By: iamAldonLopez|December 27, 2018
We all know that one of the most awaited joyous season in the Philippines is the Christmas day. This festive season is a time when families and friends celebrate together. But what if you are 1,407 miles away from them? How would you celebrate your Christmas when you’re stuck on the other side of the world? Yes, being an expat to another country has a positive result; However, these positives are concealed during Christmas time when you are supposed to spend it with your family, friends. Yet, you are alone on the other side of the world.
I remembered when I was in the Philippines, I always made sure that this season is a well-spent Christmas. I have thrived a tradition of instinctively scrutinizing out for gifts that would be special and unique for my family and friends when I’m at the mall. I even loved the anticipation of opening gifts, the decorations, children sang carols and the food. The most important of all these aspects was when my brother and I celebrated our Christmas Eve at my grandmother’s house. We were surrounded by our relatives and childhood friends, gathered together and shared a superb meal. It was such a lovely time of the year.
Now, that I am too far away from them. I brought that tradition on the other side of the world even though, Christmas is not really important. At first, I was hesitant to do it because my colleagues may not be interested, or they might not accept it. But I still did! After all, it’s Christmas.
On the 24th of December, my heart was longing for my family. I was about to cry because it’s hard to be grateful when things don’t go your way. I felt so envied with all those pictures being posted on Facebook and Instagram about their preparations for their ‘Noche Buena’ and how excited are they to spend it with their loved ones. I’m just so glad that I have ‘two-Pinoy’ friends here, who happens to get used to this kind of circumstances. They have changed my sadness into a joyful one. We ended up having meals together and give each other gifts.
On the 25th of December, this seemed to be just a regular day here in Thailand. I brought my gifts with me so, I could give it out to some of Thai-teachers as my Christmas present for them. When I arrived at the school, I was surprised because all the teachers were at their best suits. Even though, I was aware that they will be having a program because it’s Christmas day. However, I wasn’t expecting that it would be as spectacular than I expected. They even provided us, foreign teachers, a Santa Claus costumes to wear during the program. Thus, I was amazed by their efforts, for making us happy. They knew how important the Christmas season in other countries. Therefore, I realized that I wasn’t alone at all.
There are more than 3,000 students and 150 teachers who celebrated the Christmas day with me. Let us all remember that Christmas season is not only for family and friends. They need not be blood-related in order to feel like family and as long as people around you are enjoying the same entertainment will most surely help you to feel less lonely.
One thing before I end this blog, we must remember that God calls us to thanks for “everything” not just the good ones. Look, even if it’s my first Christmas away from Family and friends. I am so thankful and grateful that God really has other plans for me this year for a good reason. He surprised me with that very moment to fill my heart with His indescribable peace and His unfailing love by celebrating my Christmas day with more than 3,000 people.
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