Woke up crying on Christmas Day

For the past 20 years of my life, Christmas was always meant to be spent with family. On my 21st, it isn’t. So today, Christmas 2017, I’m not even surprised I woke up with a heavy heart and started my day crying.

I came to think about how different life would be if I am back home. Normally, my Mom would buy us new clothes to wear for Christmas and on Christmas Day itself, my family would all go to church, eat out and watch a movie, then spend the rest of the day with relatives at home after — giving gifts and catching up. I never get the “Uy, tumaba ka” statement from the cranky Tita because 1. I don’t have a Tita like that and 2. What I get is, “Dami dami mong kumain, ‘di ka na tumaba.” I miss that.

I also came to realize how my Dad must have felt for the past Christmases he didn’t get to spend with us. I woke up this morning crying and thought, “So this is how my Dad felt during Christmas, alone, away from his family.” Damn, this is making me more emotional.

Growing up, we rarely get to spend it with my Dad because he’s working overseas. He’s been working abroad for 16 or 17 years now and fortunate we are that a few Christmases in almost those two decades, he got to spend with us. He left when my brother was 1 and now, he’s in his 10th grade in High School. Imagine that.

Imagine how painful it is not seeing your children grow up and not being there to guide them personally. Imagine how painful and hard it is growing up without having a Dad who you can personally run to whenever you have problems you’re dealing with. How lovely it would have been if you have both your Mom and Dad hugging you whenever you feel like the world is against you. What a concept it must have been.

It’s much painful for me to think that I can’t even spend this day with my Dad. He’s here in Abu Dhabi, as well, but lives three hours away from me and is currently working. I should also be working now but I didn’t go to work because I’d rather spend my day talking to my family back home. I’m claiming that this rest is my Christmas gift to myself. Besides, a day cut from my salary won’t ever compare to the warmth and happiness I would feel seeing my loved ones even in just the small screen of my phone. I would also continue our tradition of going to church and would attend the mass later this evening.

To be honest, I didn’t even feel Christmas AT ALL. I only did maybe two or three days back because I tried to feel it and played Christmas songs all day long. I may have also mentioned this before on my past blog but majority of the people in this country are Muslims and they don’t celebrate this holiday. It’s true when they say iba pa rin talaga ang Pasko sa Pinas; totally different spending Christmas back home. I grew up seeing Christmas decorations everywhere and hearing Christmas songs wherever I go. Nights won’t be complete without children roaming the streets, singing carols. They don’t do that here. You don’t experience things like that here.

I mean.. How could you not feel it in the Philippines when they started celebrating the holiday as early as September? Yup, that’s how it goes in my lovely but complicated country — four months of Christmas. Back home, you will really feel the positivity and good happy aura in the air kissing your skin. The festivity will be hugging you like a good old friend after not seeing each other for years. Smiles and greetings of random people will make you happy.

Don’t get me wrong. I celebrated Christmas Eve with my Auntie and our friends, we had a good Noche Buena last night, and I’m also planning to go somewhere later with my Aunt after talking to my family so all is well. It’s not that I’m not grateful because some OFWs really spend this day alone and what am I even crying about now?! I’m just homesick to the highest level but I am grateful. I’m grateful that I have food, shelter, and company — today and every day. I am more than grateful for everything that I have right now and I consider myself blessed that even if I’m thousands of miles away from home, I have a job and can provide for them even in my small little ways.

So this Christmas Day, I’m here to tell you to just be grateful for everything. Instead of looking for the things we don’t have, let’s focus on the things that we have. Even the small things are enough to be grateful! I may have cried so hard at the office’s washroom last night because I can’t leave yet and it’s already Christmas in the Philippines; may have cried when I called my Mom and realized I miss her so much on my way home; may have cried when I saw a sister giving gift to her younger brother because I should be doing it as well; and may have cried this morning when I realize how things are completely different now — but I know, everything will be fine. We will all celebrate special days with all of our loved ones soon and I can’t wait for that day to happen to each one of us. I won’t deny how lonely it is right now but what I’m sure of is we all deserve to be happy this Christmas Day. Let’s all find reasons to be one.

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Merry Christmas, guys, and Happy Happy Birthday to the reason why we’re celebrating this day — Jesus. May God, the universe, or whoever and whatever you believe in, bless us all more and give us what we truly deserve in this crazy roller coaster thing called life. Happy holidays!

Love, Amielle

82 thoughts on “Woke up crying on Christmas Day

  1. I feel heavy after reading (noooo)(huggsss for you), ramdam na ramdam ko xa lol lalo na yung sa father mo (now that I’m experiencing it na). I spend Christmas alone for the second time, my manager was asking me for dinner last night but I chose to stay home and magsenti. Charot. Gusto ko magdrama pero naiisip ko ang blessed ko pa rin for everything and I woke up feeling grateful.

