Monday, December 19, 2011

A Christmas Tree: Mirror of my past

I turned the key to unlock the gate as the dogs greet me at my entrance. Actually, I could hardly tell  if they were barking at me or at a cat sneaking through our backyard again but either way, I couldn't care less. Our dogs bark all the time. Whenever the water delivery guy turns up at the gate, they bark at them so loud they were ready to tear the guy apart into pieces. When a strayed cat who unfortunately finds its way to the backyard pass by their cage, they would freak out and run around their pen which would seem as if they just had 12 cups of coffee.

Anyway, my mom peeked through the window and rushed to the door as soon as she saw me came in. I thought it was going to be the same old tableau of a lonely, spacious living room that would welcome me, but to my surprise, it wasn't. A 7 ft. tall Christmas tree standing by the window near the door, covering an amount of space in the living room, altered the look of the house.  In my head I said, "Finally! People will stop thinking that we hate Christmas!".

In our former house, we didn't get the chance to decorate every Christmas because of a few issues with the people we were living with and predicaments popping out from nowhere. So every time Christmas approaches, our neighbors would always illuminate the darkness of the night by their colorful Christmas lights, intricately placed on their doors and window panes subsequently living our house in the dusk of the streets. I was convinced that passersby assume that we're not celebrating Christmas because of our house's apparent display of invisible Christmas lights and decorations.

I guess that is one of the many memories that hit me when I glanced at the Christmas tree. A memory that I wish I could permanently bury in the past. Suddenly, I realized that it wasn't just a Christmas tree. It's a mirror. A mirror of my past.

The Christmas tree sent me back to the place in the past where my family was surrounded by insolent and pretentious people who never got tired of trying to put us down. We were not in our place to fight back and so all I could do was to take everything in. We took everything they said as if all words were true even if its not. It was only me, my mom, my youngest sister and my step-dad against these shark-infested world.  I wanted to stand-up and do something but I knew it wouldn't do me or my family any good so I tried my hardest to shut up. We would always turn out to be the bad guys at the end of the day anyway so what's the use. Basically, we were living in an abnormal life back then where we had to be careful with our every move or it could be used against us. An argument may start if we play music or turn on the TV and we could get shouted at if we laugh at a joke. Obviously, it was a gruesome life to live. 

Despite these bitter memories, the tree tells me something about our abilities. Our ability to surpass every life challenges, ability to be resilient in every storm and the ability to remain faithful in the presence of hopelessness. I never thought we could never change our lives. I never thought we could get out from that prison and I never thought there could be no Christmas tree standing in our living room. However, all these thoughts were proven wrong. We were able to move out and start a new life. We were able to bring ourselves out from a seemingly endless misery and the best part for me is that we were able to buy a Christmas tree which now stands in our living room reminding me of a never ending possibilities of life.


  1. I never put up decorations here at my dads house either. We just don't do it. I'm glad you were able to get out of that place though, and most of all, I'm proud you were able to hold yourself back, to ultimately be the better person, even if they made you out to be the worst.

  2. You, sir/bud, are an EPIC WRITER! Following right away!

  3. @shenanigans: thank you very much for welcoming me! : )

    @Mark: thanks. and yes, i was as proud when I was able to hold back anger despite what's happening around me.

    @kbbuddingwriter: thanks for the complement. not a lot of people say that to me. haha. : )

  4. You are quite a young man! Reading your post made me think of Chris Gardner, in Pursuit of Happyness. I am happy that you were able to override the bitter memories and hope in the future your Christmas Tree will always be a symbol of positive thoughts.

  5. @Justlittlecajunme: thank you very much! that's very nice of you to say and i do hope also that our Christmas tree will remain a symbol of positive thoughts, not just for me but for my family also. : )