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Christmas Lesson

Without a doubt, this Christmas was the most painful one yet. I am hoping it will not be outdone in the future, but I am also merely thankful for the family that God has given me. I have not appreciated them enough, and over the weekend, I just felt like the Prodigal Son (well, daughter).

That being said, I am glad that my sister practically dragged me out of bed to join the family for Noche Buena. Being surrounded by people who love and accept you no matter what - that is priceless. A good reminder that we ought to be the same with those who are important to us!

This Christmas, there were several family members who couldn't be with us, but it was still a good celebration. The bottom line for me: There are times when you need to put aside your own issues for those important to you.

Now for proof snapshots of the evening.
Paul, Mark, and Dad getting ready to chop up the lechon!
Tito Nonoy doing the lechon in.
In the Philippines, lechon is a tradition for festivities. As you can see, it's a whole pig slow roasted for hours and hours. The result? Tasty and tender meat with crispy skin! Even those who have high blood pressure issues take a bite, though!
About half of the family getting ready to say grace.
My uncle said grace, and it was beautiful. It was just a blessing to see everyone there, healthy and happy.
With Sam and Ninang Pearl

Elijah having fun.

Nana wanting a nice pic, but the kids just staring at everything else.
The younger cousins are growing up so fast!

Of course, the kids were looking forward to the highlight: tearing their gifts open. Here are a couple of photos of Sam and Eli enjoying their gifts.

Nothing like tearing the wrapping paper.

This is what the piggy bank money bought, apparently!

Thank you!
At the end of the day, this is what matters most. Some were missing - my dad ate too much lechon and was fast asleep on the couch and our grandma was just busted at this point - but this photo is an awesome reminder of the great family that we have.

Balagtas Family
To end, here is a quote from Dr. Seuss, which was brought to my attention by a good friend:

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. 

How was your Christmas? I hope that it was meaningful for you. Now here's to a hopeful New Year!


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