Cherished Christmases of My Childhood

This week’s question at Julie’s GreenBucks is:

What special Christmas memories do you still cherish as the years pass by?

No matter how exhausting the Christmas season is (both for the body and the pocket!), I still look forward to celebrating it. What I look forward to most is going home to celebrate Christmas Day with my parents, my sisters and their families. (Home means Baguio City.) It’s a great time to reminisce past Christmases. Some of my most cherished memories:

Lolo Indong (dad’s dad) would always give all his grandchildren a Christmas envelope. My earliest memory of the envelope was it had an orange bill inside (Php20.00). Later, Lolo increased our gifts to 50, and then, during his last years, to 100 pesos.

It was always exciting when Lolo gave out the envelopes ala-awards night style. There was much cajoling in the background, as parents chide their child to do a number for Lolo before taking the envelope. Ah, those were the days… Lolo is one of the most generous and loving persons I know, despite being misunderstood as “grinchy” by outsiders. I suddenly miss him. 🙂

Mama’s Christmas ham is also a cherished memory. When we were kids, long before the commercial hams became affordable, she always made this wonderful Christmas Dinner centerpiece. It’s a tradition that I try very hard to keep alive. This year, I hope to make a better one. (Oops, note to self: Buy pigue this week!)

At night, before going to Misa de Gallo, we would light a huge bonfire at our backyard in the old house (now torn down, gone to give way to the new). We’d roast some barbecue and marshmallows. It was lots of fun, as my sisters and I would do this with our cousins.

Sometimes the older ones would play Hide-and-Seek among the trees. Our backyard was huge and my lolo, being a forester, planted all sorts of trees (though we did not have Pomegranate trees), so the backyard was like a little forest. 

I also remember hanging socks – as in SOCKS, medyas! (di pa uso noon ang mga commercial holiday stockings) – for Santa to fill. Palakihan kami ng medyas, para madaming maikarga si Santa! hahaha 😀

In the morning, my sisters and I would be delightfully greeted by socks sagging heavily with goodies –  an apple, chocolates, coins, candy canes. Those were during the good years, when dad had a steady paying job.

Haay, this post is making me nostalgic, almost teary-eyed.

Life wasn’t always easy during my childhood, but  I could say it was generally happy. I have beautiful memories. I hope, one day in the distant future, when my kids are asked to blog about their cherished Christmas memories (given na talaga na magiging bloggers din sila, ano? LOL), they will feel the same way that I do now.

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5 thoughts on “Cherished Christmases of My Childhood

  1. These are wonderful memories iMom 🙂 Life were simpler then but it doesn’t mean those days were less happy, in fact I think these were happier because we had no distractions then kaya focus sa family.

    Thanks for answering and I hope you get to be with them again for the holidays. 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing these beautiful memories Chats.

    Your Lolo Indong sounds like a wonderful and nurturing grandpa.

    Nothing beats homemade Christmas ham. My MIL also makes one for the family.

    Wow, a bonfire. That’s so cool!

    Same here, my brother and I also used to hang socks in lieu of stockings.

  3. It’s really nice to look back on those wonderful times. Thanks for sharing these. By the way, I’d like to apologize for my blogging blooper when I gave you the Power Blog Award on Nov. 26. Being a total blogging newbie, I forgot to upload the image that came with that award. Sorry! I fixed that problem now.

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