Not a joyful Christmas Day

My son is abroad spending Christmas alone, just resting, after their classes ended a few days before Christmas.
Oyen, Theo, Yaya Bel, and Derrick went up to Baguio with Derrick’s family.

Edmund went to attend the Yee family’s traditional Christmas lunch at his mom’s residence. I skipped and just stayed home with the maids. I hardly slept the night before, I was feeling melancholic, and was just not in the right condition to socialize.

And speaking of maids, Antonia fell ill the morning of the 25th. We initially thought she just got tired the night before but she tested positive of covid. She immediately isolated herself in another room. We gave her all the necessary medicines including ascorbic acid and multivitamins. The other maids all tested negative with no symptoms, including Yaya Bel and Yaya Lyn.

I just stayed home. I kept myself busy by filling up one balikbayan box with some of my favorite clothes. Some are really expensive and some are cheap but cute. It felt heavy to part with those clothes some of them still have tag prices, never worn, and some isang beses ko lang naisuot. merong bagong bili ko lang this year. Many are sizes small and I am now an extra large. Instead of keeping them in my closets, I decided to give them away to Libring and her nieces. At least maisuot nila. I will do something good if I will give those away no matter how much I liked those dresses.

Edmund came home in the afternoon, we two went to attend the 5 pm mass. There were still available seats closer to the altar but we stayed outside to prevent any Covid exposure. Covid is still very much a threat. We were lucky we were able to travel several times this last quarter without catching the virus.

After the Holy Mass, I saw some families taking Christmas Day selfies so I asked Edmund to come and mag-selfie din kami.

E—– “Huwag na.”

If I followed every time he said hwag na,  baka ang pictures lang namin ay wedding pictures.    If I relied on him to take my children’s photos, baka kahit isa eh wala.

I looked so sad.

OMB Christmas day mass

Hala si lola, mugto ang mga mata 😭😪🫣

We went straight home after the mass. Our dinner was init-init lang, leftovers. I am not picky when it comes to food. You can feed me the same dish for three straight days and I will not complain. Basta merong pagkain, that’s already a blessing.

Christmas dinner at home

We were not able to have our traditional gift opening. It’s okay. The gifts are not perishable.  They could stay under the tree and not get spoiled except when the dogs come and pee on them.

Back in the day, our Christmas tree was also full of gifts from parents. They have gifts for me and my sister. Meron kaming midnight Noche Buena but we open our gifts on Christmas Day. The first thing we do upon waking up was to check what’s inside the medyas. Santa’s gift usually was pera and chocolate. 25 centavos and Serge chocolate, or 50 centavos and Choc-nut. Aileen and I would squeal and jump up and down. Sobrang saya namin, Santa came to town and dropped by our window. Paano sya nakapasok eh merong rehas yung bintana namin at merong screen?

Next to be opened were the gifts under the tree. I usually got two gifts. From papa and mama, and from my ninang Nita (Dra. Nenita Ynares-Pedraza+). When my brothers were already in college, my sister and I got extra gifts from them.  They saved their allowance  to buy us gifts. (Thank you Kuya.)

When I already had my own family, I continued the tradition of Noche Buena and gifts opening. I usually have two gifts each for Oyen and Nyke. Nothing fancy or expensive. Simple lang.
I also have a gift for Edmund. I found out many years later that he never liked any of my gifts not even 50% so I stopped giving. I am not good in thinking of some unusual and exciting gift.

I enjoyed watching my little kids unwrap the boxes. Ang mga bata naman it’s not what’s inside the boxes. The excitement is in ripping off the wrappers. The surprise comes from the actual opening of the box. Hindi naman kailangan super special. What makes it super special is the heart that is invisible to the eye that comes in each gift.

Christmas tree

Even if my Christmas this year is not joyful, I am still happy in a sense and I am very thankful for where we are today. My son is okay, my daughter is okay, my apo is okay, Edmund is okay, my siblings are okay, our businesses are okay, I am okay.


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