When I lived in the Philippines, we didn’t have a chimney or Christmas stockings to hang up on a mantle.  Instead, my brothers and I would use plastic bags to hang on the ceiling.  I remember the feeling of waking up and finding a few little things in our bag but what was the most significant were the chocolate coins (my mama would send from America) and feeling absolutely ecstatic.  We didn’t get very much but the chocolate coins were the highlight of my day.  I would put them real close to my nose, close my eyes and just breathe it in.  I wouldn’t dare to open them.  I just loved the smell and I’m not sure if it was the scent of the thin gold wrapping, the chocolate or the idea of America that I was savoring; but knowing that it came from America meant it was from my Mama.

I remember singing with my uncle while he played his guitar. We would record our voices on cassette tapes to send over to America.  It was our present for her.  I wonder what it was like for her when she would receive the cassettes.  I look back at where I came from and I’m thankful for those memories. I am thankful for where I am today, and what my mama had to go through to get us here.

During the holidays, I still get excited and I revert to this particular memory because it is one of my most sincere feeling.  It was years later that we were reunited with my Mama and am so grateful to be able to write about my family, growing and together.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Look, feel, remember…


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