There’s no rhyme or reason to Christmas with my family. It happens at different homes. Sometimes it’s celebrated on Christmas Eve, especially growing up. More recently, it’s been Christmas Day. People come and go throughout the afternoon and into the night. There’s no set time; this drives me crazy! If the start time is 2pm. Don’t do it. No one will be there. I’ve learned my lesson. Timeliness is not rewarded in our Filipino household. You sit anywhere and your seat rotates throughout the night. It’s a buffet free-for-all. I’m always astounded when spending a holiday meal with friends and it’s a set course. Wine is passed around the table. You actually have to talk to one another for a good chunk of time. I love that there’s order. I hate the chaos I’ve grown up with which is why I’ve spent several Christmases travelling with friends. What beats South America in December?
I enjoyed this year with Dean’s family. His parents picked us up from the airport and drove us directly to church for mass. We snuck away after they dropped us off. With 90 minutes to kill, we walked a few blocks to an English pub’s trivia night and drank beer. The 10:30pm mass was half-full which was a big surprise to me. Every single Christmas mass I’ve gone to has had people standing up, lining the walls.
We spent Christmas day at his parents’ new house. Buffet-style, but sit-down. Then lots and lots of presents. Piles of presents for the kids. No matter how wasteful, I still think it’s fun. Presents are important. We continued to eat throughout the night: pumpkin pie, cheesecake, Dorritos, Ruffles with french onion dip. I thought I was going to explode before midnight. It was a good time. Everyone was still around late into the night.
As we got ready to leave, Dean’s cousin patted me on the back jokingly, “Catherine, you can do better. There’s still time. It’s not too late to call off the engagement.”