I Realized THIS on My First White Christmas..
This Christmas was bittersweet.
I grew up in the Philippines and only moved here almost a year ago and on the morning of the 24th I was watching videos of our faily back in the Philippines doing karaoke and it made me a bit nostalgic.
This was the Christmas I grew up in: Spending time together, running to the grocery store on the morning of Christmas eve for last minute ingredients, making dessert with my cousins, laughing, singing karaoke, zumba dancing, with the neighbors coming in to greet us too and doing business my cousins (aka singing christmas carols infront of different houses for some moolah!) (By the end, we got about 16 pesos each because there so many of us but it was all about the experience ahhahaha!) and then on Christmas day everywhere was always busy!
We weren’t really about opening gifts so this year I REALLY felt the pressure of buying gifts. I love giving, and giving gifts randomly, but Christmas gifts felt different. And I wanted my gifts to mean something, not just get them something so I can say I got them something. When I’m giving, I want it to be a reminder of something we share, an inside joke, something we both believe in or just their favorite thing. Also the time it took + the thought of going into crowded malls.. uh oh. Haha!
For Christmas this year, my family drove down to Calgary on the day of Christmas eve and got there a little after dinner but still had the best time with our family. I’ve missed munching on my baby cousin’s cheeks so much. My family and I haven’t spent Christmas together physically in years so it was nice to have a whole family when that clock hit 12. That alone was something I’m greatly thankful for. We wore red shirts and I thought we looked cute.
My aunt hosted us and some of our family. We had fancy schmancy Canada food but had Filipino dessert and played Filipino games. Win win! Haha!
I thought Christmas was gonna be different forever. And you know what? I was right. This Christmas was so different. But one thing I’ve definitely realised is that “different” doesn’t have to mean worse. Or better, for that matter. It’s just that— different.
The next day we explored a park near the Peace Bridge. My cousins and I definitely took our time walking and pausing for some pictures while my parents were just done with it because of the cold so they got to the bridge waay before we did! Haha!
It was definitely not the Christmas that I grew up having. You could definitely feel a certain kind of calmness from the way the snow covered the city like a blanket. Most establishments were closed (yes. yes to this.), the roads were wide, some people were out ice skating and sledding, something I want to do sometime soon again. But I love thinking about how most people were just home, sleeping in, bundled up around loved ones and enjoying quality time with family. I loved the quiet, the idea of slow living in a city that’s usually busy, and how everyone we passed had smiling faces.
I woke up reading about the birth of Jesus and singing “Let earth receive her King.” followed by journaling about how the Christmas eve went and then opening more gifts and Christmas stockings with my baby cousin.
Change isn’t always so bad. And I'm still the biggest fan of Christmas after all.
Most of the time, my mind would wander and think about everything I still had to do and worrying about the next few days/weeks but I kept reminding myself that it would be best if I kept present. I wasn’t helping anyone with my worry. Again and again I went back to the quote from the book of the Tao, “I do nothing and leave nothing undone.” It proved true to me again and again and it’s in my stillness that creation happens.
I’m so happy. And in love. And grateful.
I hope you’ve had the most wonderful Christmas. I’ve missed writing these kinds of blog posts. Just telling a personal story. Haha! I usually do it for the newsletter fam but wanted to share these pictures here as well. If you’d like, you can join us here!!! I send out personal stories, inspirational messages and first updates to my email list every week on Mondays at 9AM. You’re always welcome to join our weekly Christmas party. Haha!
I love you :)
Also I hope you’re ready for the New Year posts! Haha!