Random Thoughts on Christmas Eve

We’re having a rainy Christmas eve in Manila. I don’t want to go out of the house and join the holiday craziness. Hence, this post. 😛

Less than a week ago, I was waist-deep in office work, shoot-related tasks, personal errands, Christmas get-togethers and compliances (ie, kris kringle, etc., which could get more stressful than work. Hehe). Then my schedule had to shift abruptly to give way to the Christmas season. It felt like running at full speed, not gradually slowing down and slamming against a wall. At the onset of the Christmas break, I suddenly felt regretful for not making better plans – well, for not making any plans at all – for this vacation. How could I not make any major plans for this two-week break?? I was too caught up in the busyness to think about the break (also, I used up all my funds from my recent Australia trip. Hehe). And when your heart is filled with regret, you attract other negative feelings and fail to appreciate what is before you. Lately, I’ve caught myself complaining about the traffic and other irritating things, including spillover concerns over stuff I was dealing with before the break, which I shouldn’t even be thinking about now.

In church last Sunday, I was convicted to set aside all negative thoughts about the season and to remember why we’re celebrating Christmas in the first place. I was reminded that I should use this opportunity to be a blessing to others, to be like Christ to other people. I was also reminded to be grateful for everything; to focus on what is good and pleasing to God. So instead of dwelling on the negative, I’d like to post some of the things I’m thankful for since last year, including photos from Christmas last year that I haven’t posted yet:

I’m thankful for the chance to experience Christmas in the US last year, to spend it with my brother’s family. I realized it’s been more than ten years since we last spent the holidays together. (Also thankful for Nando’s chicken :)) )

I’m thankful that I’m able to spend quality time with the folks here this time, to have bonding time with my parents and sister’s family even it means braving the traffic together or spending hours waiting at my mom’s doctors office; or going to Megamall together, finding gifts for each other at the last minute :))

I’m thankful for the vacation, for giving me time to rest, to do errands and to just pause and reflect about life. Yes, everyone needs that. 😉

I’m thankful for the food on the table and for boxes and boxes of sweets given as gifts :))

I’m thankful for the chance to take photos of families this season and to share special moments with them. Photography (and/or art) is the only type of work I’m willing to do during vacation 😀

These photos were taken a day after Christmas at National Harbor in Maryland with my brother’s family and my sister-in-law’s relatives. We had lunch at Nando’s then the kids went ice skating. It wasn’t the ideal skating rink hehe but it was cheap and they had fun. We also saw the Peeps marshmallow mascot. :))

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Merry Christmas to all and may we all continue to have grateful hearts. 🙂

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