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This Is How Christmas Looks Like Now

They say, there’s a season for everything. A season to laugh, a season to cry. A season to dance, a season to be still. A season to celebrate and, this case, a season to mourn.

2 months before the biggest celebration of the year, we were mourning. It was almost Christmas and my Dad had just passed away. What should have been the most wonderful time of the year turned into the most heartbreaking time.

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Knowing how fond he was of the bright lights, bibingka, simbang gabi and awesome gifts — it is safe to say he was in love with the holiday season. We knew in our hearts we must still celebrate it no matter what… even without him.

Instead of just going through the same old yearly plans, we decided to make it a little different this year. We made it a celebration of his life — a life he lived well.

So despite our mourning, we gathered our Christmas decorations. We put up his favorite white tree, designed it just the way he liked it. We hung some parols and colorful garlands all over the place. We dressed up the entire house made it look happy.

My mom prepared a feast for Noche Buena. She didn’t cook our usual holiday staples, she made it extra special this year. Our menu: only Dad’s favorite – that includes Adobong Pusit.

We also wrote Dad a handwritten Christmas card. We know he will not be able to read it at all, but we just wanted to let him know that we will still spend the holidays remembering him in our hearts.

All of these we did, not just for the sake of the holidays, but for him.

Truly, the way we celebrated the season may be a little bit different now, but we did it with the same spirit and for even more important reasons!

Dad may be gone but he will forever be in our hearts. He will forever be part of our lives, part of our festivities, part of our every season. He will forever be family and our Christmases will always be celebrated with him.

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