She sets foot on her parent’s property, taking a moment to admire the beauty of the landscape. The decrepit metal gate was adorned by an arc of bougainvillea draped over the post-and-rail fence, the flowers were in bloom, their sweet smell cuts through the north wind. The sweet and soft scent mingles with the coldness of the wind. The gate was open, easily welcoming anyone to stroll leading a path to her home. Feet firmly on the ground, she lifts her head in the sky, the clouds flutter serenely with light, she lets out a slow, deep breath as she puts her head down and slowly ambles forward.
She slowly strides when out of the corner of her eyes, she spotted Max. The path towards the house suddenly became alive with the hopping of a fiddle-footed four-legged animal. She grinned. “How are you, big boy?” He barks his reply while wagging its tail. Max led the way to a fair-sized house built with dirty white plaster, the clapboard slivered by the sun with a brown tiled roof baked by decades of summer.
The door is already ajar so she crosses over the threshold, her home is the usual room with smiling walls decorated with prints of laughter and memories of the people close to her heart. Like any other home, they have beds, tables, and chairs but evokes a natural softness and warmth that made it preeminent from any other home.
An adorned enormous flickering tree covered in tiers of ribbons and gold, glitter and trinkets sat at the corner of the room, it reminds her of that old Christmas tree made of bamboo equally adorned exquisitely albeit with candies and lollipops. She was once one of those kids in pigtails who wanted to have the first snatch of the treats of that old Christmas bamboo tree. An old tree that was long forgotten but the memories linger forever.
She got allured by the scent of Christmas, the most celebrated feast in their home. It is more than presents and food but the most important time to celebrate family togetherness. It yields and uplifts the mood where warm laughter and love surround the household. Every family member made sure to come home and be with their loved ones to celebrate and not to miss this special holiday.
Each member of the family has a role, she knows that her mother has already prepared and marinated her famous and sought-after glazed pineapple ham. She knows that the yard is clean and tidy, on account of his father. That the backyard tent is already up courtesy of his brother. That the barbeque pit and the bonfire is ready to be lit thanks to his uncle. That her cousin is plotting the games and tricks for the kids. That the kids are already up and about running here and there in the yard. And in no time, the women of the house will come scolding the children to be careful for they’ll about to turn the yard upside down. Albeit old and trustworthy Max is on her side, he will soon forget about her and will follow suit where the party abounds.
She was about to head to the yard when she saw her Mom approaches with little Violet in tow. Her heart skips a beat as they went straight to the posted photos adorning the wall. “This is your Auntie Mary,” showing the photo of a teen girl with fringe almost covering her eyes but with a lively smile exposing her colorful braces. “She wooks wike you, Granny,” alternately looking at the photo and her grandmother on her tiptoe. “Well, of course, she is my daughter, but she’s way prettier than me and oh so kind too, I bet you’ll get along pretty well,” her thumb finger tenderly rubbing the photo. “I bet, she’s wooking after us in heaven, Granny,” little Violet said as she scampered walking through Mary. Mary gasped in surprise and let out a soft strangled cry, the light began to flicker and the dog started to howl. Mary’s mother turned to face the room but she saw nothing. She wrapped her own arms around her body suddenly cold and said, “Merry Christmas, Mary, I miss you everyday…” “I miss you too, Mommy, I’ll be here every Christmas and every second I can, please don’t forget me…”