I’d be lying if I tell you I’m having the best Christmas of my life. It’s my first Christmas away from home, and I find it difficult to process how to be cheerful towards my most favorite holiday of the year. Roan and I have been married for two years, but we’re only starting our own traditions now since I just moved here in the US this year.
Last week, through Annie’s The Expat Holidays series, I shared about the Simbang Gabi tradition that Roan and I adopted from my family’s. Besides putting and sprucing up our first Christmas tree together, we have started a new holiday tradition—walking by the famous Christmas Card Lane in Rancho Peñasquitos, which was conveniently named as such because each participating house boasts their holiday greetings in the form of giant Christmas cards and lots of fairy lights.
After attending the 4th day of Simbang Gabi mass, Roan and I went to see the Christmas Card Lane. It’s actually just a stone’s throw away from Roan’s cousin’s house, so we parked our car there, and just walked across the street. The Christmas Card Lane is so hard to miss. For one, the side streets are packed with spectators who came to see what the participants have prepared this year. It was unbelievably colder that night, too, making the holiday spirit even stronger.
The Christmas Card Lane reminds me so much of an exclusive village in the southern part of Manila. We live nearby, and we always drive down there with my family to see the spectacular Christmas decorations in the neighborhood. Except in the Philippines, we usually put up Christmas trees and other holiday decorations as early as September. Christmas is the most celebrated holiday in the Philippines, unlike here in the US where Halloween and Thanksgiving are considered major holidays, too.
I also filmed a video while driving through the neighborhood, but I haven’t had the time to edit it, so these photo-dump will do for now. I’m terribly missing my family back home, and I may or may not have spent the entire day on Christmas Eve moping over major homesickness, but all is good now. I still have my husband and in-laws to celebrate Christmas with. After all, Christmas is not about ourselves, but the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.