Our paper celebrates a milestone today. Thirty-three years. Imagine that! No one, probably not even its founders, thought it would survive so long.
It was birthed in tumultuous, severely critical times. Some people feared it was too controversial, too forward, and dangerously gutsy. No one wants realities thrown in one’s face. Too contentious, some argued. Many applauded while others gnashed their teeth.
But as a whole, everyone held his breath.
But here we are (permission to use freely the “editorial we”), over three decades later, alive and well, and although we may repeatedly struggle against the changing tides, we manage to stay on even keel, keep our heads above water, with enough spirit and energy to spit and sputter out the truth while gasping to catch our next breath.
Happy anniversary to the Philippine Daily Inquirer! May your tribe increase!
Meanwhile, at home our holiday calendar continues to show “movable feasts.” It is like this almost every year.
Show-biz families often have to go through hoops to celebrate the special events on time. We have had early and late Christmases, even belated or advanced birthdays. I have hosted a fabulous New Year’s bash (minus the countdown) a week after the fact.
Late and all, the spirit does not waver.
Someone once commented, “You must be a bunch of really happy people. There is zero alcohol in your bar, but you are all on some kind of a natural high. What’s your secret?”
It’s about being together, I wanted to tell him. It’s about loving who you are with. It has nothing to do with the date. It has everything to do with the heart.
Last week our delayed Thanksgiving dinner went without a hitch. The turkeys were tender and juicy, stuffing was great, the yams were delicious covered with sticky and chewy golden brown marshmallows, and there were no lumps in my gravy.
All in all it was a huge success.
I have a question. Family reunions are wonderful and fun and all that, but have you ever been at the organizing end of any of them?
It can be a nightmare, especially when you are facing the end of the year and the events start getting crammed too closely together.
My problem is always the responses. I have a list. But I need a head count. Despite the internet and the smartphones, my RSVP responders seem to take forever.
This happens especially around this season. Schedules get crowded. You can’t go to every invite.
When it’s a family affair, it gets sticky. There are at least two places to go, two families to contend with. I realize it is difficult. We are in Alabang. And I have grandchildren with families in Pasig and Makati. How to choose? Someone is bound to feel neglected, slighted.
What to wear
Our family gatherings are quite casual; in fact, sometimes overly so. Some people like to get all gussied up and I have thought it would be nice to do that once in a while, on a special occasion. But would the kids comply?
I have a friend who loves to get all decked out for celebrations. If she could, she would go everywhere wearing a long evening dress and her sparklers.
She is disappointed at the local scene. “There’s no telling what the kids will wear these days. Unless there’s a dress code specified they may show up in shorts and flip-flops.”
She is probably right. I am a “comfort first” dresser myself. But I do try.
Several years ago, I got rid of my high-heeled shoes and nothing has ever felt “all dressed up” anymore. Somehow wearing flats makes me feel quite “un-elegant.” Although other ladies can still walk stylishly in ballet slippers, I feel like I waddle.
They say that wearing the proper outfit is also part of good manners. I think it is also a sign of respect.
And speaking of manners, I read an article by parenting writer Kim Marie Evans where she spoke about table etiquette for children. Of course, we all know the rules about elbows and napkins, but Evans goes a little deeper.
She tells parents to teach their children at an early age, the art of carrying on a conversation at the dinner table, stressing the importance of listening, and encouraging them to freely but respectfully engage with adults.
Evans starts off by banning the use of telephones and gadgets during the meal. I like what she says: “Create a space where your children are in the moment with you.”
Just another birthday
The season is upon us. There are gifts to wrap.
It is December. There are candles to blow.
Tomorrow I celebrate the start of another year in this rich and incredibly blessed journey I call my life.
It has been one filled with wonder and surprise, of tears and laughter, of living deep and learning deeper.
So far it has been a rocky but amazing ride. I thank God for what has been and I am filled with joyful expectation for what is yet to be.
Bring it on!
Tomorrow is just another birthday.
In the words of C.S. Lewis: “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”