As I was typing this blog, I am currently seated next to the gleaming Christmas tree in our living room listening to Michael Buble’s album called Christmas, and you just know that nostalgic feeling, right? That familiar excitement. And we are getting it because it’s the most wonderful time of the year again.
But tell me, is it really the most wonderful time of the year?
Although I didn’t really talk about this before – holidays, especially Christmas, always somehow makes me sad. It never fails to trigger depression. Perhaps the month of December, presents a challenging demand for parties to attend to, gifts to buy, food to cook, and people to see. Everyone is just so happy.
And I am not.
I didn’t feel very happy.
Seeing people around me being really joyful and excited about the holidays makes me start to wonder what the hell is wrong with me. I know the fact that my birthday is on Christmas always makes me shed a silent tear every Christmas eve because you know, I have the most inconvenient birthday on the planet and even though it is widely acknowledged that birthdays tend to become increasingly rubbish as we get older, as someone who was unplanned born just when the clock ticks to Capricorn season, specifically Christmas day, I’ve been pretty moaning about it since the first time I cried because I was questioning my parents why can’t I have a proper kiddie birthday party back in the day. I was so little back then crying because nobody ever wants to come to sing me a happy birthday song and all I really wanted was to make my wish in front of everyone as I blow my own birthday cake. My silly own birthday cake! That I seldom had as a matter of fact.
But as I grew older, I learned how to be contented and be happy because the universe gave me a chance to be born in this world and experience all these things. I also realized that being sad on my birthday would break my mother’s heart, the person who endured so much pain past midnight Christmas of ’93. And even though it is a little bit lonely sometimes, and even if she never really mentioned it to me, among all her grand Christmas gifts, I know that I am her favorite. Love you ma!
Back to the issue, the stress of the holiday season triggers a lot of sadness and depression for a lot of people. Going through the last month of the year is always so difficult because there’s an expectation to feel merry and generous. Christmas can be tough for those people suffering from poor mental health depression. It seems like something is missing. Something that was there from our childhood and now isn’t.
So kids, if you feel ditto, I want you to know that I see you.
Those of you who will be working full-time shifts and won’t be with their family. Those of you who will be celebrating alone away from your country. Those of you who feel the pressure of going to family reunions and don’t really feel like it. Those of you who just can’t keep up with it at all, I want you to go through the holidays one moment at a time.
And whether we like it or not, Christmas and New Year will come and I would like you to think that after all, they are just another 24 hours to keep up with yourself.
This 2019 is the first time I’m going to celebrate my birthday away from my family. Far away from home and miles away outside of the Philippines. And as someone who grew up with all these Christmases in the Philippines, I missed my walk going home by admiring the Christmas decors of my neighborhood, the Simbang Gabi, the puto bongbong and bibingka and just basically the overall feel of Paskong Pinoy.
But what better way to move forward to our lives than embracing what we are having now. But I’ll still say that Christmas, I just loved it when it was all my life ago.
Maybe on this 25th of December, I will be grateful because after all, I will be waking up with two gifts, which are my eyes, that see things from a different perspective now. I will go through my social media and thank all the people who will take their time out of their busy schedules to greet me a happy birthday. Most likely I will go to work and people will feel sorry for me not only for working on Christmas day but also on my own birthday! But I will smile and definitely hug their compassion because I believe that this world will be a sad place without them. If I have more time I will light up an insense and join a yoga class because meditating and practicing the art somehow fixing the silent troubles inside me. I know I am not the best yogi or the strongest and most flexible one inside the studio but I know deep down that I try my best, one asana at a time, and I strive to be the happiest person in the room! By going home as my birthday ends, I will ride my bike while listening to Libera’s Locus Iste and I will not wear something that keeps me warm in this Dubai winter because I want to feel the cold. I want to inhale the breeze so damn hard that my body will shiver. That’s the time I will feel most alive, thanking the earth for giving me the opportunity to feel its magic.
You see, I don’t have a luxurious or a phenomenal Christmas but the best part is, I’m going to celebrate it without anger or hatred. All is calm just like my spirit.
I hope you find peace before the year ends, kids.