Friday, December 31, 2010

Somebody's Child Beamed With Glee On Christmas Morn

Christians all over the world celebrate Christmas to commemorate the lowly birth of The Child in The Manger, we all believe in that! Christmas without Baby Jesus in the center isn't Christmas at all. It's His birthday and we want to make Him happy. Did you make The Child happy on Christmas morn?

My family just did that! We are poor and simple folks- no gold, no frankincense, no myrrh to  offer. We have no kingly treasures to lay by His crib. But on this cold Christmas morn in December 25, my daughters Pot, Kit, and I, believe that we made Somebody's Child beam with joy and probably,  He even joined the children in our neighborhood Children's Christmas Party.

Our family tradition of sharing our blessings received to the least of our relatives is focused  on promoting love and goodwill to all. The joy we shared together for the love of the Holy Child will continue to stay in our hearts and hope to spice our daily lives until the next Christmas and beyond.  Our family tradition will live forever!

With our deepest gratitude, I thank the Almighty Father for giving Pot, Kit, and I, this wonderful chance to show our love to Him through our relatives and neighbors in Baby Jesus' name. I trust and pray that God will continue to uphold this passion in us to share what we have to those who aren't capable of giving back.

I also acknowledge and thank the last minute gesture of my siblings Nela, Lina, Edna, and my nephew Mon, all living in Manila, for sending voluntary financial support because we were able to share more (packages of rice, coffee, sugar and creamer) and even prepare more food and  fed an unexpected big crowd of 22 families plus the neighborhood kids and adults who are not our relatives.

Our especial thanks goes to our guest sponsor, (who wishes not to be named) for sending cash money through Pot that was raffled out to poor deserving children.

 And lastly, Blessings be to our Clan! Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to All!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bring Happiness To Somebody's Child This Christmas

I have surpassed many happy years of Christmas as a child so I know what Christmas means to children. I had celebrated Christmas with my school children for 40 years and learned wisdom from them as far as  celebrating Christ's birthday is concerned..  In retirement,  I still want to have children surround me in the celebration of Christmas. As long as I live, I'll never stop giving Christmas its renewed meaning each year by sharing the joy of celebrating the birth of Baby Jesus with children especially from the poor. I'm with this stubborn opinion that it's because of the children that Christmas celebration can be given more meaning if it brings laughter to every child, rich or poor, relative or stranger. In like manner, I hope to bring happiness to somebody's child, the poor child in the manger. 

A Family Tradition

Early in my childhood, Father and Mother had instilled in my consciousness that Christmas is an opportunity of sharing our blessings not only within the family but also beyond it. I'll never forget those Christmas Eve when Father would distribute food to every household nearby. Before our family could dine together, Tatay would be lost in the dark and when he returned, home I could see the glorious glow of joy in his face. If you think that the sharing stopped there, you're wrong! 

The following day, December 25, relatives from distant places came home with their young and shared with us whatever we had on our table. When they left, I could hear that they were also given little cash or took home some of our used clothing or anything that we no longer used but were still serviceable to them. The closet cleared, we, girls, would be thankful that the clutter was disposed off. It was not easy to clean house with those stocks lying useless in it.

Of the 9 siblings, I'm the only one left in our birthplace to continue our family tradition. I believe in my heart, that my late parents are now happy and at peace with the Lord knowing that their legacy is still alive and growing in meaning. Having retired from active government service doesn't deter me from perpetuating the legacy. My 2 daughters inherit this family tradition and are ecstatic about  our annual Christmas celebration with the kids in the neighborhood.

A Children's Christmas Garden Party

On top of the usual giving away of packages of rice and grocery items, used clothing, cash gifts to the deserving, and sharing of food, my daughters will again throw a Children's Christmas Party for the neighborhood kids. It will be held at the front lawn of our newly renovated ancestral house on December 25 in honor of our late parents. We have been doing this for four years now, but last year we missed it due to my hospitalization  when also a few days after, my eldest, was also hospitalized.

The party will be an extended thanksgiving gesture to make others happy this Christmas. The plan was hatched by my 2 daughters and I during our thanksgiving vacation. Upon returning home, I contacted a few reliable relatives to help me draft the activities. My 2 daughters are away from home and would be back in time for the Christmas. I can't do the work alone and many are happy to help. 

Involve the Parents

With help from my organized work force, steering committees are being formed and plans are already taking forms, too. Arrangements had been laid out and assignments are distributed as follows:

- Program Coordinator - in charge of the general program for the party, to oversee the children's song and dance practices,  drawing of lots for the exchanging of gifts(personal expense by participants)

- Venue Arranger -  in charge of accommodation (tables, chairs)

- Light and Sound Installer - in charge of the videoke challenge 

- Venue Decorator - to prepare the garden lawn with Christmas setting

- Snacks and Refreshments Coordinator - in charge of the food preparation

- Catering Arranger - in charge of the  a self-help feeding arrangement

- Giveaway Packaging Coordinator - in charge of packing the rice and grocery item giveaways and to identify the most deserving recipients

- Games Coordinator - to take charge of the games for the contests

- Prizes and Cash Gifts - from my daughters Pot and Kit

The party won't be a big one, but I'm sure the kids will be grateful for this added  experience about Christmas and its true meaning of sharing within this cluster of the BEC, the Basic Ecclessial Community, of which most of the parents are members. It will not  discriminate against other religious sect because every child is a welcome participant.

Christmas In The Neighborhood

I have resided in this poor neighborhood since birth where families don't celebrate Christmas as pompous as the way they do during New Year. They say, they'd rather celebrate the 2 occasions together for economic reasons. So, it's on New Year that they give their best  by preparing especial food on their tables. They believe that this way, the incoming year will bring them more blessings.

As Roman Catholics, my parents believed that Christmas is held to honor the birth of Jesus Christ. If they could spend a little more for their children's birthdays, how much more during the birthday of the Child Jesus? And so, in the neighborhood, we are identified differently on the matter of preparing food on Christmas Eve. What is sharing a little of what we have to those who don't have,  do to us? It's the joy of giving that makes us happy, because  we know that at the same time we bring happiness  to somebody's poor child, the Child in the Manger.

The Child In Us Comes Out in December, Too!

The grapevine over the planned Children's Christmas Party had reached the ears of my friends in church, particularly the members of our choir. And they aren't one to be left out. So I suggested that we can have our group Christmas Party, too, in our backyard where the nipa hut (bahay-kubo) can accommodate our number. We will have our exchange of gifts and video singing challenge there with gusto!

I realize that Christmas is always the same in the eyes of a child and an adult. As adults, we want to relive  those days when Christmas was free from worries. Like the little children that we once were, we crave to bring laughter to each one of us. This year and forevermore, I'll always remember that on every Christmas, it's easy to bring happiness to somebody's child, especially to the most Precious Child, the poor Child Jesus in the manger. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to All !


Related Posts with Thumbnails