For the nth time, I will be celebrating Christmas away from home, away from my country. I stayed in countries where Christmas isn’t a spectacular event, the reason why I miss the said season.
For more than two decades, a personal experience of course, as soon as the calendar shouted December, carols begin to dominate the air. Reds and greens paint the town as if they are the only colors. Smiles and the words “Merry Christmas” are plastered on everyone’s faces. Kids singing their hearts out just to receive a peso or two – priceless! So much joy exudes from everyone.
But what I remember the most is the triple celebration our family usually did. LOL. I thought its because my parents just want to lessen the expenses. Its Christmas-birthday-New Year celebration all in one, unlucky for me as can only have one gift each year. Haha! Yes, my birthday is between Christmas and New Year. Oftentimes, my birthday is also our family reunion time. During these, I take my hats off to my mother who is the queen of the kitchen. Her foods are incomparable as my biased tongue would attest. To us, she is our Kitchen Señora.
to each other as she mantles cold banana
leaves on the wooden table,
guarded by two acacia trees.
The bermuda grass curses
her careless steps --- dashing back and forth.
Like a sprint queen, she carries edible torches
and lays them on the platform.
The black-sauced pasta
and bronzed turkey, baklava cake
and chrysanthemum salads she prepares,
festoon the old lamesa
The approach of familiar voices signals,
she hand-strikes her hair, quickly wipes
her sweat and positions near the door,
Welcome, my dear children
another family reunion looms.
As I celebrate this Christmas alone (again), the thoughts of the food she prepared are enough to comfort me to celebrate this season. I’ll be seeing them again soon, maybe this March or May.
Merry Christmas everyone!