Was there a time during your childhood when a storm would scare you to your bones and leave you running to your parents’ room? Oh yes, and that is a definite. I am sure of that. Sometimes, that is what I want to do the past few days. Not because I am scared and have this dire need to head to my parents’ room, but because it feels gloomy and I crave for the solitary comfort of my own bed. December has always been a cold month here in Bicol and rainshowers and thunderstorms are a common weather during this season. But to some extent, I was able to recall a Christmas season wherein it was celebrated with sunny skies and slightly windy days. Chilly, definitely yes, but not as much as what they have in Baguio.
As far as my synapses could accommodate, I remember, still, that sunny Christmas day wherein I greeted the crisp, cool morning air with a smile and watched the ray of light seeped through the window curtains as the warm sun starts to occupy the room with its heat. I would change my clothes, having that bubbly, Christmas-ie feeling, excited for the gifts and excited to go to Church with my relatives. I suddenly missed that feeling. Just so to prove that yes, there was indeed a Christmas season wherein everything was dry, clear and pleasant, I was able to unearth this old picture of mine two decades ago. Yes, there indeed was a time when Christmas day was celebrated with blue skies and a smiling sun.
I missed that time. When now, waking up on a cold, dreary, wet Christmas day can simply snap the Christmas spirit out of you feeling all too gloomy and lazy to even go out of bed. But it was a tradition: waking up early, dressing up, going to Church and opening the gifts. I sort of cursed the howling wind, the hard splashes of rain on the rooftop and the puddle of rainwater everywhere for ruining everything — my attire, my day, the celebration. We asked Daddy to drive us to Church and when we arrived, settled ourselves inside and prayed. Really, wonders are made by prayers. I never asked for a miracle. But I asked that the true spirit of Christmas be felt. The service went on until the part came wherein our Pastor has to deliver the Christmas message/homily. I began to smile.
Why would I even bother if it rains heavily, if thunderstorms are out there, if winds are strong enough to uproot a tree? I wasn’t up today for that. I am to celebrate and rejoice. Celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ to be exact. I prayed for Him, that may His special day be treated as such — bountiful, glorious and filled with joy. The prayer was answered. I saw kids, dressed up all in red getting ready for their presentation after the service. I looked up and saw the ceiling, the windows, the altar adorned not just with regular flowers but with Christmas decors that seem to twinkle with every sway. I heard the piano playing Christmas songs and the congregation singing to it. I saw SMILES everywhere. This is the true Christmas spirit. Ahhh yes, this is indeed it. I thanked the Lord I felt it. Thanked Him for making me feel it.
Every memory of all the Christmases I had in our Church seemed to have filled me once again. I imagined myself being in front of the crowd, reciting a poem I have memorized for a hundred times or performing a dance number followed by a loud applause and cheers from the crowd. Of course, how could I forget the wide smile everytime the gift was handed to me by Auntie Flor and Auntie Belen as well as to the other kids…I saw all of them in the kids present at the Church now. How one memory could evoke a feeling of happiness is already a gift. Let it rain. Let it thunder. Let it be. Some things just never change. 🙂