MADANG - As I lay in bed in the early hours of the morning, my mind drifted to the pictures I took of the Christmas tree in the office.
And then the theme from that Alvin and the Chipmunks movie played over and over in my head, “Christmas, Christmas time is near, time for joy and time for cheer”.
I thought of what I should do for my children and their father this Christmas, and was taken back to my own childhood years where there were presents under the tree every Christmas and where we believed Santa Claus truly existed.
We would leave cakes or biscuits and milk for Santa. Someone, probably dad, would eat them but we were convinced it was Santa who, with his helpers, had left the presents.
Sometimes dad would wake us in the middle of the night and tell us to come quickly or we’d miss seeing Santa.
We would rush outside and see footprints and be told we’d missed him and his the sleigh just by seconds.
As we kids got older, we tried to make Christmas for our younger siblings just as memorable.
One Christmas my baby brother wanted a bike so badly that he prayed for it every night.
We encouraged him in his prayers and told him that the good Lord would hear them and that Santa would bring him a bike.
Come Christmas Eve my brother was so excited he could not sleep, and when we told him Santa would soon make a stop at our house he could barely contain his excitement.
He clasped his hands together and whispered, “aiyo, mi laik krai”. I was moved to tears when I heard these words.
That was the last time we spent Christmas together as a family. There had been so many wonderful Christmases together, sharing great excitement and joy.
We do not have Christmases like that anymore. My parents separated and we grew up and scattered all over the place.
But I thank God for showing my siblings and me the true spirit of Christmas through our parents in those innocent years.
I hope I can do the same for my children: have them experience the true meaning of Christmas.