Culture Parenting

Christmas Reflections

It's raining here in Estancia and my iPhone just started screaming out another emergency weather alert. Apart from minor flooding we don't have too much to worry about here, but my prayers are with the people in Mindanao, Palawan and Leyte who are having a third typhoon (in less than 2 weeks) flood out their homes and crops. Oh life here in the Philippines is hard on the poor.

Christmas 2017 was certainly challenging but we made the best of it. Jerry came down with a terrible fever and virus about 2am on 24th which lasted until the 28th. I spent all day on the 24th sponging him down and cleaning up vomit while cooking and preparing for our house Christmas Party.

Poor little bugger had been dreaming all year of that Christmas party and gifts, but  spent the entire party lying on a mat in the middle of a crowd of screaming (mostly uninvited kids). I learned something about parties in the Philippines: invitations are irrelevant.

I do hate turning people away but when my guest list exploded from 30 to 60, all the food was eaten and another 15 people just walked in off the street, I politely told these strangers this was a private party and they should go home. They took some convincing too, so I had to escort them down to the gate. But what made it all worthwhile was a young girl of 17 (photo below) who was able to come to the party. Rosemary.

neda, mel and rosemary
Neda, Mel and Rosemary model our new dresses at the Christmas party 2017.

Rosemary at 9 years old was a bright girl. Doing well at school and in the top of her class, Rosemary had some sort of siezure 8 years ago that left with permanent brain damage. She’s now in the constant care of her impoverished family and if you hve been following the blog you may have seen my earlier posts about Rosemary and her family.

So I was absolutely stoked when her older brother brought her to the party (and even forgave her mother for bringing an extra 15 neighbours  without telling me). She was even wearing the dress my mother bought her.

Back in September/October my mother had asked me to return to Australia following dad’s heart attack. As a thank you, she bought a dress for all the ladies and their kids who helped take care of Jerry while I was away. (photos below of the ladies receiving their dresses in late October).

All the ladies (including me) finally wore the dresses to the Christmas party so that was another great part of the night. Sadly I don’t have a lot of photos, there were just so many people in a very small place and my time was taken up keeping the kids entertained (and not jumping off the balcony or throwing rocks at the next-door-neighbour’s dogs).

Exhausted Jerry and I slept nearly all day on Christmas Day (though Jerry was thrilled to wake up to the gifts that Santa Klaus (‘Santa Klaus is you Tita Mel’) left under the tree). He was still vomiting most of the day so our Christmas lunch was a little bland.

No Christmas Internet

The last two typhoons and a fire left the majority of Estancia without internet for more than a week. Oh it was frustrating as I had planned to work that entire time and I did lose a couple of clients. But it turned out to be a blessing more than anything as I ended up resting and spending the time tending to Jerry.

merry Christmas from Jerry and Maxine
Jerry’s gift to Maxine was a toy mouse and a little Christmas jumper. Her gift to us was getting pregnant at 5 months.

So friends I hope your Christmas was merry, and please accept all our love and blessings for your 2018. Now with internet restored and Jerry back to school tomorrow you can expect again my daily posts, poems and photos.

© 2018 Melinda J. Irvine


  • Daily Post: Finally
  • I’m part of Post A Day 2018
  • Location: Estancia, Iloilo (Philipppines)

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