First off… I’m sorry I wasn’t able to greet you guys a very Happy Christmas yesterday. Marc and I have been very busy attending family gatherings from both his and my side. The way each of four families celebrates Christmas is so different, and yet I noticed one major similarity that I feel weird about.

I have now gone through the transition of being a godchild to being a godparent. I meant that in a metaphorical way though.

In our culture, it’s common for a godchild visit his/her godparent at Christmas—a really subtle way of asking, “where’s my gift?” Sounds thick, but really, whenever a godchild visits a godparent, that’s usually the underlying message. It’s such a common practice that most (if not all) godparents already prepare gifts for their godchildren ahead of time.

A godparent at Christmas would give presents to his/her godchild, and then the godchild in return hugs or kisses his/her godparent in thanks. I used to be that godchild. But now? I’m not so sure.

Christmas used to be the time when I had extra allowance in my pocket and new nifty stuff to show off to my classmates. Maybe this is another symptom of getting old, I seem to have less money now than I did before the season started.

Don’t get me wrong though. I love giving gifts at Christmas—I particularly enjoy wrapping presents. As a young girl, my sister and I used to help my parents prepare gifts for their godchildren and my cousins. It’s just that this transition from being the receiver to being the giver makes me feel that time really is passing by.

It wasn’t too long ago when we were just shaking that big wrapped box from Uncle or Auntie, wishing more than anything that it’s a cool new toy. A few years after that, you’d start wishing the box would contain hip clothes or some macho guy thing. Let another few years pass by, and you would really start hoping to receive that “blessed” envelope—gift certificates are fine, but cash is preferred. When you start receiving gifts and just saying “Thank you” without hoping for a particular something on what’s inside, or when you start telling Uncle or Auntie they didn’t have to give you a gift, you can expect that in a few year’s time, you will go through the transition from being the godchild to the godparent. The next thing you know, you’d be the one handing out gifts and receiving kisses from grateful nieces and nephews.

It must have been the Ghost of Christmas Past that took me back in time and reminded me of the Christmases in my younger years. Or maybe it’s just because of me getting broke once the holiday season is over. But regardless of which, I can now say that I truly appreciate the thoughtfulness of my family, relatives, godparents, and friends who have taken time and effort to make me happy at Christmas.

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!