You can see it everywhere. Beautiful lights and decors. Carols being sang by little children. Gifts being passed around. Unending parties and celebrations. But the worst part, unbelievable traffic.

No one can deny that the Philippines celebrate Christmas flamboyantly than any other nation. I have experienced this flamboyance in more ways than one. As soon as the month of December starts, there are parties every other night. There are gifts arriving almost everyday. And to tell the truth, I enjoy it all. Save for the part that its tiring and traffic is terrible, Christmas, for me, is the happiest season of the year.

This year’s Christmas will be the first for my little darling Ira. I am elated to see all her gifts under the tree all wrapped up beautifully. As a mom, I am overjoyed by the fact that many people remembered to give her gifts. For that alone, my Christmas is more than complete. I can sense that there are new toys underneath that tree, and more clothes (oh more! ;)) and books, of course!

For our part, we haven’t given out gifts yet. We are just attending the Simbang Gabi to cap off the year nicely. It has been sort of my pact with my Creator to attend dawn masses as much as I can. I have tried to complete the nine mornings several times and I have succeeded more than once. Last year, even though I was pregnant with my Ira already, I still woke up early and attended dawn masses and sort of indoctrinated my hubby Ryan into attending them too.

This morning as I attended the third one, I sort of felt that subconsciously, I owed this duty to attend my nine mornings. I may have missed a considerable number of masses for every year but I see to it that I end the year with enough gratitude in my heart by attending my nine mornings.

It cannot be denied that it is Christmas time already. With the cold breeze of the night and with the happiness everyone feels, I hope that we can all end the year with good sense of well-being. I hope that we can all see that despite the tragedies that struck our country this year, we are still standing as one. I hope that we can rise above all insecurities, ill-feelings and hatred that may have loomed around us.

I pray that for everyone, Christmas will not merely mean a season for gifts, parties and bonuses. I hope that we shall all see that Christmas is indeed the most important season of the year. Because Christmas is the time that God showed His immense love for us by sending us His only Son. Thus, Christmas is celebrated to continue that LOVE among all of us. To continue spreading that love beyond all things, beyond pain, beyond killings, beyond life’s imperfections.

I pray that we may all truly see this message and live it through not just this Christmas, but throughout the year. Personally, I pray for these for myself and my family, too. I hope I can stop hating and just try to like everyone. I pray that despite my personal mountains, I will be able to see hope and glimmer for others too.

Happy Christmas everyone! (in case I don’t get to blog on Christmas day…)