In my more than half a lifetime of living here in the United States, I could count by my fingers when I have missed Christmas at Uncle Roy & Aunt Claire’s home. Even after the arrival of my parents, we have spent Christmas Eve dinner with them, hauled our gifts for the exchange and then went home late in the night.
In the beginning they also invited the other Filipinos in the subdivision but as their own families has gotten bigger, the parties has gotten simpler and smaller to make things more manageable. It is now a simple family affair even though friends are still welcome.
A couple of my sisters are here but they never joined the tradition. They have families of their own or they work during the holidays. My parents are both gone now but I continue to go because my aunt and uncle always count on my presence.
One year, I was very sick and only Mom & Dad celebrated with them. The next day Uncle & Auntie came to visit me and touched my heart that they missed me. This is probably the one thing I would remember and miss most when I finally go home to the Philippines but I would be starting another tradition then with being with my sister, brother and their children and grandchildren.
Keeping traditions are great and makes for wonderful memories, something to look forward to.
Last night I caught the midnight mass in Ascension Church – a fitting finale to a night of merriment.
I hope you all had a wonderful celebration.
A glimpse from last night: