Warning: Not for the Grinch or those suffering the Holiday Blues. This is dedicated to Aileen’s Paskong Pinoy compilation.
If you have read our love story, you would know that this is our 30th Christmas together of which seven years were spent physically apart from each other. Those seven Christmases were spent with my dad and siblings in Cebu. You can imagine what it was like for a lovestruck couple like us who had no means of communication during the two week break. Sure, there was the expensive long distance calls which needed an operator to get a connection. Suffice it to say that all he could manage to blurt out was Merry Christmas…how are you?…sige, expensive na. Love you. bye. which reminds me of that Smart commercial over the radio. No lovers’ conversation. No time to swoon or babble sweet nothings. Nada.
Lucky for most couples these days, there is email, text messaging, cellphone calls, video chat and what not. I yearned to be with my boyfriend during Christmas day but I knew that my family of origin was my number one priority. The meaning of Christmas is about God’s love that He brought Jesus Christ to this world. Christmas is about love , the love and joy of family. I understood that well.
To make up for the physical separation, the 18 year old Butch started this brillant idea of having an annual Christmas dinner date tradition where we celebrated the Christmas message of love. Our love. On our first Christmas date together by the Manila Bay, the hopelessly romantic Butch held my hand and pointed our hands towards the moon as if we were holding the moon together. In the most seductive voice, he whispered to my ears:
don’t worry, my love. Even if we are not together on Christmas day, just stare at the moon. Hold it and know that I am holding it too. We are together in spirit. The moon sees us.
Deeply touched and giddy all over, the equally hopelessly romantic me almost cried at his sappiness. He assured me that this separation was only temporary and that we would be spending Christmas for the rest of our lives. Every Christmas day in Cebu for the next 7 years, I strolled outside my home standing there by the garden, blanketed by the twinkling stars trying to hold the moon and knowing that Butch would do the same. (of course, I cannot vouch that he was doing the same.)
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