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Belenissimo sa Tarlac 2017

Christmas may be the happiest time of the year for most of us. And even we don’t admit it to ourselves, it is also the most stressful.

For one, the preparation that everyone has to deal with — food, parties, decors, gifts, etc. Plus the traffic. For another, there are some things that really come unexpectedly. Like disasters, death, trauma, and personal problems.

At some point in my life, I wish I am rich. I admit it, my husband and I have struggled to make both ends meet. Gone are the days when we have enough money to buy anyone Christmas presents. With today’s high costs of living, and a recent “disasters”, standing up on both feet comes first.

So expect that I may forego with the Christmas dinner and gift giving. It would be better for us to pay off bills rather than spend on gifts or noche buena. Yet, each one of us — my husband, my daughter, and I — cares. We share what we can share to others who are in need. It may not be something material, but it is still what giving is all about.

When I came here to Moncada, I saw in the town’s plaza that they’re preparing for this year’s Christmas display. People around here said that Moncada won last year. This year, they won second place in the annual Belenissimo sa Tarlac, a provincial-wide Christmas belen competition. I guess, what made Moncada won, was the message: Christ was born to save.

So it’s not the material things that we should focus on this season. We should be thinking and thanking what this holiday is for. Jesus Christ was born to save us from our sins. He is the one we should emulate — from His simplicity, to His wisdom; from His faith, to His miracles.

Thinking of Christ’s message brings a glimpse of heaven on earth. A place where there’s no you or me, yours or mine. We are all living in one planet. And always remember that seasons change.

I’ll end this op-ed with a quote:

I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow human being let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. – Stephen Grellet

So let us start doing good things, one at a time.

Merry Christmas and Happy 2018!

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