There's a part of me that has adapted to the materialism and Santa traditions of Christmas. In fact, I tried pulling off the same type of trickery that my father so successfully accomplished that night he snuck back home during midnight Mass on several occasions. The most memorable one happened during Christmas eve of 2004. After Mass that evening, the kids went to sleep relatively early. I waited a couple hours until I knew they were sound asleep. Then I snuck out my upstairs bedroom window and climbed down a ladder that I pre-positioned earlier. It was lightly snowing and about 5 degrees outside. The ladder had accumulated some ice and was somewhat dangerous to climb. Once outside, I opened the hidden bag of gifts that I placed outside earlier that day. With the gifts positioned immediately outside the kitchen sliding doors, I literally inched into the house on all fours without making a sound. One by one, I carefully placed the gifts by the tree. What would have taken me five minutes under no secrecy actually took me almost an hour since I had to move so slow and cover my tracks.
After the gifts were placed, I plugged my Ipod into the computer speakers, turned up the volume and set the alarm sound to the sleigh bells sounds that I downloaded earlier. The alarm was set to go off at 2 o'clock in the morning. Afterwards, I ate all the cookies and drank the egg nog that my kids placed on the table for Santa. Back up the ladder I went and into my bed.
An hour or so later, the sounds of sleigh bells filled the house for about fifteen seconds. I heard the kid's doors open and their little footsteps in the hallway as they cautiously investigated. "Santa came!" cried my youngest. Then the other two joined in and began telling each other how they heard him and the reindeers. I think my son even added to it by saying he thought he saw shadows. I laid in bed with a huge smile on my face knowing that I more than accomplished what my father accomplished way back when.
|My Children as Candlebearers - Simbang Gabi 2005|
My kids performing after Simbang Gabi Mass in 2009 with other kids.