciate them nonetheless. I guess its just a preference. I don't want to speculate for the reasons why I am this way but for the sake of argument and thought sharing, I'd love to spill some things out.
- Since my birthday falls in between big holidays, it tends to get ignored. The only time I remember celebrating my birthday was only twice in my lifetime. First was when I was nine and when I was twenty-three. Odd numbers huh? The others, I recall via photos. I get used to having only one gift throughout Xmas. Its as if this day is just another day in history. Only my late fiance loved to give me two gifts. He said one is for Xmas and the other is for my birthday. I can't stop him though. It is what makes him happy, so I'm happy to accept the gifts that will make him happy in return.
- I'm not used to celebrating with other people. I never got the chance to be greeted by my classmates in school, nor in the office simply because everyone is on break and spending time with their families. I can't pluck people out of their family comfort zone bonding just because its my birthday.
- When I was sixteen years old, it was at the time of my birthday that my father spoke harsh words against me and left the family.
- Usually, when its your birthday, the first thing you do is go to the Church and hear Mass. How can I do that when everybody else is busy catching up on their beauty rest? I live another day of my life just like its any other day.
Sooner or later, for almost 29 years of my life, I have forgotten that its my birthday. I write it simply to remember it exists. Its not like I hate it or that its sad. When you think about it, its been like that for a long time and it doesn't seem to hurt anymore.
What? How? Where is the spirit of Christmas?
I hate hypocrites. Myself counted (sometimes).
When I go to church, especially during Simbang Gabi (Misa de Galeo), I dislike seeing people who don't want to hold hands while singing the Lord's Prayer. What is the essence of one community praying to one God if we are not united?
The reason why I like the first Mass (it usually starts at 3am), is because the mass-goers are all serious Christians who want to listen to God's word and reflect on their own lives afterwards. Most of the annoying people come in at 4am. The "simbang-tabi" teenagers gather in the left and right sides of the church and have their nice little chit chats while the first mass is not yet over. They love to come in outfits that never seem to be fitting for a person to genuinely hear mass.
Some women become eyesores too inside the church, coming in mini skirts or ultimately plunging necklines for their tops. I could only shake my head in resentment that I had to witness these things (since I usually pick a corner balcony seat).
Gift giving can be harsh too sometimes, especially when you're expected to give another gift back. Reminds me of my youth. I guess every kid is materialistic. But then again, if an adult comes up to you and say they want a gift from you because they're giving you one... hmmm. Makes me want to say: "You can keep your gift to yourself. I think it will please you more than me."
I wish that for everything one can give away, it may be given with a smile on their faces and with pure excitement in their hearts to surprise this person with what they have come up with to share and witness your happiness. Wouldn't that be the perfect thing?
This brings to my memory, that one year that my late fiance has prepared gifts for every single soul inside their house (except those that he can't see). With his ultimate excitement, I was compelled to make a very surprising act of kindness to help him achieve his goal. There was more than twenty gifts he bought. With each one a particular meaning. We sacrificed hours of time shopping aside from the money of course, to find the gift that will make us go "eureka! this is the one!" everytime for each one of them. I saw it in his eyes that this will make him happy to see them happy. With this, knowing that he couldn't even lift one finger to be able to wrap the gifts in a fashionable manner, I volunteered to buy the boxes, giftwraps, and adhesives. I even did the gift wrapping myself! I remember some nights I spent was sleepless because I was busy giftwrapping.
What's the point? I didn't have to buy them gifts. I didn't even have to receive any! I was wrapping gifts because it was already making me happy! I would never forget this experience. He even recorded the video of that particular Christmas at their place.
Others would try to be polite and jokingly ask you to give them gifts. I wouldn't be very much of a stiff hypocrite. I'll tell you now, I don't plan on giving gifts to anybody except when I feel like it. I would prefer to give you something that you can eat and share with somebody else. I want God's grace not to end with me. Gifts that can be held are gifts that do not have value, except only to kids and to those who have not even held one of that particular gift you gave away.
I explicitly announce to everyone that I do not like gifts anymore. I do not want anything material at all. This Xmas party, I asked for my favorite chocolate. I was kind of greedy not to be sharing equal parts of it to my sisters, but I did share though. Some give me books, some give clothes. Thank you, thank you very much. I do appreciate them all, but I would prefer that you stop by your church, or pause a minute or two and pray for me. Particularly, pray for the health, happiness, peace and fair material life of my family.
When you do say this prayer, it will take not a single cent out of your pocket. It will not waste a kilo joule of your energy, it will not waste your time and effort to go to malls and rush through the monstrous volume of people shopping. You will be at peace, communing with God and wishing another soul happiness and joy.
I can't help but smile. :) I believe I have shared the most wonderful thing today, despite the fact that I find myself downhearted because of life's pressures around me.
Please take time to think about what truly makes others happy. Maybe its just your presence. A smile? A hug? An advice? Lunchout? It doesn't have to be something that needs to be wrapped. The best things in life are free. That is the spirit of Xmas, and this is the end of my confession (for now). :)
Have a happy, joyous Xmas!