3.) Catch up
I bet you don’t get to see your whole extended family as often anymore. Use the evening to just catch up on stories on how the year was, share your own stories and have a laugh, tell jokes, create ideas and just interact with them. It’s the time of year where you all come back to each other even after meeting so many people along the way. It’s a symbolization of no matter how far you go to in life, at the end of every year; family is the one you’ll be with. You don’t have to be together physically. If you have family members overseas, give them a call and catch up with them, tell them what you’re having for dinner and share this holiday season with them.

4.) Take pictures!
Take lots of pictures! Every year there are changes. Keep track of those changes. Keep memories of this special holiday of how happy or sad people are during that night. Take group pictures with wacky faces. When you’re older you will come back to these photos and see your wrinkle-free face, the now grown babies, the opening of gifts, the family members who left, and the new ones who came along. Preserve those happy moments in life.

5.) Forget and Remember
Forget the things you want to forget. Forget the hurt, the broken relationships, the stolen materials, the failures, the fights and sufferings. Just forget about all those things even for just one night. Start anew with God and lift everything up to Him. Trust God that He will make everything better and that there is hope in Him. Remember that love, the family members who used to be there, the moments, the success and the blessings you have this year. Most of all, remember WHY you’re celebrating Christmas. God.

5 Things I WON’T Do on Christmas Eve
1.) Ignore the Carolers
It’s Christmas Eve, C’mon! I can understand if you refuse them all the other days but on Christmas Eve itself? Let’s have a heart not to disappoint the children who make an effort to come house to house for some spare change. Better yet, give them food too. I wouldn't want to crush their Christmas spirit. What’s a little change if it’s for a smile on their faces?

2.) Text all night
I’m pretty sure we’ll have all Christmas greetings from everyone in our contacts. I suggest send out one meaningful message to everyone in the morning. In the evening itself, get your phone away from your face and actually make conversations with the people around you. Even if you’re just celebrating Christmas Eve with one person, focus your attention on them. Don’t let technology distract you that night.

3.) Get drunk
This is just me. I don’t drink beer or wine in general, but for those who do, no one’s stopping you. It’s just that, getting too drunk would mean you’ll have a hangover the next day which is Christmas DAY! You wouldn’t want to spend Christmas day with a headache would you? Try to remember everything that happens that night. You can have fun without getting drunk. Just grab something to eat, play games and bond with the family. Don’t risk filling the night with moments of headache, throw-ups and unnecessary scenarios.

4.) Expect
Don’t expect expensive gifts, don’t expect a call from your crush or your ex, and don’t expect to get too much money (aguinaldo). I’m not saying that these things aren’t going to happen but it’s always better not to expect so much from people. If it were God we’re talking about then sure, expect a lot of blessings from Him. But if you were to depend on people for your happiness, then you might just end up disappointing yourself on Christmas Eve. Not all your “ninongs” and “ninangs” have extra cash. Not everyone can buy you the expensive gist you’ve been wanting and you crush might be busy with his own family. Whatever it is, your mood for Christmas Eve shouldn’t be dependent on things you have no control over.

5.) Choose to spend Christmas with friends than family
Again, this is me. This is how I plan to spend MY Christmas. I don’t want to force my opinions on anyone. However, I do feel like we’ve actually spent more time with friends than with our family most of the time. We’re always in school or at work and we talk to our friends all the time. We may be at home but at home, we’re doing homework, paper work, or our eyes our glued to our phones, laptops and tablets. We barely have time for our families. Christmas should be spent with them, the people who raised me and loved me no matter how many friends come and go in my life.

Merry Christmas, Everyone! From this little kid right here… This is what I mean by taking photos.

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