Our First Christmas Away From Home

By: CORINE LEI MANANGAN GONZALES

We used to dream of a white Christmas when we were still in the Philippines especially when we were kids.
But now that we are here in the US, it seems that the snow would not compensate for the unparalleled Christmas spirit that only the Philippines has.

Here, it’s really fun to feel the snowflakes coming down your cheeks, make angel wings on the snow-covered ground and throw snow balls at each other.

We could hardly wait to make a snowman for our little boy — he’s only six months old now but he seems to appreciate the snow already.

However, playing with snow makes us miss “halo-halo” even more…

Despite the snow fun, we still wish to come home for Christmas in the coming years.
There, the holiday season starts as early as September. In which time, the Christmas countdown begins and many already put up their Christmas trees and decorate the outdoors with lots of lights and “parol” which is an authentic pinoy Christmas lantern .

What we miss even more is the simbang gabi — we don’t usually get to complete the 9-day dawn masses but it’s always worth the try. That’s when you’d really enjoy eating puto bumbong and bibingka.

It’s also fun to see little kids all over the streets at night singing carols from one house to another hoping to get even just a few coins.

But on top of it all, it’s being with the entire family during noche buena that makes Pinoy Christmas extra special.
(Corine, husband dudz and son)
However, the family is only the second most essential element of the season. Most important of all, it’s this time of the year (and preferably all the other 364 days too) when we remember to give what is due to the REASON FOR THE SEASON.

After all, it’s His birthday that we celebrate.

Writing this blog makes me realize that though we definitely miss spending Christmas back home, the right place for Christmas is actually deep inside our hearts where our Lord resides.

So, let me be the first one to greet all of you an advance Merry Christmas !!!
and happy birthday to you Lord!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ma’am Corine as fondly called by her former students is a soft spoken but determined young woman who had decided to migrate abroad to New Mexico with her hubby – Dudz.

Looking at her petite frame, one would not guess that she had been a competent college instructor and has several educational degrees tucked under her belt – MS Micro, BSMT and is now an ASCP board passer.
Ma’am Corz, thanks for accepting the invitation to guest post in my blog.

It has been a pleasure having you here; and I hope this will not be the last.
Good luck and God bless!


15 thoughts on “Our First Christmas Away From Home

  1. Hi Jena Isle,

    Nothing like Christmas in the Philippines eh? I have heard this from so many people for so many years that it began to come out of my ears. Until the time I missed a Christmas because of a project we were not able to complete on account of a raging war in the country where we were.

    Our focus was to escape alive. The realization that we were not going to spend Christmas in the country swept through us 2 weeks before when we were already safe – but couldn’t get a booking out because all flights have been booked till middle of February.

    It was the saddest Christmas of my life, and until today, it has not been matched by all other Christmases since then. This is one reason why I can appreciate and relate to such stories and experiences as this.

    On another note, that collection of inspirational stories of bloggers of yours – I may have a short post that you might find interesting and may want to include in it. Here’s the link:

    http://spittingvessel.blogspot.com/2008/05/memories-for-my-mother.html

    Let me know if you find this piece useful. Thanks. 🙂 –Durano, done!

  2. Christmas is special anywhere as long as you can spend it with family. But the ones you remember from your childhood is what will set the standard.

    I miss the snow at Christmas more than anything else, except maybe being able to look out and see the mountains.

    Nice story thanks.

  3. I’m sorry, did we x-change links? I know when I was ask I always tell them to let me know after adding me so that I can do the same and if they don’t see their link on my blogroll kindly remind me because sometimes I forget. I do apologize. Also remember that if I don’t see my link in someones blog i just delete their url from mine.
    Consider ur blog added as of today.

  4. Christmas is always merrier if you are with close with your love ones. That’s how we share the spirit of Christmas.
    Thanks for dropping by my site..

  5. Hi Durano,

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting. You know I’m intrigued about your adventures. Are you an active reporter? lol… Was the country, Iraq, Afghanistan or was it Vietnam? he he he…now I’m guessing.

    I can relate even if I haven’t experienced it yet, based on similar stories. It must have been very lonely.

    Thanks for sharing your story too. I’m sure Ma’am Corz will react to your story when she finds the time.

    Take care and God bless!

  6. And btw, Durano, I find the article very inspiring. Your mom is so lovely. I guess she’s a mestiza.

    Watch out for your story after 10 days.

    Thanks for your acceptance.

  7. Hi Eric, you’re right of course. You miss the white Christmas as it is the kind that you’ve been exposed to since you were a child.

    Your white Christmas is wonderful if one has her family with her.

    Thanks for dropping by.

    Happy blogging.

  8. Hi Umma, thanks too for the visit. Yes, Christmas is more meaningful when we share it with our family and love ones.

    All the best.

  9. You’ll really miss it. Happens to everyone who has been used to the warm Christmas (except in Baguio where it is really a cold Christmas) the Philippines celebrate.

    Anyway, you’ll get used to your new place. =)

  10. Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love the getting together of families from far or near, the hunting for that perfect Christmas tree from the mountains, seeing all the beautiful decoratios, especially the lights, and the remembrance of us being Christians.

    It’s nice to hear other Filipinos’ experiences around the world. New Mexico is a very beautiful state. It has a lot of colorful and interesting history.

  11. Hi Tasha, thanks for dropping by. I have never been to any part of the states and New Mexico would be one state I would visit in case I’m givent the chance to tour. Thanks for that tip.

    Indeed, the author wrote a nostalgic article. I’m sure many of us could relate to it.

    All the best.

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