GCQ Christmas Rituals

2:58 PM

'Twas the night before Christmas...

HAPPY HAPPY CHRISTMAS from the Geeky Chiquitas!

We've spent the past 10 days counting down to this day, and finally it's Christmas Day! ❤️

I know some of you will be like "I don't feel the Christmas spirit" and all just cause it's the mainstream thing to feel like right now, but in our family we love Christmas! So let us share some of the stuff we do EVERY SINGLE YEAR during Christmas:

1. We celebrate Christmas Eve, not Christmas day.
I've always thought we celebrated Christmas Eve cause we wanted to countdown to midnight and be together when it's finally Christmas, but not really. I think it's because everyone else celebrates Christmas Eve so we being the bandwagonners we are of course we didn't want to miss out. I asked my mom for good measure and she had no great reason to celebrate Christmas on the 24th Eve not the 25th. We just do.

2. Stockings

In our family, everyone hangs stockings by the stairs. In all our houses, cousins relatives, every house that has a child, there are stockings by the stairs with the child's name. And we all pretend that a fat man with a beard wearing red robes sneaks into our house at night while we're all sleeping, through somewhere (definitely not the chimney cause we don't have one) and puts candy and goodies inside. When in fact, from the 18 year old to the 4 year old in the family, no one is dumb enough to think that that's real. We all know an aunt puts the candy inside, but what the heck right? Even 'Santa' knows that we know that she isn't actually Santa but we all like a little bit of make believe and just ride off each other for fun.

3. Baked Macaroni
We ALWAYS have baked macaroni during Christmas Eve. And we can't eat it till midnight. We eat other stuff for dinner - like BBQ, chicken, lechon, fish, etc - but the baked Mac is hands off til the clock strikes 12. There isn't really any explanation for this either. Someone jokingly commented that's it's for long life, but baked Mac? Really? Are you dumb?

4. Gifts
Gifts are an important part of Christmas. I mean what kind of Christmas would it be without gifts? But in our family, we're not allowed to open the gifts until after Christmas Eve dinner. So that means we have to put all the gifts we've received under the tree and wait til the 24th to finally open all of them together. Before, the aunties and uncles in the family would even prepare this gift giving ritual thing where they take their gifts and give it to the children from youngest to eldest. But now, they're all just lazy so we have to look for our own presents under the tree and sometimes there aren't even nametags anymore so occasionally you hear someone shouting "is this mine?!"  And for oldies like the 3 of us, we don't get much gifts anymore. Which brings us to the theory, gifts are inversely proportional to age, until you get like old as in 20s and go to work and meet colleagues, get married and shit, then gifts start piling up again. Also for us older bunch, we have to buy our own gifts and the relatives just have to pay for them as reimbursement, which means they don't even bother wrapping them anymore and we get them in advance. So we sit there on Christmas Eve only getting to open like 3 gifts, while we watch our younger cousins ripping gift after gift and still thinking it's not enough, while we old geezers think to ourselves "I hate kids."

5. Ampaos
The lack of gifts are heavily compensated by Ampaos of course. Ampaos are red envelopes with money inside. Usually the amount inside is 1200 or 2400 or 3600 if you're really really lucky and if it's a special occasion. The Chinese have a thing for even numbers. We usually get Ampaos for Christmas from older people like grandparents cause they're too old and maybe lazy to go out and buy you something. But really, it's not hard to squeal in delight when you see those red envelopes in your hands. It's too exciting.

6. Christmas mass
We always go to mass on Cheistmas day. And we're ALWAYS late since we get home late the night before and don't wake up early. And we ALWAYS have nowhere to sit and instead have to stand outside church with other people while we pretend to listen. And the priest always mentions in his homily that we should say Christmas not Xmas and that Christmas isn't about gifts or food or Santa but about Jesus blah blah, and it takes all sorts of willpower to keep my thoughts to myself and not accidentally blurt out that Christmas is a pagan holiday. And that some of us don't have the same beliefs with the rest of the world. Before realizing that oh, we're in church.

7. Family 
Apart from the gifts food candies and stuff, of course the best part of Christmas is and always will be FAMILY. What we love about Christmas is how everyone in Manila always makes it a point to come home to Legazpi and we get to spend the holidays together at our Ama's (grandmother) house. I can't even imagine spending Christmas alone. Without family, Christmas just wouldn't be the same, no matter how annoying they all could be and even if we spend most of the holidays ignoring each other while we play with our phones and iPods and watch TV. But we ignore each other together, and isn't that pretty nice? ;)

Can you relate? What are your Christmas traditions? Sound off in the comments below! ;)

-K, A & B ;) aka The Geeky Chiquitas


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