By 4pm, I was already home alone. My cousins had left for other parties, my mom and aunts went to the casino, and I was the only one left at home until the next morning. I was ready to mope around and cry about the lack of familial bonding, but then my best friend showed me that it could still be an amazing Christmas. Aileen knows for a fact that every year my family skimps out on huge celebrations and more often than not, I’m home doing nothing. And every year, she invites me over, and this year, I finally took her up on it and it was great. The best part of it was that I found other friends who’d been home doing nothing there, and it’s so nice that we could be saved from a lonely Christmas night by such a caring friend. Her family welcomed us with open arms (there was even name chanting heh) and I kinda felt like an extension of the Arsua family, as silly as that sounds. We spent the night dancing, playing games, and eating, and it was just a really simple but great time. Bottom line: I’m grateful that my friends are my family too. This Christmas brought me much more than I’d expected out of it and I thank God for that.