It’s that time of the year again, everything is so festive, the weather in Manila suddenly feels a few degrees cooler. Every time December comes along, I also can’t help thinking about my mom and our yearly traditions. This is usually the time when my mom is the busiest, packing gifts left and right, groceries and shopping left and right. And on the eve of Christmas a bustling kitchen with all the magical smells of something roasting, boiling, baking, and roasting.
There was an unwritten rule when my mom was in the kitchen, don’t bug her, so I would just watch her from time to time or I would exclaim in excitement what food she’d be cooking for the evening. When Christmas approached we would go to our yearly evening mass in the village and go back home. The customary family picture not lost in the blur of activity, mama still hustling and bustling and adding the final touches to her dish. And at the appointed hour, we’d settle to a wonderful feast.
Ever since my mom passed on we’ve continued the tradition, we can’t stop and I don’t think we want to abandon the tradition. This year and those in the past, we have spent Christmas either at my brother’s place or at my sister’s. The little touches that defined our Christmas, the red table cloth, the gold utensils, the cheery Filipino Christmas songs, and the layers upon layers of food. To finish the whole ensemble, a picture of our mother, always accompanying us during these moments that remind us of her.