I am not a big fan of bazaars.
I think it's just a glorified tiangge where sellers try to convince you that you are getting stuff for less the price. Which is usually untrue. But not always.
When Ella got complimentary tickets to the Noel discovery bazaar @ the World Trade Center, stars lit up her eyes. Seriously. And I discovered that excitement could really be that contagious because I somehow forgot how unpleasant shopping could be when you're being jostled by a gajillion people to look at stuff you could see in Greenhills anyway. But I have to admit that there were a couple of good finds. Bracelets, blouses, jackets, cool beaded bookmarks. We completed 2/3 of our joint Christmas list and we only spent Php 1,575 for everything. I mean, that's some serious savings.
And serious savings is what I have planned for this Christmas. Unfortunately, I cannot go wild with Christmas gifts this year because of financial constraints. I think I'll go for the thoughtful gift rather than the personalized "it's-so-you" thing I usually try to do. I'll go for senti just this once. I hope my friends forgive me. :)
Christmas dinner might also be simplified. I mean, how much food will Ella, Ryan and I need to get through Noche Buena? I'm pretty sure we'll be spending it on our own. Maybe I' even looking forward to it.
The thing with my Christmas senti is that --- I can feel it more now. You know, the emptiness. Last year, we were prepared for tthe worst. We buffered ourselves against grief. People were also extra sensitive and gave soooo much encouraging words. It was after all the first Christmas without both of our parents. But this year, the second Christmas, everybody assumes, us included, that things will get better. We did get through the first, right? So what's a second or a third or a fourth?
Not so buffered. Underestimated. Emptier now than last year. Because now, it's for real. They really are gone. Last year wasn't a test. It was real.
Weird enough, I like the emptiness now. There's less false courage. Without the bravado, the emotions are authentic. Maybe without the coddling from people, we'll move on faster.
Or it could break us.
Break us and God will remake us. Reshape us.
Maybe this is the kiln that'll keep making us stronger.