Christmas has always been my most favorite time of the year,
both sides of my family have always went above and beyond to spread the Christmas cheer.
No matter the circumstances, Christmas always came on time,
our family got together, we enjoyed each other’s company, and everything was just fine.
As a kid, you don’t really feel the magnitude of what it means to be present and just be there,
until the people you love get older, some are gone, and you realize the holidays can be unfair.
Last Christmas, Christmas wasn’t Christmas-ing the way it used to,
it was the first Christmas without Tatay, and it was so different than what we knew.
Oh, what a year’s time can do!
I laugh a little because it’s true.
The holidays looked completely different for me and the Cabillo family this year.
I say this because more than half of the family weren’t even here.
I never really understood what it was like to have a good chunk of the family not near.
In fact, if you know anything about me, you’ll know that’s one of my greatest fears.
This year brought a lot of changes and relocations to say the least,
but that doesn’t mean that the holiday celebrations should just cease.
Phone calls, texting, sharing pictures and videos of all our different celebrations,
it still felt like we were all together, even if we’re in different locations.
Ironically, we are closer than ever before,
the distance makes us appreciate the quality time that much more.
Tatay is no longer here to celebrate with us in person,
but I know he’s proud of the way we remained close, and I know that for certain.
In my dreams he’s still present at our family events,
and in my heart I know he’s still there and that makes me more content.
On the flip side, the Cruz family was finally almost all together at last.
This Christmas celebration was bigger than most of the parties in the recent past.
I looked around at all the new faces and new family additions,
even coming up with some new family traditions.
I thought to myself, “If only Mama and Tatay could be here to see what they created,”
I started to feel a little sad, but then I changed my perspective and retranslated…
“Look at this huge family that they left behind, one that still gathers,
togetherness is all they cared about, and that’s all that really matters.”
It’s been so long since I’ve celebrated a Christmas with them both,
but on the flip side, look at the whole family’s growth!
I guess Christmas will never always look the same,
but it’s nice to look back and see how far we all have came.
Some have passed on, some will move away, and some will remain right here,
so enjoy the moment because it’ll never be exactly the same year after year.
So Merry Christmas to those near or far,
especially to the guardian angels who watch over us where ever we are.
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