Dressing up as “Santa Claus” this past Christmas Holiday season has been a blessing. I have enjoyed every moment of it being a Santa, seeing kids expressions both facial and verbal. I find it humorous with some laughter.
Some told me that I am NOT Santa Claus but still enjoyed kids telling me what they wish for Christmas. One student named Cooper wished a world PEACE. Amazing, I can tell that he is a compassionate person. And many wish to have a book to read. Getting to know them in this level is a blessing for me other than teaching daily. Knowing these kids and understanding them is also a blessing for me for all these years teaching for 43 years going onto 44 years this 2019. It gives me more appreciation about how we teach these children with love and care.
When parents realized who it was behind the costume of Santa, some are surprised and excited. Many parents are both smiling and laughing. Yes, if you have never seen an Asian Santa, that was it. My stomach was missing, unlike the ideal Santa Claus, you have seen many times.
As a young kid growing up in Sampaloc, Manila Philippines, my mother, and my family had embedded in my thoughts that there is a SANTA CLAUS. I wanted to catch Santa every year. Oh, did I wish something for Christmas? I did not realize about wishing to get something at an age before 8. I never had wished for anything for Christmas I was never asked my mother or family member. All I can remember was the joy of Christmas how both neighbors and family members just visit family with an abundance of food with laughter and joy. It was an open door type of thing, where any member of family or friends would just visit each other and enjoy each other companies and eat abundantly. There was always food since we had maids to cook for us and so as the majority of my family have maids. We were blessed to have them as great help around the house.
Remembering my “Godfather” coming to our house, to give me a Christmas gift more than several Christmas seasons. Remembering the times of Christmas Carol. Yes, we would do Christmas Caroling at the beginning of December till the day of Christmas.
As kids, we would make our own little drum with the old coffee can and open both ends and use an old balloon and strap it with rubber bands around it. Flattening out the top cap of the coke bottle and using a nail to make a center hole and using old wire hangers to make our own tambourine. Selecting the right reed to use as an air instrument like a flute along with spoons as a musical instrument. And of course, we sang along with what we know of Christmas songs. I started caroling at the age of 6 till the age of 10. I knew at least 2 to 3 songs at that time. I knew Jingle Bells and Silent Night. My mother likes to sing and she taught me those songs. And two of my friends would know at least one to three songs and we would take turn signing at our neighbors. We would travel at least more than a couple of blocks each evening. And some we would hit the same house that gave the most each time. Of course, they gave us money, mostly coins and we would split it evenly among us. We had some spending money before the day of Christmas doing Christmas caroling. It was very fun and very memorable.
Those were really unique memories of Christmas holiday times in Manila. Then my life changed when my mother died at 10. My father was not around and I was ok with that idea, it just made me stronger who I am today. It is what we do in life that makes greatness and meaningful life. Although I have grown maturely older, I still miss my mom thru each holiday season. She was kind, gentle and she would give her last clothing for you to wear. She was also a school teacher who was always giving her time to her students. To those who lost your loved ones, I feel you.
To this day, Christmas season is bittersweet for me and yet, I look at it as a blessing on my own immediate families. My daughter married (Chad) with a son named Adam, my oldest son Lee married (Laura) with two boys named Ryan and Luc and my stepdaughter (Jen) has three daughters named Skyler, Cora, and Evangeline with youngest son Jaden and stepson Brad. Celebrating with families during the holiday is such a wonderful experience playing games. Telling each other stories and of course eating my favorite cooked pancit (Philippine Noodle casserole) for the entire family. And visiting my 6 sisters and one brother was an awesome blessing this past summer in California and the Philippines. The gift of LOVE, PEACE, Harmony and Happiness within the family is what we long for and very important that could never be replaced by any material gifts.
Now, it is 2019. I wish everyone good health, happiness, peace, and prosperity in this coming NEW YEAR 2019! As we get older, wiser, more humble and forgiving going onto 2019, may God blesses you and your family. Be strong, stay positive and stay mentally alert as this 2019 challenges us in many ways than one. Keep your faith strong and you will not falter or fall. With God anything is possible. Happy New Year to you all!