No season knows tradition better than the holiday season. This time of year is packed with tradition, whether cultural (like your office Monito/Monita), religious (Simbang Gabi is starting soon!), or those traditions that we’ve started ourselves. What’s common about these traditions, though, is that they all foster the spirit of togetherness with loved ones.
My favorite holiday traditions do involve spending time with my loved ones. This is the second of my five-part Christmas Joys series, and let me share with you two of my favorite holiday traditions, spent with family and best friends.
Favorite Tradition #1: Girls’ Night Out
My first favorite tradition is our barkada Christmas celebration. There’s always one weekend every December when the girls and I would check into a hotel, get dressed, have dinner, and go clubbing (which we do only once or twice a year). We go back to the hotel at 2 or 3am, have a good sleep, then wake up to yummy hotel breakfast the following morning. Before checking out, we distribute our gifts to each other and recall all the craziness of the previous night. The photo on the left was taken in Christmas of 2012. In 2013, we no longer went out to party but had a simple game night instead. I’m not sure if we’re going clubbing this year (I guess we’re getting old!), but what’s important is that we’re able to spend time together this Christmas season as a sign of thanksgiving for the year that was. I had a great year with these girls, and I’m looking forward to next week.
Favorite Tradition #2: Giving Back
This photo of me with my sisters and my cousins was taken by my cousin Terry in Christmas of 2010 during our party for our household help. On December 25 every year, we hold a special Christmas party for our household help and their families. We’ve been doing this for as long as I remember. Our parents used to be in charge of this party when we were younger but now that we’re all adults, my cousins and I have taken over organizing it. Our household helpers and drivers have been with us for 10, 15, 20+ years, and we consider all of them part of our family. This is our way of giving thanks to them for their loyal service and dedication, for being pillars of our household all these years. It’s always a night of thanksgiving, good food, dancing, laughter, and prizes. I’m excited for December 25!
Favorite Tradition #3: Christmas Eve Mass
Of course, the reason for the season is JESUS. It’s his birthday! I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate it than with my family and in our neighborhood. The Christmas Eve Mass in our village parish is just majestic, with our choir’s choice of songs and angelic voices reminding us of the real meaning of Christmas.
What are YOUR favorite Christmas traditions? Share in the comment section below! May you have a meaningful holiday season with your loved ones this year.