Christmas lost its spark when I learned Santa Claus was not real. My excitement over hanging socks and waiting for Santa’s gifts made Christmas special, so Christmas became just an ordinary holiday for me when I learned the truth behind Santa as a kid.
My Christmases as a teenager were no better. Same old every year—my parents would drag me to family reunions (where I had no cousins my age) to eat the walang kamatayang buko salad, spaghetti and chocolate cake that were a staple, and wait miserably until we go home. If I was lucky I’d receive a present or two. And that was it. Honestly, I have always preferred Araw ng mga Patay…at least I could watch Shake, Rattle & Roll reruns during reunions, and upon getting home I raced to our TV set to not miss the Halloween Special of Magandang Gabi Bayan.
Christmas became a tad happier for me when I married your Tatay, as he has always been excited about Christmas. He was always jovial and always excited about Noche Buena. He is so childlike—Christmas has always been a big deal for him! His excitement rubbed a little off me, but most of the time I’d just humor him…I’ll just cook something special for Noche Buena and eat it with him. I thought Christmas would always be, mediocre at best, for me. I thought that nothing exciting would ever happen on Christmas.
And then Christmas 2010 happened. The whole day on December 25 that year, I was in labor. We were not expecting you for two more weeks, but then you were just so eager to change my perspective about Christmases! But since you probably wanted your birthday “to have an identity”, you waited a little and popped out of me at 12:10 a.m. on December 26.
It has been three years since you came into our lives. How I now view Christmas definitely changed: it has become extra special! And even better, every day with you has become Christmas for us! You gift us with your smiles, your laughter, the funny things that you do and say practically every second.
And no one else could give us that gift! After the birthday of Jesus Christ is your birthday! And next to the gift of eternal life that Jesus Christ’s birth gave the world, the gift of eternal pride and happiness that your birth gave us is the best gift ever.
Tonight, as I remembered that the celebrations are far from over because tomorrow is your big day, a surge of nostalgia enveloped me. I’m amazed at how far you’ve come! From being an ugly baby…
…you’ve become an ugly toddler (joke!);
and from being a helpless tot…
…you’ve become Spider-man!
…and sometimes Superman
or Capt. America (pero pusong Spider-man pa rin!)
Raviv Baby, I’ll never be the perfect Nanay for you. When you grow up, I expect you to regale people of tales of me as an impatient, selfish, and lazy mom. But I promise you that you’ll have more stories to tell of how annoying I am as a mom because:
- I will always hug you you need it and even more when you think you don’t need it
- I will staunchly defend you from everyone in public but berate you privately
- I will make a big fuss over anything that has something to do with you
I will embarrass you because I find everything you do cute and share it to everyone
- and I will never give up on you and never cease from loving you even when you feel unworthy, and would rather feel unloved
I love you Ravivo! I of course have so many dreams for you—I won’t deny that. But I love you so much that in the end, I know your dreams will come before mine. And it will be easy, because I just have to remember that beginning one Christmas day, you made each day with you feel like a wonderful dream. At this point, you’ve done more than your share.
Raviv, happy, happy, happy birthday!
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