Since coming back home to the Philippines in 2006, Christmas has been busier in the kitchen. But I always get help from the Third Sister who comes with her kids to spend Christmas with us to be closer to our parents. When we were in Colorado, Spouse and I almost always had Christmas dinner with Stepson. It was a lovely time for me because Stepson had a girlfriend with three lovely young children and we decorated Christmas cookies at our house before the day itself. The youngest told me the last time we did that “You’re like our grandma, right Mita?” I didn’t even think about being too young, in my mind, to be a grandma because I was so touched by his question. I miss those kids like crazy and now Christmas always reminds me of them.
Christmas is for kids. Before I got married, I’d splurge on Christmas dinner and decor but never on gifts. In fact, I’d recycle corporate gifts I got and give them to the little ones just so they had another present to rip open. Eldest Sister’s Youngest Daughter was the best kid to give a gift. No matter what it was, she would be happy as a clam when she opened that present. Her tiny eyes always popped wide open and her joyous exclamations were always the happiest and loudest. That was the best part of Christmas always.
But the Christmas dinner, which is actually Christmas Day lunch, has to be special because my family loves to gather round the table to eat and talk – usually about food still! Last year on Christmas Eve, Third Sister and I were in the kitchen making our cooking plans for the Christmas lunch we always celebrated at our parents and she got so excited about the turkey she actually convinced me we HAD to do it right away. It was almost midnight so we got started to prepare the bird that was by then defrosted and sitting in the refrigerator. I regret not taking a photo of that bird. I recently saw a turkey featured in some local newspaper and it was a far cry from the beauty my sister and I took home to Mama last year. It was browned more evenly than I ever made it – another set of eyes watching the bird does make a difference!
Yes, there was no sleep for us that night. But what a lovely turkey breakfast we brought to Mama the next day! It certainly wasn’t our usual thing but oh we had a great time! The turkey was almost all gone before lunch when Eldest Sister arrived with her kids. We made a lot of dressing to go with the bird and they got to sample some of that at least. She brought lechon from Cebu and some other foods she cooked. Eldest Sister is a really good cook.
I’m looking forward to Christmas this year. I’m just a Christmas person I guess. My decorating is all done and I’m sitting here next to the Spouse with the Christmas tree all shiny and bright and cheerful.
I’m looking forward to Christmas next year even more. We welcomed a new addition to the family this year. Eldest Nephew got married in October and now we have an Eldest Niece-in-Law, our very first. Next year, they’ll have a baby by the time Christmas comes so we’ll have the Eldest Grand Nephew or Niece. Again, our very first and the first of his generation. The cycle of life continues for our family.
Merry Christmas and may your tribe increase!