Christmas when I was a child was all about tradition...the family gatherings at my grandparents whether in Manila or in Silay, the "you have to go to sleep or Santa won't come" threat after dinner, the opening of gifts and noche buena at midnight, the Christmas morning breakfast and mass, and luncheon with all the other relatives and extended families. After my maternal grandfather died, my maternal grandmother soon after moved to Bacolod. Although Christmas celebrations continued to be traditional, it stayed local...meaning we stopped going to Manila for the holiday season. Then my uncle (Dad's brother) and paternal grandfather died within a month of each other. And so, that year because my Dad's side of the family did not want to celebrate in Silay with all the memories of Christmas past, we went to Manila and Christmas Eve was spent in a hotel room near Paco Park and New Year's eve in the boat coming back to Negros.
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