Last year, Marie, my mission partner, and I decided to spend our last Christmas in mission with our missionary friends, KD and Bonn in Nicaragua. We didn’t want to spend it alone in our apartment, and since it’s time to renew our visas, we grabbed the oportunity to spend the holidays there.
We were blessed to be adopted by a Filipino family whom Marie and I just met on that day they fetched us in the mall. It was really a treat for us to celebrate the holidays eating Pinoy delicacies and singing our hearts out during videoke time. At that moment, we were free from beans to eat and coffee to drink; we can eat whatever time of the day, speak tagalog without thinkng if they understand us or not, and just hang-out and relax without the pressure of people around us. I remembered the first day we stayed at that house, Tita Lydia prepared siopao and all of us ate like beggars who had siopao for the first time in their lives! (ohh.. that was sooo fun!)
On the 24th, we attended the Christmas vigil mass at a nearby parish. I was surprised to see that everyone were well-dressed! The women in skirts and the men in suit and ties! Imagine us going to that mass wearing something like in the picture.. we really felt out of place!haha At the end of the mass, we were asked to kiss the Baby Jesus. Even if the queue was long and our host were waiting outside, we still lined up to grab a moment with the birthday celebrant. And when it was my turn, I whispered a short prayer “Baby Jesus, my only Christmas wish is to celebrate my next Christmas with my family”.
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Fast forward to present. Mom and I were having breakfast together and were talking about what to prepare for the Noche Buena. This was how our conversation went:
Mom: Anak, ano bang masarap na ihanda sa Noche Buena?
Me: EH di kung anong meron tayo from the groceries na na-receive niyo ni Dad. May ham na tayo. Pwede rin tayo mag tuna spaghetti, para maiba naman. Yun lagi kasi kinakain namin ni Marie sa Costa Rica.
Mom: Yun lang? nakakahiya naman ang onti ng handa natin.
Me: Kahit ano naman Mom ang ihanda natin, okay lang. Ang importante naman sama-sama tayo nagce-celebrate ng birthday ni Jesus. Teka Mom… may naalala ako!
Mom: Ano yun anak?
Me: Ang bait talaga ni Lord. Ang aga ng pamasko niya sa akin! Last Christmas, nag-wish ako kay Jesus na sana, ngayong pasko, makasama ko kayo. Awww…. I got the best gift! Spending Christmas with my family!
*Sabay hug kami ni Mom
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