BATU, Indonesia. Photo by Jes Aznar

Friday, October 26, 2012


Soon, it will be Christmas.

The rush is so chaotic – malls are packed, roads have become huge parking lots and the stress level is on the rise. Schedules are so hectic and the social calendar is all filled up.

In a way, I dread Christmas because of all the stress that goes with it but I love shopping for children's gifts. I used to shop for gifts for the kids – the nephews, nieces and children of friends.

However, last Christmas, I learned my lesson the hard way. The gifts I bought turned out to be way behind the kids' ages. They’ve become grown-ups, hardly able to appreciate the useless stuff I got for them. It’s my fault, really. I haven’t really spent a good part of the year with them, thinking that come Christmas Eve, I’d be able to make up for all the lost time by showering them with gifts. 

Christmas makes me realize all the changes the year has brought. It is about changes and transitions; about the passing of time, seeing kids grow up so fast and the family becoming bigger or smaller.

For the past five years, I have been spending Christmas Eve with a sweet little girl – the two of us -- and quite a pair we are. We make do with our little Christmas tree, the food and the drinks. We open the gifts and come midnight, we cap the celebration with endless kisses and warm hugs.

But who knows -- perhaps, the day will come when she will be juggling between spending Christmas in the tiny shack we live in and somewhere in a place between her heart and soul. She will no longer delight over the gifts I prepared for her. She will not be asking for little tiny trinkets, which will all be behind her age. 

And it is on Christmas, of all the days in a year, that such changes will hit me hard.