It has been a long time since I have written a post because in recent months, so many activities took center stage in my life. First, my husband and I decided to move back to Asia, after living for so many years in Europe. Then, a few months after we have settled down, my eldest son who had lived for most parts of his life in the United States, decided to join us. This move entailed a lot of tedious time sorting and re-arranging all our personal belongings which we have accumulated over the years. Adjusting to a new way of life also took so much of my time – in meeting new friends, forging and reviving old friendship, hosting lunches and dinners for friends and relatives, or attending to invitations for a ‘get-together’. I also undertook a major extension and renovation of our kitchen in support to the increasing needs of a previously disbanded family, to one that has recently united under one roof. When I had dealt with every little thing, and just as we were beginning to get familiarized to our present surroundings, Christmas came. Then, I got busy decorating our home to keep up with the spirit of the holidays, and with the season being a season of giving, finding those delightful little presents for the special people in my life also kept me occupied for most part of the Christmas holidays. Days passed by as swiftly as they came – just like a breeze!…Before I realized it, the new year has set in, and then, it was time for me to keep all the Christmas holiday decor once again and tuck away the Christmas tree in its old and almost tattered box….This is what I call my version of ‘Boxing Day’, when after the holiday season, I gather all the boxes for all the Christmas ornaments and I begin the tangible aspect of removing and keeping all these lovely, glittering objects that have brighten up our home for that brief holiday season, tediously putting them all back into their original boxes.
By this time, everything ‘Christmas-y’ is now in its respective boxes. For many months, these boxes will be forgotten, stacked at the farthest end or on the topmost part of some storage rooms. The ‘rush-rush’ of the festive holiday season, has now been replaced by the ‘hush-hush’ of the new year. The tangible, have been quickly done and gotten over; however, some intangibles still remain – such as the joy and the happiness that have tickled my heart – brought about by a surprise visit on Christmas morning by two cute, lovely girls,named Princess and Jessabelle, who are daughters of a family friend. I met them at the front door, and they kissed my hand, and gave me a somewhat shy smile. They looked like fragile dolls, garbed in colorful dresses, with matching pairs of shiny shoes. I loved the way they have dressed up for that special day, so I asked them to pose for a photo using our Christmas tree as a background. I just love how their photos turned out as these have captured that certain look of ladylike finesse from these young girls, in spite of their natural childhood innocence.
These lovely ‘princesses’ reminded me of those days many, many years ago, when I was just at their age – when I was full of innocence and wonder; that was when I looked forward to the Christmas holiday as a break from all those tiring, and oftentimes boring, routine school days…when I had joyful anticipation of Christmas, firmly believing that it would be the day when all my wishes would come true.
It was a joy watching them open the tiny gift box I gave to each of them. Their excitement and genuine appreciation were so visible as they hurriedly tore open their gift. It didn’t seem to matter to them whether the gift was big or small; whether it was worthless or priceless, nor did they seem to have any expectation. The gratitude attitude of my surprise guests reminded me to be more appreciative and grateful for the simple joys that come my way. They may not know it, but through their sheer youthfulness, playfulness, and perhaps by the graceful way they carried themselves, and their colorful and very becoming get-ups, Princess and Jessabelle made me want to be young again; they have made me look at life again with childlike wonder and excitement for what tomorrow will bring, in spite of my age.
Remembering how these two young girls dressed up for that special occasion, I am now inclined to throw away all my “old and serious” looking clothes in shades of pale colors, as well as all my “safe and comfy” pairs of shoes, and start dressing the way I want to feel – happy, beautiful, upbeat, and young! I would like to start wearing that bright red skirt I have been too embarrassed to wear on certain occasions….and those faded pairs of blue jeans….and what the heck! I will not even think twice about matching them with an equally bright red pair of stiletto shoes!
I wish everyone a wonderful new year. May all your days be filled with many priceless, intangible presents! Smiles and Cheers!