Christmas Eve 2014

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This Christmas Eve was probably the happiest one that I could ever remember in a very, very long time since I was a kid. This has been our first Christmas together as a family in two decades! Yes, 20 years!  We celebrated holidays and special occasions with my parents separately but never together because of distance. I am the one who visits the Philippines the most – almost every year after I graduated from college.

This Christmas Eve was perfect. We were all complete and even more because of my nephews and niece, and my uncle who recently moved to the US.

My brother’s in-laws generously opened their home to us this Christmas eve although we are always welcome to their home. My sister-in-law’s parents and family became ours in the absence of our own who reside in the Manila. Despite the distance and us growing up without them, my parents have been very involved in raising us and supporting us financially and financing our education. It was a sacrifice on their part so their children could have better lives. There was plenty of love that crossed two continents that even the Pacific Ocean could not put a stop to.

This Christmas Eve was a celebration of family, of many years, of growing up, of my parents getting old, of all the love. It was as modest celebration of the most sumptuous feast.  (Lots of photo ops with the lobsters more than the tree!) LOL!

We were all stuffed to the brim. While waiting for midnight, we played “white elephant.” My siblings and I decided not to give each other presents but just spoil our parents and the kids. The “white elephant” was so much fun. Then the men in the family played a friendly game of 21.

At midnight, my mom was the first one to kiss me and wish me “Merry Christmas.” Everyone went around kissing, hugging and greeting.

I looked at my family and I all I could think of was how blessed we are. The Lord has been very good to us over the years. There were many challenges and trials: financial – because it was not easy supporting kids in the US, surviving adolescence and illness. I know that there were more that us kids did not know about because my parents protected us from worrying. But the Lord is faithful and I know that He will forever be faithful.

I give Him all the glory.

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