Its not technically Christmas yet, but then I’m at home with nothing much to do, which hasn’t been the practice for the past few years. I’d usually be at my brother’s place in Laguna with the pamangkin’s. Slept most of the day, and waking up early evening, it doesn’t look like my kuya and I will be making the 3-4 hour trek today.
Christmas eve started early as I woke up before my workday alarm, hungry, since the only thing I did after arriving home last night was open the gate, slide the house-door, put aside the gifts for the kids, put down bag, go to room, take away the day’s garments of filth, lie down in bed and sleep. The commute home was done by ditching the provincial bus beeline of people, which already stretched to another terminal. Ditching the line involves waiting for everyone to be seated and waiting for the bus conductor’s instructions that there was still room to stand along the aisle. It was Christmas eve’s eve, and I’m scared of the NLEX traffic situation, so I boarded.
An hour before that I was at a toy sale, and what I expected to be an easy task turned out to be like all my other presumed easy tasks: it took me a rather long to decide what to buy. Two boys, an eight year-old and a five year-old, should be a fairly easy duo to buy toys for, but then the eldest, Enzo, who’s my godson as well, as far as I can remember, was into Beyblade’s, or something like that. My brothers and I grew up salivating over Mazinger Z (their generation), and Voltron (my time), what’s this fuss about a multi-colored top? I almost settled on a big-boxed Pokemon arena thing, but I found out later it needed some effort to construct. My nephew’s haven’t shown any patience to do that, so yes boys, you will get Transformers.
I prep’d myself to have a more difficult time looking for my lone three year-old niece’s gift. An educational toy? I bet her siblings would have those old plastic shape sorters already to contend with. A stuffed toy? A doll? The store didn’t have one to my liking. Those Dora doll sets? I wouldn’t have an idea if she’s kikay enough. Anyway, this year, she’ll get Play Doh, with a machine to squeeze-to-shape it with.
Since staying at the house today was unexpected, there’s no festive food. I was bent on just buying from Baliwag (for inihaw na liempo, which would be a treat for me, since I’ve shunned red meat for about a month already, except for special occasions), and Sr. Pedro for the lechon manok, but then I had kuya make that errand while I prepare soup. If there were any Campbell’s in the cupboard, I would’ve settled for that, but alas, there was none, and I settled for something I wouldn’t usually cook: sopas.
That takes care of breakfast though, since I have work tomorrow, Christmas day. Not a sad bit at all, since I wouldn’t have to entertain house guests all-day tomorrow, who, mostly, I don’t know by name. By face, sure, I might’ve come across them around our little neck of the woods (literally, woods, and rice paddies, too). It’s not that I’m a snob (insert LMAO smiley here) but I was a kid before and I know that this house-to-house walkabout is really just to get as much money as you can.
I take exception on blood relatives, of course. Yes, I do believe that Christmas is really just for kids, but my kuya does the standard macaroni salad merienda preparations and the handing out of crisp 20 peso bills, 50 or a 100 even if you’re a godson or god-daughter of anyone in the family, why would I even think of taking over that role?
Most people I know would probably treat themselves to a new phone, or new gadget this time. I didn’t give in, like last year, when I got my Nokia E63, which, as I understand, pretty much does what these uso Blackberry’s do, minus the cool-and-trendy factor. An mp3 player? My Sansa Clip still lives and is pretty capable (the key-lock doesn’t work sometimes, a minor nuisance), and though at a very limited 8GB, it really is just adjusting the way you think when you deal with these things: its something you listen podcasts, audiobooks with, listen to new albums, during the daily commute to and from work. Anything else? No, not really. If I were to work or be relocated somewhere else for a few months or years, where I can’t go home to my music library, that’s another case.
I’ve been thinking of getting my childhood dream toy, a Voltron robot, the original, lion-force version. My eyes would go sparkly and I would close always close my eyes to wish upon the sky’s first evening star. Star light, star bright I’d go, and I don’t remember wishing for anything else. I never should’ve allowed myself to walk around Virra Mall earlier this month.
However, another mall-wandering incident had me go somewhere that had my Christmas self-gift locked on-target. Refer to photo above this post. I’ll blog about the details some other time, but I’m very satisfied with this holiday purchase, along with the fact that it only took a very small chunk from that 13th month pay.
Good times then for the always hard-to-satisfy self? I can’t say for sure yet. Maybe when 2010 decides to step in and force us to write the year differently on paper.