Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Our First Ever Christmas: Keeping Christ in Christmas

"I’m participating in the Keeping Christ in Christmas Blog Carnival, hosted by Raising (& Teaching) Little SaintsTruly Rich Mom and Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families. We'll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Jesus as the Reason for the Christmas season. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries.”

Last year, it was only me and my baby celebrating her first Christmas as hubby was an OFW. Waking very early and bringing my then 3 month old baby to the 9 days Misa de Gallo/ Simbang Gabi was a challenge. That was a sacrifice I had to make to keep Christ in our Christmas alive. I don't want me and my baby to get caught up with the consumerism the holiday season (unintentionally, i hope) brings and forget what Christmas is really about. It is tempting to drown ourselves with material things and short-lived happiness with our current set-up. I get guilty sometimes that my then newborn has to spend the most wonderful time of the year without her dad and buy her a lot of stuff to compensate. But I have to be wiser (in spending) and be stronger in faith... For this season is not about me or my baby. It is about the birth of baby Jesus and visiting Him is the best gift we could give Him.

This year will be the first Christmas we will spend together as a family-- me, hubby and baby. And I want it to be a special one since it will be the start of our family being together every holiday season. My mind is busy combining my family's and my husband's family's holiday tradition to make our own version of Christmas tradition --and of course, to still not stray away from the true meaning of Christmas. There is so many planning going through my head --From what we will serve during Christmas dinner, when to give gifts, when to go to mass, what we do on the eve of and on Christmas day, etc. However, we are now in a country without Christmas. Boo. We still intend to celebrate this season but with full respect for the rules and beliefs of the country we are in. No decors, parties and gift giving like the ones we do back home (Philippines). We will celebrate Christ's birth in a simple and meaningful way we can -- and start our Family Christmas Tradition.

I will try to find Simbang Gabi online and watch them together with my family... Like what we will probably do if we were back home. Since we can't visit Jesus in His home, we will just bring Him in our home. There are a lot of sites streaming TV programs online. I just hope they'll include Dawn Masses. Anyway, there's this site we always visit for our daily mass.

We will include birthday cake in our Christmas Dinner menu to celebrate Jesus' birthday. I got the idea from my aunt-in-law. No birthday is ever complete without the cake. Hihi. Pansit or spaghetti will most probably be on the table too as it is a Filipino/Chinese tradition to have such during birthdays to have  long life. Christmas dinner will be Jesus' birthday party. I'll probably let my toddler make a wish as she blows the candle on the cake.

We will do a 'good deed of the year' before the 25th. It will be like the grand(est) sacrifice or deed in return for the life Jesus gave for us. This I think will be our ultimate Family Christmas tradition that we will do for the years to come. I'm thinking sending donations to the 'victors' of typhoon pablo. Or maybe send gifts for the Filipinos in prison here.

We will not forego of the Christmas carols (volume minimized of course) and gift giving with our small family and some friends.

We have put up our simple and very discreet Christmas tree and some handmade decors inside our home just to have that holiday vibe amidst this Christmas-celebration-is-unpopular-part-of-the-world. No religious items though as they are forbidden here (and we totally respect that. We don't really need relics and icons when we practice our faith anyway.)

We are watching "Baby Jesus is Born"  every night with our little one. It's another kiddie way of introducing and keeping Christ in Christmas.

Keeping Christ in our Christmas is a challenge with all the worldly things and the twisted morals (in my opinion) around us and the geographic location we are in. I just do hope that in our simple ways, my family will not forget about Christ in Christmas or in any season, no matter where we are in the world.

Let me end this post with a wonderful Yuletide carols:

Have a Happy CHRISTmas!

You might want to read:

Homeschool Mosaics: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Joy: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Advent Interruptions
The Breadbox Letters: Interrupted by Glory
TwentyTuesdayAfternoons: Keeping Christ in Christmas/ The Season of Giving / A Wee Bit of Beach Holiday Angst
The Learning Basket: Staying With the Nativity Story
Tercets: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Rosary Mom: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Ate Maui: Hoping and Bringing Hope
Written By the Finger of God: 12 Traditions for Keeping Christ in Christmas
Dominique's Desk: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Felix at Fifty: What Jesus Wants for Christmas
Mommy Bares All: Birthday Cake for the Birthday Boy on Christmas Day
Between Now and Later: Keeping Christ in Christmas, I am trying...
Lique's Antics: Family Antics: Christmas Reflection
Life of Fortunate Chances: Our First Ever Christmas: Keeping Christ in Christmas
The Mommy Journey: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Roller Coaster Ride: How to Remind Your Kids of Jesus Christ This Christmas
Cymplified: Christ -Centered Christmas: Cymplified!
Mountain Grace: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Touring Kitty: Grown-up Christmas List
Mommy Chinkysoup for the Soul: A Very Special Christmas
City Girl, Country Home: Finding Jesus in a Flurry
Coffee Moments with Sam: Christmas Unwrapped: 5 Presents Our Kids Truly Deserve
Raising Lifelong Learners: Keeping Christ in Christmas
The Diary of a Sower: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Celebrating the Golden Days
Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Raising (and Teaching) Little Saints: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Truly Rich Mom: The Greatest Gift of All This Christmas
Joy-Filled Family: CHRIST in Christmas
Blueberry 010: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Jesus is the Reason for the Season
Deeper Truth Blog: Keeping Christ in Christmas Carnival
Holy Ducklings: 10 Ways to Make Advent Special for Your Little Ducklings
Green Eggs and Moms: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Green Eggs & Moms Style!


Nancy Shuman said...

May you have a blessed, holy, joyful CHRISTMAS with your dear family!

noreen said...

Our church has our Simbang Gabi celebration tonight. We've been participating in a week long novena which includes cultural festivities too. Enjoy your first Christmas! God Bless. I came over from the link up.

Cym Marzan said...

Glad you could be complete as a family this Christmas. Although you cannot really celebrate Christmas there, being simple in commemorating Jesus' birth would be wonderful as Christmas would be more focused on Him than on the gifts and merriment.

Tina Santiago-Rodriguez said...

Hi Precious! :) So sorry for the late comment. Thank you SO much for joining the carnival! :) I know it's challenging to celebrate our faith in a country where there are many "forbidden" things, but I honor you for doing your best to do so! :) Praise God that at least your family is complete now! :) Praying for you! God bless always!

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