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  2. Homesickness is just proof that you love and are loved very very much. It is painful, I know and Christmas in a country that doesn’t celebrate it, on your own, is beyond tough. You are right that we should all focus on how fortunate we are but it is only natural that you feel sad and bluesy today. I send you hugs across the ocean from one person on her own to another xx

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  3. I hate that you couldn’t be at home for Christmas! I hope it’s a good day for you. Take the day off, you couldn’t concentrate at work anyway missing your family like that.
    Merry Christmas!🎄

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  4. Merry christmas ate! Alam mo relate na relate ako sa post na ‘to. I can’t even feel Christmas here in america. Incomplete kami tapos sobrang tahimik na nakakabingi. Hindi yung marami na maingay parang noon. Nakakaiyak nga eh. Don’t worry ate di ka nag iisa. We’re on the same page. Mabilis lang and Christmas will pass. Parang as we grow old Christmas becomes just an ordinary event. Ang lungkot lang grabe.

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  5. Wow so beautiful written! 😍❤I get tears in my eyes because I can so understand you so well. One year I was celebrating Christmas in Spain with my Spanish family but still was missing home in The Netherlands. I feel you girl. Here, you can see Christmas lights and decorations everywhere. I would feel the same way. You have the right to cry and feel your feelings. Let’s celebrate the birth of Jesus. I hope you have an amazing Christmas anyway 🎄❤ I’m forever blessed for our friendship. I love you loads and will always be here for you. I celebrated Christmas eve with my family and saw my little niece after one year and then went to the mass and saw my beautiful choir singing. For me, going to church makes me feel so happy and purposeful. I remeber years where I didn’t went and felt empty. There must be something out there to believe in. Today I saw a movie and a Spanish singing contest and ate with family at my brother’s home and tomorrow at my home. It’s the second day of Christmas. I hope you enjoy it too and remember I will always be there for you ❤

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    1. Christinaaaa!! 😭 You are just sooo sweet for my life! I’ve never been so grateful to have met such a wonderful and positive person like you here in this big massive thing called the internet. Thank you so much for the friendship, dear. Belated Merry Christmas, and I hope that your heart and soul is full ’cause you deserve that. Love you girl!! 💖💖💖

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    2. Aaahhh omggg you are da best girl😍😍😍😍😍 I’m also so blessed for our friendship. We are such good friends. I wish to see you one day and make memories togethet with you. That would be so awesome! I think we really are kinda the same- soulmates ❤❤❤❤ I wish you an awesome new year full of love, health and happiness. You deserve that so much 💕😍❤🌠💫 I love you so much chica 💕💕❤❤❤

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  6. aw, amielle! despite the challenges and pockets of sadness you felt today, i admire your strength and positivity in the face of it all. i hope that you’ll be reunited with your family soon, regardless of the day or season. happy holidays–and thank you for sharing, amielle! -hug-

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  7. This is a heavy post but I admire how transparent you are with your feelings. Here’s a virtual hug for all the things that keep you feel this way. Despite the challenges you face, I hope and pray that you may overcome all of these through prayers. Hindi araw-araw pasko, pero sa tamang pananaw sa buhay, kaya mong gawing KaPasko-Pasko ang bawat araw. :) Kaya mo yan Amielle! :) It’s my first time to read your blog and I’m happy to have seen a meaningful blog ever since I restarted blogging. Happy Holy Days!

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    1. My heart felt warm just reading your comment. 😭 Thank you, Sandra! I love what you said. Gawin nalang nating Christmas everyday and just be happy palagi. Happy Christmas and welcome back to the blogging world! 🤗💖

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    1. Asan ka nga pala ngayon? :) And thank you! Wish ko sana maging young looking rin ako like her when the time comes. Hahaha. Merry Christmas, lovely!! I hope you’re happy! 🤗💖

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  8. Merry Christmas Amielle! It’s okay to cry and miss Home – especially around the holidays! At least you know there’s still a lot to be grateful for, and I’m happy you could still connect with some of your family 💜

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  9. Merry Christmas, Amielle 💖 I’m so sorry to hear that you weren’t able to spend the holiday with your family! This is my second year without my family on Christmas too so I know the feeling. *hugs*

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    1. Merry Christmas, hun! Sending all the huuuugs and love from Abu Dhabi! Really really hoping to meet you soon. I’ve never been so thankful of this little friendship we’ve built over the internet. 🤗💖

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  10. Hugs and Kisses for you Amielle. Relate ako sa story mo, I spent Christmas alone for the 1st time in forever pero pinagpray ko lang yung nararamdaman kong lungkot. Niyayakag ako ng mg Filipino Friends ko to celebrate Christmas Eve with them but I chose to stay back home kasi gusto ko ka-video call family at si boyfie. Na-feel ko na parang andoon din ako kasama sila.

    Merry Christmas :)

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  11. Merry Christmas ganda! It’s good to know that your heart is grateful despite of everything. On top of all the blessings you’ve mentioned above, let us focus indeed on the main reason of this season – the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ. With that, all our sorrows will be washed away. Smile na! :) Virtual hugs! ❤

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  12. Even though I spent many Christmases away from our home in the Philippines, at least I have my immediate family – wife and kids here with me. I cannot imagine the predicament of your father not seeing his own children grow up day by day. So to all OFW in the world, including you and your father, I salute you.

    May you have a prosperous new year.

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  13. Awwwee. I felt the same on Christmas day. Since I was 11, I haven’t been able to spend Christmas with my immediate family for some reasons. Good thing, I had a roommate who didn’t go back to their home. But I’m sure someday, we’ll be together again at times like this, so for now, tiis-tiis lang muna. Take care there, Amielle. 😚

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