Friday, December 26, 2008

Family Christmas Reunions

Until the early 2 years of 1990, we were having family, if not a clan, Christmas reunion every year as far as I can remember. We were still ten (10) sibling surviving until the 3rd quarter 2000 when my sister to whom I am next to passed away due to cancer. Except for her, all 9 of us were married and each had at least 2 children. Some of their older children had their own families too! So you could almost imagine how many there were of us in one house from Christmas eve to the following day. Same is true for New Year's eve and the following day!

As early as October or November of every year, plans are made on how Christmas festivities would go. Who would prepare or bring food, pot-luck style. Then, you could imagine the number of gifts
under the Christmas tree. With gifts coming from each family to all the children. With 9 families giving around 27 gifts that would be a total of 243, more or less! Every year one among us would stand as an emcee to announce who gets each gift and from whom it came from. It takes about an hour to give those gifts to them.

By around 1995, when many of the children were grown ups and some of my brothers and sisters have moved abroad, we had smaller reunions until to none when our parents passed away in 2000 and 2001. The bad economy had also caught up with most of us that we could no longer afford festive occasions like that. My brothers and sisters who reside more than 250 kilometers away from our hometown Baguio City, could not longer afford to come and stay for the two holidays.

It was obvious that when my father still had a good memory until the early 1990s, he was the factor for those reunions. He would remember those who were not around. He was a strict disciplinarian and put much value for those once-a-year reunions. It was our mother then who would be coordinating the coming reunions. That's how our parents were until old age and memory gaps caught up with them.

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