Christmas is not always happy
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For me, Christmas stopped being happy when my Lola died in 2004. I’m sorry to say it and I don’t mean to make anyone in my family feel bad. But Christmas for me was going to my Lola’s house in Valle Verde.
I would say that out of all the people in the world, my Lola is one of my topmost favorite people that ever existed. She was such a gentle soul, I thought she was perfect.

I got especially close to my Lola when my Lolo died suddenly in 1974, and my Lola stayed in our house for a few months. She slept in a room I shared with my sister. Both my sister and I loved my lola so much that we would fight over who got to sleep next to her. So my Lola ended up sleeping in a folding bed and would alternate sleeping next to me and my sister.
She taught me how to pray the Rosary and gave me many rosaries and a flashlight because she knew I was afraid of the dark. So I would sleep holding a rosary with a flashlight next to me.

Lola Paying and I
Lola Paying and I at her old house. There are no words to describe how much I love her to this day.

But I digress….
I miss going to my Lola’s house for dinner after mass at the Valle Verde park. There was always a lechon, a turkey, and the best home-baked ensaymada. We would open presents at midnight and the floor was covered with wrappers.
I’m happy my son Ben got to spend a couple of Christmases at my Lola’s house. My Lola died the year after Markus was born, so I’m sad that Markus doesn’t remember Lola at all.

with Lola
My lola was bedridden for the last years of her life. Oh how she loved kissing Ben. I’m glad she got to enjoy him for a couple of years.

That said, I think about her every Christmas. Not everybody is happy during Christmas. Especially with social media, I have this feeling that there is this pressure for people to be or appear happy during the holidays. There’s a pressure to get a family photo and post it on social media to give the appearance that all is well and happy. But some of us are not. Some of us may be struggling with illness, broken homes, deaths, financial difficulty, and many other problems.

My tree may be full of gifts and I am touched and grateful. But I feel more joy wrapping and giving gifts. Christmas stopped being happy for me for many years but it matters to me that the children are happy.
We just came back from Japan. I am so exhausted but I’m grateful that we made it home safely with almost no turbulence considering the typhoon we endured yesterday.
Right now I’m contented to be lying in bed and writing this with my hubby at my side. In a while we will be having dinner in our house clothes, and I’ll be spending the night watching the Christmas specials of Little House On The Prairie.


I do miss the days when I was a child and was taken care of instead of me taking care of a household. I do hope I can make memorable Christmases for my kids. God knows I try.

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  • PJ

    I miss my lola, from my mom’s side, too.


  • HG

    This blog entry hits the spot, Ms. C. Ever since my dad died in October 2015, Christmas was no longer special. It is hard to make things happy if you’re carrying the deepest, most profound pain in your heart.


  • Ronald M Gonzales

    I just read this. I had the Christmas blues recently, and something didn’t feel right. And I can only point to two reasons, I lost two special people in my life in 2016 – first, my lola, who battled colon cancer, and was bed ridden for the last 3 months of her life. The other, my best friend who passed a month after. I still get teary eyed as I write this. The pain is still there. Christmas will never, ever be the same. Nonetheless, we celebrate the season the best way we can. Too late for Christmas greetings, so mayI just greet you a Happy Three Kings. Been reading your blog since you started it. [Incidentally, we have common friends Jude and Cath [Aguino].


  • irenee_san

    i can relate. christmas always brings a tinge of sadness despite being surrounded by loved ones and family.


  • MK

    finally some truth in Christmas ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Kathy Dcruz

    Just feel the same way my uncle died a few days back.. I feel you ms.C likewise i wish to do the same with my son.. nephew & niece to make christmas really memorable & happy for them that they would always look forward to it every year..


  • Bambhie

    My mom died last September 28, I had my birthday without her in October I remember crying the whole night and it happened again last Monday (Dec 26). I was also emotional on Christmas Eve seeing the place where she would usually sit and lead the prayer before we dine. I tried… well, we tried to make the Christmas as joyful as possible because we have our spouses and children and my Dad of course who is looking forward to celebrating the best time of the year, However, Christmas will never be the same again for us.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!


  • Mark Canizares

    I stopped feeling the joy of Christmas when I left Philippines in 2007. It just doesn’t feel Christmas when everyone (including myself) is working on the 24th and 25th. No exchanging of gifts, no carollers outside, no games, and above all, the family is not complete. It used to be just pretty simple but meaningful.

    Merry Christmas pa din, Ms. C. Here’s praying for a better 2017 for all of us. ๐Ÿ’™


  • Bella

    Christmas has become sadder and sadder for me throughout the years, starting maybe in 2004 the year my paternal grandma died, then in 2005 when an uncle died. The saddest though was when my maternal lolo died in 2006; I was really close to him. Then last year we tried celebrating Christmas while another uncle was fighting the big C. The holidays just make me miss them and it’s really sad.

    And I agree with the pressure of social media. I especially have this disdain for some [relatives] who keep on taking pictures and posting on social media instead of actually socializing with people.


  • Val

    “I do miss the days when I was a child and was taken care of instead of me taking care of a household.”- I have the same sentiments.. It’s so hard being an adult sometimes. ๐Ÿ˜ž


  • I love this post! I feel ya, Ms. C. Merry Christmas!


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