04th November, 2014. 4:30pm
NaBloPoMo: Tuesday, November 4
What is your favorite holiday memory? (And yes, you can pick any holiday, including your birthday.)
You know what they say about the Philippines having the merriest Christmas of all? It’s true, you know. As soon as the ‘ber’ months hit, you can already expect to hear Christmas songs being played on the radio, pass by homes and business establishments already decorated with Christmas lights and stores coming up with early Christmas sale. I used to look forward to Christmas as a child… Then God took my Mom away.
Gone are the days when I sit by her, assisting her in wrapping all the gifts. Now, I was the one who has to do all the wrapping, with no one to help me cut the gift wrappers and take note which gift is for whom.
When there was once Christmas carols blasting around the house, now it was all silent night and everyone’s pretending that all is calm and peachy.
It all started two days after Christmas, when my Mom huddled us all in her room for one last family meeting. At that time, the cancer has already metastasized, making her weak and bone-thin. She told me to open up to my family because she will no longer be there to hear me out. I tried but, sometimes, it’s hard to be heard especially when no one’s listening.
Sixteen days after New Year’s in 2003, she passed away. Since then, Christmas season was never the same.
But let’s not spoil the moment by ending it with something blue. Since today’s NaBloPoMo prompt said to share a favorite holiday memory, allow me to share one of my most favorite Christmas memories with my Mom. It was the time when I realized that Santa Claus was actually Mommy.
I was about ten or eleven at the time, and when I woke up one Christmas morning in time for Noche Buena and gift-giving, I noticed that Santa’s penmanship was the same as Mommy’s. I didn’t say anything, because I was both contemplating and excited about my present at the same time. As I was unwrapping Santa’s present, I also noticed that the gift wrapper wasn’t the ordinary Christmas wrapper. It was one of my Mom’s papers from her work. That was when I realized, wait a minute! Santa didn’t give this. Mommy did! I was almost in tears about this realization when I finally saw what’s inside the box – it was a set of barbie dolls, toy pots and pans, and paper dolls. I should have felt betrayed at the time but the sight of shiny new toys that I’ve wanted to get made me forget that Mom was just posing as Santa Claus. That time, I don’t care. I was so thankful I have such wonderful Santa who gives me more than just toys; He also gave me Mommy.
After Mom passed away, Santa seemed to have forgotten to pass by our house every Christmas Eve. While it’s true I wouldn’t have the merriest Christmas with my Mom ever again, I know she’s always here with us, spending holidays in the merriest possible way we can.