Posted December 1, 2016 under Blog

When It Doesn't Feel Like Christmas


Fill in the blank:

"Only ___ more days til Christmas!!!"

What? It's December already?? It's enough to make the OC side in me panic.?Gifts to buy! Things to do! Plans to make!! Family Reunions!?Food to order! People to host!?Places to go! Bills to pay!!! Hay Caramba!!

For the first time in forever,... I am UNPREPARED.?No gift yet bought. No Christmas decor except one tiny wooden tree that's sitting on my bare dining table. And it is already DECEMBER 1 as I write.

I am, by habit, very OC about Christmas.?I love the holidays, the gatherings, advent nights, and all the preparations that go with it.

So does Joey.

My dear hubby loves trimming the Christmas tree.?No, make that...He LOOOOOOOVES decorating our Christmas Tree.

This is Joey's ritual for the past 1 million years:

He will play Christmas carols, turn on the a/c full blast (winter effect in our tropical country), light our Christmas scented candles (cinnamon or peppermint effect), unwrap the ornaments one by one, and get teary-eyed as certain ornaments remind him of memories of our growing family through the years.

He then PLANS which ornament goes on the tree, and which ones go on the garlands.
Then he will take EACH little item and hang them carefully in his chosen spot.

Yes Virginia, underneath the strong, leader surface, my hubby is a sentimental Christmas bear on the inside.

"Tree-Trimming Night" for the Boni's is really "Watching Papa Joey, trim the tree and get teary-eyed until midnight", as the rest of us gather around him, read our huge collection of Christmas books, twist tinsel around each other and basically just goof around as a family.

But today, our Manila tree is still bare. The Christmas books still stored.?We don't return until the 18th to Manila.?And God is showing me a different side of Christmas, in another part of the world.

One quiet night, Joey and I had a very unchristmassy dinner of scrambled eggs and hotdogs, beside our tiny, wooden tree.?Then he washed the plates, while I played Christmas carols on Spotify.

Then we sat on our sofa in silence, and watched the city lights from our window.

Silent Night. Holy Night.

Sometimes, we feel it's not Christmas unless:
*we've bought our Christmas outfits (preferably red),
*our home is all decorated
*all gifts shopped and wrapped
*we received gifts too
*Family picture taken
*All our loved ones are gathered and complete
*turkey/ham/ family secret recipe has been served
*Santa Claus comes to town

But the 1st Christmas had none of that:
Joseph and Mary had:
*no family, or relatives with them
*no fancy decor
*no food
*no special place
*no room at the inn
*no Santa

But there was Jesus.

And because of Jesus:

1. THERE CAME LIGHT. (the GLORY of the Lord shone)

And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."

Luke 2:9-12

2. WE ARE INVITED.NO ONE IS EXCLUDED. (Both rich and poor are welcome)

When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us." So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.

Luke 2:15-16

"Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw
His star in the east and have come to worship Him."

Matthew 2:2


Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

James 1:17

Interesting how Joseph and Mary had no camera, no GoPro or Instagram, to record their special event, yet the world world can still picture that scene to this day. Joseph and Mary leaning over the baby Jesus, angels singing, shepherds and Magi kneeling.

Joy to the world. The Lord has Come.

So dear reader, I don't know what kind of Christmas you're having this year. Maybe it's filled with a flurry of activites, maybe it's quiet like ours so far, but remember to CELEBRATE.

Celebrate, because you Have Jesus.
Celebrate, because He gives you hope instead of fear.
Celebrate, because He invites you to come to Him, just as you are.
Most of all, He came to give you, the best Christmas present of all.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

John 3:16

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4 thoughts on “When It Doesn't Feel Like Christmas”

  1. M. Joel says:

    love this!

    our Christmas as a couple is becoming more like this in the past couple of years. 🙂

  2. Gemma Hashmi says:

    I know the feeling, Pastor Joey and Marie. It's so true and makes me cry while reading this. Thank you for reminding us what Christmas all about. Merry Christmas! Shuvo Borodin!

  3. Butch Victor Alcoriza says:


  4. Butch Victor Alcoriza says:


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