December 24, 2010 – 6:00am
The morning breaks with melancholy. I woke up today with the cold breeze of Christmas Eve morning touching my face. For the first time this year, the spirit of the Yuletide Season has finally reached me. I can already feel Christmas but it is definitely much different now compared when I was a little kid.
It was still a little bit dark when I stepped out of the house after grabbing a big mug of coffee and lighting a stick of cigarette. After inhaling my first round of cigarette smoke, I suddenly smelled the kind of Christmas when I was a young boy where Christmas had this particular distinctive smell. I can’t actually describe it. But to badly put it, it’s like the smell of home as soon as you step in to your house.
I can’t fully remember the last time I felt something like this but certainly I can recall my childhood’s Christmas Eve celebration. There was a growing excitement in sharing the simple and modest Noche Buena feast with my family, wearing the new pair of clothes that my mother bought and playing with the new toys with my childhood friends in the old 2nd Street in Angeles City.
Much anticipation was spent in playing with my friends during Christmas Eve than the actual Christmas itself. I guess that’s because December 25 was always reserved for a family reunion which I never really enjoyed as a young kid. My awareness of my family’s social status alienated me from bonding with my rich relatives every reunion. Unlike with my childhood friends in 2nd Street where we really celebrated the spirit of the Season on the street by just being together sharing all sorts of things.
In this moment of sharing with my young “barkada” came the distinct smell of Christmas.
I remember when we used to make Samurai swords out of “yantok” sticks, shuriken from soda bottle caps and t-shirts to cover our faces whenever we play ninja-ninja. We never needed expensive toys to enjoy Christmas. We only needed a little creativity and lots of imagination. We even had a story-line wherein we alternated for the role on who plays the good white ninja vs. the evil black ninja. I was nine years-old at that time and I had so much fun playing with David Sellers also known as Pok-pok. Arnold Oyan AKA Arnold Laki, Arnold Mendoza AKA Arnold Liit, Mario Bolocon and others. (One day, I would write a book about 2nd Street)
I guess I am just getting sentimental at the age of 34. Time flies so fast and before you knew it, you already have a different life and a different Christmas. It’s a grown-up life with a grown-up Christmas where the Season begins with countless Christmas parties and the hope of winning the major raffle prize.
I wish my daughter Raine would have her own distinctive smell of Christmas. Don’t grow up so fast my Raine.
Merry Christmas to all.
How about you, what is the ghost of your Christmas past?
Follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/joceldeguzman