Last Christmas

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       Christmas is the time when people share the blessings they had received. It is also the time to spend our day with our family, exchange gifts and enjoy celebrating it. In relation to this is the story of a born Messiah who will save the people around the world from their sins. The story began when angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she will deliver a son who is the Messiah and she will name him Jesus Christ. Then, Mary visited her relative Elizabeth to tell the announcement of the angel. Joseph, together with his betrothed wife, Mary who carries a child in her womb, traveled to be registered in Bethlehem. But coincidentally, Mary delivered her son, wrapped him on a cloth and put him in a manger. Then three kings appeared through following the star light in the sky bringing gifts for the new born son which is the Savior. It’s the season that we may never forget to all we had for Jesus.

       When the celebration for Christmas was near, excitement has reached its highest peak. It was December 24, when my family prepared all the things that we needed for the celebration. Baking a cake for our family reunion, my mother asked me, “Can you help me cook this cake?  I still need to wrap the presents for our exchanging gift this midnight.” Then I answered, “It would be my pleasure mom, I like to bake it.” Thinking the possible things that will happen during our Christmas celebration and family reunion, I successfully and deliciously cooked the cakes, let it cool, and watched my mom and my sister as they wrapped the gifts that we would give for our cringle. Then I asked them, “Who’s my cringle? “Cause I forgot who it is.” Then they said, “It is Biboy, and this is your present for him.” As watched it, I felt very excited for our celebration at midnight, and I said to them that I will take a bath so that we can go to our grandparents’ house. After I took a bath, my siblings and my mother followed. After we took a bath, we put all the things we prepared on our car, then my brother started it, and we rode on it. Then, we went to our grandparents’ house. It was a preparation full of effort because of the excitement that everyone felt for Christmas.

       Commemorations were started through attending Mass or Holy Eucharistic celebration. When we arrived at the house of our grandparents, I put the presents beside the Christmas tree and set the balcony for the midnight activities. It was 7:00 pm when we ate our supper, and we waited for our relatives to arrive and for the Mass to start. As we waited, I took a nap so that I would contain enough energy for the celebration at midnight. When I woke up, I saw my cousins, siblings, grandmother, and aunts wearing nice attires. And I asked them, “What time is it?” Then they said, “It’s already 9:30pm and the mass will start at 10:00.” When I heard it, I rushed to get my clothes, wore them and prepared for the mass. Then we went to the church to attend the mass and when we arrived, we saw that many people attended the mass and that there were no seats available. But luckily, we brought some chairs so that we could sit inside the church. When the mass started, we participated through singing the songs that were familiar to us and listening to the readings and the gospel. After the gospel, the priest shared some thoughts and little stories about Christmas which was understandable. After that, we had our offerings, then sang the Lord’s Prayer and received the body of Christ. Then, there was a small presentation from the servers or acolytes which made the mass to end at exactly 11:45pm. The mass strengthened our belief to God, relinquished and purified our spirit.

     The celebration was very enjoyable, exciting, and eerie. After the mass, we went home to the house my grandparents to continue the celebration. When we arrived, we directly went to where the videoke was and punched some songs to sing. While I was singing together with my cousins, my grandparents, aunts and uncles blessed the food that we prepared through prayer. After that, we ate together. While some were eating, we continued singing the songs that we punched at the balcony, and it was like we were having a party. After eating and singing, we altogether got the presents beside the Christmas tree to have the exchanging gifts. At the balcony again, we formed a circle to begin the activity. We sang the “I love my manita yes I do” as we moved maintaining a circle form. It was really fun to have this activity because we were excited to know who picked our name and received our presents. After we received our gifts from the person who picked our name, we then opened it to see what was inside it. As I opened it, I was so happy to see that it was a shirt, and then I immediately wore it. After that, we continued to sing while some took a nap. We then continued our celebration in the morning through playing games and other activities. Our relationship became really close because of this celebration, and it was an unforgettable one. 

We celebrated because of some purposes: one is to welcome Christ and the other is to maintain our relationship with our relatives. God sent his son here on earth to save us and we welcome him through: first preparing ourselves to witness Jesus’ second coming, attending the Holy Eucharistic celebration, and opening our hearts to him. When Jesus was born, there were kings who gave gifts to Him, and in relation to this, we exchanged gifts or even share blessings that we received to other people. Next is to maintain our relationship with each other because not all the time we meet our relatives. There are times that we are busy and miss to see them or vice versa. In Christmas, we are given the chance to be free from other things, that’s why there is a big possibility that we could celebrate the holiday together with our relatives. And this is also the chance to talk to them and share to them our experiences in life. That is why, Christmas is also called the season or holiday of loving, giving, sharing, unity and happiness.  

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