Christmas Holiday, when that time of the year comes people would automatically think about what gifts they should buy for their loved ones. People would make their own Christmas List of people that they are going to be giving gifts. But for some, Christmas means getting to spend time with family and long distant relatives. It has been our tradition to spend Christmas together with family; it gives us joy more than receiving a lot of gifts. Spending this one day once a year serves as a blessing that makes us realize that Christmas is more than just an occasion, it is more about love and God.
Christmas family reunions have always been a tradition to us. Even before the Christmas day comes, everything should be set and organized. Usually, we go to the house of the oldest relative we know. Grandma and Grandpa’s House, in there, all their children gather and so as their own family’s as well. Cousins would see each other after a year and would tell each other’s stories about what happened in their lives and so on and so forth. Or, sometimes we go to a Beach Hotel, we usually book ourselves ahead of time because it is the Holiday Seasons and lots of people will be on vacation. It is also nice to spend Christmas beside the beach with the family. We do this, because not everyone can think of going to the beach during the Christmas Day itself because of the cold weather, most people go to the beach after Christmas Day, so we take advantage of it. To give you an idea of what really happens during Christmas family reunions here are some of the activities that we do.
Now, since Christmas is about giving, usually money or gifts really has a big part in this celebration. And since it is pretty boring to just give gifts or money in that manner, we added some twist and play games in order to win the money or gift as a prize. Some would play the game of Charades and some would just simply beat ones score in the karaoke to get a prize.
Usually for the small kids, they would just fall in line in front of their Godparents and wait for gifts as if they are like waiting for their turn to meet Santa. Also, some would sing Christmas Carols to their neighbor’s just to give joy and spread the Christmas Spirit. Singing cheerful songs always help lighten up the mood and make everything more fun.
And of course, what is a gathering without foods? Yes, lots and lots of foods. During this season the foods are one of the reasons that family’s gather even if they all came from different places. Personally, I really don’t think that it is just because of the food. I think it is the part where all your loved ones are in the same house and all of us are gathered and can eat all at the same time while talking and reminiscing about the last time we saw each other, I think that’s what makes this holiday special.
Also, for the sake of the holiday, the exchanging of gifts never goes away. Sometimes, we do it by having “draw lots”, which means you get to know who you are giving by choosing a name that is already written in a piece of paper, randomly. Even if you don’t like it, no Christmas is complete without exchanging of gifts. It is always a good gesture to give something to someone; you will never know how much it would mean to them.
And there is this one thing, the most important thing I might say that we cannot forget to do during Christmas Holiday is we go to church. Even before all the activities and before eating and going to places to meet each other, we always first go to Church and hear the Mass. We thank God for letting us spend some quality time with our loved ones, for the food and all the blessings that He has given us, and most especially we thank Him for sending Jesus to us. For it is what we believe in, that Christmas day is the day Jesus was born, that is why we celebrate it.
There are still a lot of activities that other Families do during Christmas Day. Some would just simply eat in their favorite restaurants, there are also parks that people can go to and have their picnic during Christmas, some would watch shows or Christmas Events while others would go camping and experience nature as it is. And if they really have the money and time, some would even go to other countries and would try to experience Christmas differently. Disneyland is one of the most popular places that people, especially with their family, would love to go to during the holidays.
There are also those who are very helpful that they spend their Christmas Holidays in Volunteer Centers or Hospitals and help other people and give time to those unfortunate ones that spend their Christmas alone or without their families.
One thing is for sure, you can spend Christmas any way you want to, anywhere you may wish to but you will only want to spend it with the most important people in your life. No matter whom they are to you, blood related or not, the idea is that for you, in your heart you call them your family. Christmas Family Reunion is a tradition that can never be broken, because Family is always there no matter what. Which is why you treat is as a blessing and never take it for granted. You must also never forget that Christmas is a celebration of Jesus’ Birth, so you must never forget to be grateful for all that it is that God has given us. This day comes only once a year, but it doesn’t mean that the Spirit or the lesson that this Holiday must be limited to that one day only. Giving can be practiced everyday of your life, not just giving material things but most importantly, give love.