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December 2019

Loving December

    I love December. I remember when I would look forward to one NCAA men’s basketball game, the much anticipated match-up between Louisville and Kentucky, and make plans with my buddies to watch it at a nearby restaurant (the one with a big screen television) after office hours. You can tell where my priorities are, right.

    I love December. I remember in the Philippines, when I was 12 years old, and my friends and I would brave the “chilly morning” before sunrise to hunt for spiders, the kind that lives in tall grass (cogon) and we can keep as our champion during our popular spider fighting games. You can tell where my memories are spiraling these days, right?

    I love December. I remember singing Christmas carols to our friends and waiting for cookies, bibingka, hot choco, and fun conversations. You can probably hear what I am singing right now, right?

    I love December. I remember the wedding and the snowstorm. Both events brought my friends closer to us (and to each other). I remember families coming together for a time of celebration, despite the deep snow and cold winter. You can tell why I am smiling right now, right?

    I love December. I remember puto bumbong from the nearby food stand, the much awaited lechon de leche from Butuan city, and the raucous noche buena (midnight meal) that follows. I remember drinking apple cider by the Christmas tree and watching our toddler children play and entertain the family. I remember the turkey, ham, pumpkin pie, and all sorts of goodies. You probably can tell by now how confused I am, associating the month of December with food and family, right?

    I love December. I remember the beach and the feel of sand going through my toes. A visit to the night market for a piece of grilled squid on a stick is always the highlight. I remember staying in a hotel room, exchanging gifts, and laughing over silly things and funny surprises my family has prepared for our annual tradition in Kenting. You can tell where I am right now, right?

    I love December. I remember listening to “Silent Night” and “Joy To The World.” I remember Michael Card’s “Immanuel, Our God Is With Us” song filling the living room of our home. I remember playing “O Come All Ye Faithful” on the piano. I remember the promise of his presence, the Prince of Peace, the Everlasting Father, the Comforter. You now know what my prayers are at this moment, right?