3 years of Christmas with Akira

Christmas is for children, that much I am sure. I’ve long been indifferent to Christmases, but having Akira changed that.

Take a look at our Christmases for the past 3 years. Whether it is a simple celebration at home or an adventure out-of-town, this little girl has never failed to light up the room and make the holidays extra bright and cheery for all of us.

She was pretty much the only incentive we had for bothering to celebrate at all, and make the occasion special somewhat. So worth it. I will also try to keep it up for as long as I can.

Here’s Christmas 2013:

Even before Akira came along, we’ve split the holiday season between my folks and J’s. They came over at around the 30th of December for this one, so it’s Christmas with the Oblifias family and New Year with the Tans.

This is the year she got a touch and feel version of The Gruffalo, which is such a fun book to have at 8 months old. She also likes ripping wrapping paper this early.

Here’s Christmas 2014:

2014 was a Christmas Eve hotel hop from Shangri-la Makati, to Manila Hotel, and then to Sofitel. My mom was enamoured with how Manila’s top hotels went all out with their Christmas trees and decorations, and even with the staff’s Christmas themed outfits.

Manila Hotel in particular, will always be a classic Christmas location with their delicious bibingka and puto bungbong.

Here’s Christmas 2015, Baguio City:

Ah. This was our first time to have a cold, local Christmas, and our first time to celebrate Christmas somewhere else other than home.

While we were certainly treated to cold, sweater-weather, we also didn’t expect heavy Baguio traffic jams, particularly near popular tourist spots. We went to La Trinidad for strawberry picking, and at 11 am, didn’t expect for the place to be picked clean by tourists already.

I can probably do this again if it meant staying at The Manor at Camp John Hay, but it would take a whole lot to convince J to go up there for Christmas again. He has a tendency to get traditional (bordering square) over holidays, plus he really abhors traffic jams. Even if he’s not the one driving.

Which bring us to this year’s Christmas.

Christmas at the Tans was a low-key affair. This year was the first time for us to actually spend it here at our new home.

We sent our help home so she could celebrate with her own family. My brother slept over and cooked. We bought roast beef all the way from Marikina. My parents came over and brought presents. We had wine, and I finally opened the bottle of Passport my good friend got me.

We had no Christmas tree, or belen, or a parol. There was no ham or queso de bola either.

But our bellies were full, as well as our home. What our place lacked in Christmas lights it made up for in true holiday spirit.

Our little girl knows it’s baby Jesus in the crib surrounded by the sheep and camels. She is delighted by every present, regardless of what it is and who gave it. And surprisingly, she was able to part with her old toys when I told her they will go to other children that don’t have any.

She really got Christmas. And it is beautiful to witness. It is something we hope to nurture well into her adulthood, and in me, too, since she started the spark.

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