Monday, November 12, 2007

Starry for the season

Last night, my family and I were on our way to dinner in the Tomas Morato area, and as we drove past the parol stalls along Granada, my brother suddenly said, "Let's buy a parol." That wasn't the first time one of us has made that suggestion; for the past few years, whenever we passed those same stalls festooned with their dazzling, colorful wares, someone in the car would pipe up that we should get a lantern. For whatever reason, we've never owned one in the 28 years since my parents got married. We've had Christmas trees and wreaths and garlands and lights and even a capiz Santa-sleigh-and-reindeer set, but strangely, no parol.

This year, we finally made good on the suggestion: on our way back home, we stopped at the Granada bridge and picked out the Lims' very first parol. We chose a capiz 8-point star with smaller 5-point stars surrounding it, a simple but pretty thing (we Lims don't like gaudy stuff... although my dad was joking about buying one of the garish Santa-in-a-helicopter figures to stick on our front lawn :p). The bigger star in the middle was outlined in green, but we asked the vendors to change it to blue to match the roof of our house, as well as the 2 angels-with-trumpets figures we also purchased (my dad wanted to get something more "festive", but we were truly afraid he'd end up buying the helicopter Santa, so we quickly closed the deal).

Call me a sap, but standing there on the Granada bridge with my family, shopping for our first parol together, I felt a twinge of something that I hadn't felt in a few years: the Christmas spirit. I'm not just referring to childish,
giddy anticipation for the holidays, nor the heady buzz you get while shopping for presents or attending Christmas parties. I'm talking about the bubble of warmth and peace and unadulterated joy that starts in your chest, expands to nestle in your tummy, and eventually stretches until it touches the tips of your toes. It's that snug, secure, wrapped-in-a-soft-blanket feeling, the contentment and comfort that come from knowing you are loved, and are protected by that love. And it's the acute awareness that you have so much love in your life that it's impossible not to share it, to give it away, to offer it freely. And it's impossible not to smile.

And so we brought our first parol home, and once it's hung and lit, it will be the first to adorn the Lim residence after 20 Christmases in Greenhills. It's nice to know that even after so many years, our family is still sharing some firsts, and despite growing older, wearier, and generally crankier, we're still capable of getting into the spirit of the season.


At Monday, November 12, 2007, Blogger Sean said...

I don't make many demands of life, but this time you have to show me the star on top of your house. :)

At Tuesday, November 13, 2007, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

It's not exactly on top of our house, and I have a feeling the photo makes it look bigger and prettier than it actually is, but you're welcome to come take a look at it. :)

At Tuesday, November 13, 2007, Anonymous Christa said...

Oh that's nice. :) I really like parols, especially the ones on Gilmore.

At Tuesday, November 13, 2007, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Thanks Christa. We're all happy with our choice. :)

At Tuesday, November 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a warm and fuzzy post :) :) :) - chars

At Wednesday, November 14, 2007, Anonymous mojo said...

oh my God, nabuhay si chars.


i <3 parols, and it's my goal to take a whole album of artsy fartsy shots of them when i go home in december!

At Wednesday, November 14, 2007, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Chars, I never thought I'd ever receive a comment from you containing the adjectives "warm" and "fuzzy". Hahaha.

Jo, drop by our house and take an artsy-fartsy photo of our parol! :)


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