Exactly a month ago, we put together our little Christmas tree at home, and I think I may have said I was “excited” to post more photos. So much for my excitement. The month has been packed with so many things, and uploading these photographs was the first to be pushed down my list! Anyway, here they are, for traditions’ sake.
It’s our first Christmas as husband and wife, and I love that we get to start our own Christmas traditions. Last year, I had some instax photographs up on my Christmas tree, and this year, we thought we’d do the same. We picked some of our favorite photographs from the wedding and the honeymoon and printed them out with our Polaroid Pogo. It’s a cute little project, something we hope we can keep on doing for years to come.
On another note, I know it has been a challenge for our country to celebrate Christmas this year when Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City are still under the state of calamity. We don’t have a television at home, and quite honestly, my husband and I have only seen and heard so much. I know we’ll never really have a clear picture of what’s happening out there, but our family feels somehow involved. My eldest brother is there since last week; as part of his job, he’s with the ABS-CBN Engineering Crew which covers the relief operations there. It’s our first Christmas Day without him, probably even New Year too. Ergo, we had to let go of certain Christmas traditions this year to make way for my brother to be where he’s needed more.
I look at Ate Imy (my sister-in-law) and Isaac and I imagine how difficult it must be for them to celebrate Christmas without Kuya. But then I think about the thousands of families in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan who lost their loved ones and friends over the flash flood, and how devastating Christmas and New Year must be like for them. As I stare at our Christmas tree here at home, my heart goes out to the victims of Sendong who lost their homes and didn’t get the chance to put up their trees this year. At the time of this writing, the death toll has reached about 1,500. This is even more tragic than Ondoy.
Suddenly, no personal issues or problems are too big.
It’s easy to question the goodness of God at a time like this, but words from the Bible pop up like bright stars in the dark sky: “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9) God sees everything in a bigger perspective, and as far as His grand scheme of things is concerned, everything happens for a reason and for our own good. His ways are higher, we only have to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10)—and believe that with all our hearts.
For the rest of us who are not in the center of this tragedy and are watching this from a distance, it’s our chance to help and make a difference. I’m not directly connected with any relief efforts for Sendong, but I think the surest way for our donations to reach Cagayan de Oro and Iligan is through Red Cross. We have 2 more days left before 2011 ends, let’s make it count.