[12052013] Christmas Cheer

Today I found the Christmas spirit in a Japanese restaurant in a nook of the mall. I’ve never encountered the bubbliest and warmest  bunch of waiters and attendants in my whole life of dining out. 

It was nearing seven o’clock in the evening, and you would expect the kitchen and service staff to be feeling the fatigue of working all day. But these people surprised me and my companions for the night when they greeted us in a genuinely cheery voice, handing us our menus and patiently waiting for us to pick our orders. All throughout the night the service was impeccable. They showed us and explained to us how their dishes worked, because it had a “ritual,” and by ritual it meant what sauces to mix, what to do with this certain piece of meat, etc. I was full of food and air the whole night - from eating and from laughing respectively. Our server was all too amusing, she was so young! At twenty-one, she only had a year ahead of me, but life was in her hands. 

I’m happy to see that there are people who remain genuine despite the mechanization of activity - where you enter a restaurant, order, eat, pay and leave. No interaction or socialization whatsoever with the people who assist and serve you all night. I believe the kitchen staff, the servers, the managers, supervisors - everyone at the restaurant deserved even just a smile and an encouragement for well-executed service, and absolutely beautiful and warm hospitality. 

I know Christmas might be just another work day for them, but then again, I hope to see them receive what is due them; a good Christmas pay, a warm meal, an uplifting word, and a cheery smile to let them know that they are appreciated and acknowledged. 

We should learn to appreciate the people who work behind the scenes, those who sacrifice to give us comfort. These are the people who know no rest even when the whole world is resting. 

Here’s to the people who work on Christmas or on any holiday. Here’s to all of you who deserve much more. Here’s to all of you who are blessings in disguise. Here’s to all of you: you know you will be rewarded for your hardwork and your heart. 

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Merry Christmas, everyone!

I’m sure you’d all understand I missed the last few days of the countdown, because of the holiday festivities. The celebrations began the weekend before Christmas, and there was simply no way to get online and post thoughts and reflections.

I do hope and pray that you all had a meaningful, lovely, and definitely memorable Christmas celebration. Remember that you don’t need to wait for Christmas to give love and presents, to be nice, to do something special for your loved ones. 

Don’t waste all the other 364 days of the year. Send out all the love and happiness. Choose to forgive, to be patient, to be understanding. 

Happy holidays, Merry Christmas and may you be blessed even more! New Year’s just around the corner!

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Thank you to everyone who followed and supported this Christmas countdown. I pray that you all enjoyed reading, and will grab these little reflections as your own, and find in you the heart to go on, to celebrate, to love and share, and to live. :) 

[12/14-16] Cumulative Weekend Thoughts

Sometimes, we become too caught up in Christmas preparations that when it’s all over, we cannot appreciate fully what we have done. We treat is as a requirement to be finished before the deadline. It doesn’t have to be like that.

Our fulfillment from preparing for Christmas activities should be from the thought, not the result. Because when things don’t go the way we planned, we can’t appreciate fully what we’ve done. 

Let’s take a moment to realize that if we have the capacity to hold events and prepare activities for Christmas, we are blessed. How many people can throw several Christmas parties for different sets of friends and family? Other people are thankful that they would be able to spend it with a complete family, or at least one meal together. 

I realized this today, after all the preparations for the Christmas party at my Sunday School. I was stressing (as usual) over preparations, because in my mind, I  had an ideal outcome. Now, I already warned myself that it most probably would not turn out the way I planned exactly, which was what happened. 

The party was this Sunday morning. At the beginning, I was too blinded and distracted by circumstances, I was not able to bask in the fact that the kids were starry-eyed and excited for the party. Thank goodness I was able to see all of that before it ended. I let go and enjoyed myself, even if I did embarrass myself with that dance we did. But I have no regrets! I’m glad the kids enjoyed themselves. We would’ve pushed for something far, far better, but the time constraint prevented us from thinking way out of the box. No matter, next year will be a door for new opportunities. I’ve learned so many things this year, and it’ll be a great stepping stone for next year’s plans.

In closing, I just want to say that oftentimes we are too preoccupied with the irrelevant things that we forget the things in front of us that scream Christmas, love and contentment. Seeing the happy faces of the kids as we gave them Christmas gifts made me realize that these kids have all the reason to smile. It may not have been perfect the way I see it to be, but to them, having a celebration and enjoying the little things made it a great party. 

I’ll leave you with a line from our worship song at the party today,as we remember again why we celebrate this occasion: Christmas is a time to love.


Oh look, yet another Christmas TV special! How touching to have the meaning of Christmas brought to us by cola, fast food, and beer…. Who’d have ever guessed that product consumption, popular entertainment, and spirituality would mix so harmoniously?
—  Bill Watterson, The Essential Calvin and Hobbes
An Introduction

Twenty days to Christmas is a pretty ideal time frame, personally, to be pondering and reflecting upon this holiday which we eagerly await year after year. We all have our own entitlement of opinions and beliefs as to why we celebrate Christmas - all with the central relevance of commemorating Christ’s birth. 

It has been ingrained in us, it seems, to celebrate Christmas. It’s become mandatory, and sadly, it has taken away the Christmas spirit in us. We buy presents for our loved ones, set up the tree, hang up tinsel and lights, prepare a Christmas feast for the family, and yet it is all but a routine. Because we’re expected to do so. You are a grinch if you don’t “celebrate” Christmas. 

As the cliche goes, “Christmas is about Jesus, not Santa Clause, not the presents, not the holiday ham, not the snow, and for those working - not about the holiday pay. The aforementioned brings us joy, so why shouldn’t it be the reasons for Christmas? 

I do believe that these materialistic things, these society-appeasing gestures are secondary and are the end result of putting Christ in the center of it all. I mean, He wouldn’t want us to sulk at Christmas, with empty palms. But Matt.6:33 gives us a heads up - Jesus first, and we shall then receive our heart’s desires. 

Gifts, parties, caroling, feasting - these are manifestations of joy and thanksgiving of Christ’s birth. I mean, it really is a celebration. 

So why not put in a lot of love into Christmas? And even beyond the holiday, we’re bound to experience love and joy and happiness when we will ourselves to live in the fact that Christ is alive, Christ was sent by God, and that He is our source of joy. 

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