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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