My mom lit the dimly room and the light from the candle shone through the four corners of the house. It was a quiet December evening with winds sweeping on our window curtains. The moon outside was at its brightest and the shadows of dancing trees were so alive. I’d thrown a gaze towards my mom as she sat near the window, humming a Christmas song and thoughts about Christmas suddenly loomed in my mind. Only few days to go and soon it will be Christmas day and yet I can hardly feel it as if it’s not coming.
There was no air of Christmas joy in our house and so with our neighborhood. Blame it on the typhoon that ravaged our province, causing every power lines to shutdown. The earth was void during night and if without the moon for sure it was all gloomy outside. My town folks seemed to have neglected this occasion with no preparation at all. Everyone was busy minding their own business to cope with that unwanted phenomena.
“Would there be really a Merry Christmas? That was the thought that hovered in my seven-year old brain. For a kid same my age, the beauty of Christmas depends on the lighting of Christmas tree, Christmas decor in every house, Christmas songs on the radio and gifts of every kind. But in the absence of it Christmas is spiritless in the eyes of children.
I sat beside my mom as we were both watching the night until a question was raised by my young inquisitive mind. “Why does typhoon often pass by at the end of the year? Why would God allow it if it can make a lot of people sad especially on Christmas?
My mom drew a smile on her face and scratched my head. “It has to do with our Island’s geography, that’s why.” She muttered.” And who says Christmas wouldn’t be happy? We’ll make it happy and you’ll see.” She reasoned further.
As far as I could remember Catanduanes Island is often visited by typhoon during November and its overburdening effect lasts up to the next year. I couldn’t agree more to what my father has perceived that our province was really a typhoon capital of our country.
The evening of Christmas Eve came. Still there was the silence and the bone chilling breeze that stayed to surround us. The usual spaghetti, fruit salad and Leche Flan we habitually see on our table during Christmas were never there. My mom on the other side busied herself on her homemade doughnut as an alternative for the grand repast. My father was preparing the bamboo cannon outside as he pulled some sticks to create a bonfire. My siblings and my neighbor’s kids slowly huddled down with us witnessing the first blast of my Father’s cannon.
The bamboo cannon created a huge thud awakening our town. It seemed to be a great replacement for firecrackers. Cheers and loud laughter ignited the night. Little by little the presence of Christmas air started to be felt. The church bell rang and everybody was on the street chatting, cheering and singing.
My family gathered altogether, brought the food outside, prayed and later eat. It was a simple celebration a plain but happy one, making me conclude that in the absence of bounty and in the midst of misfortune still there’s joy and to experience it one must try to believe it.
The night was filled with delight and truly my mom was right. God wouldn’t allow Christmas to be sad especially for us kids.
The bed was already prepared and it’s time to sleep. “It was a Christmas worth remembering” I said to myself. I then curled up on my bed and fell asleep.