Christmas 2016 is the first for me and my husband in Spain. We decided to keep things simple and peaceful here in our local community of La Herradura. It is more fun in the Philippines during Christmas and it will be forever etched in my heart, but it doesn’t hurt to experience something new.
The day before Christmas we attended the Living Belén at the Plaza de La Independencia in La Herradura. The event reminded me of the Philippines. The Christmas story is a popular theme all over the Christian world during Christmas. But I have not watched it being performed in different corners of a plaza. In the Philippines, usually, all the acts are done on the stage. In La Herradura, the actors used the whole plaza and ended up on the main stage for the final scene. The organizers want us to feel that we as an audience is part of the story and the stable was placed as far from the lighted stage as possible— a good symbolic grip. It was a nice spectacle. I loved the fire around the four corners of the plaza, shops in the middle of it, big light-bells, poinsettias, colorful costumes, and the cute newborn baby as Jesus in the arms of Maria (played by a waitress from one of our favorite restaurants here.)
On Christmas Eve, my husband and I went to dinner with traditional Norwegian foods prepared by some friends of ours in a local restaurant borrowed for the evening. As we walked towards the restaurant, I heard the sound of firecrackers that reminded my childhood. Firecrackers have been banned in Davao City for many years now, but the sharp booms reminded me of my origin, and that I am now in The Motherland of the Philippines, and I was happy to hear echoes from my past.
This Christmas Day has been one of the softest in my life with a late Philippine rice breakfast and a Norwegian herring lunch in the sun on the balcony with my husband. As I grow older, I know that real kindness lies in small caring gestures, and that is what The Christmas Story is all about. I wish you all a continued calm and peaceful Holiday!