This may be the first Christmas season where I can hardly feel the spirit. Normally, I would be up to my ears buying gifts, preparing for parties, and all that at this time…but this year, I’m not. I haven’t shopped for any gifts at all, I missed thre nights of Simbang Gabi, and inside I’m really just counting down to the holiday break, because gosh darn it, I really need this break.

It seems like in the past weeks, all I’ve been doing was waiting. Waiting for the weekend, waiting for the time I can go home, waiting for a meeting, waiting for an event, waiting for the holiday break, waiting for things to end. As if all those waiting wasn’t enough, now I’m waiting even some more to hear some feedback for some important things, which has kept me very, very antsy in the past days, so much that there has been a heavy feeling in my heart that I have been fighting off if I want to get things done.

I’m not really a stranger to waiting. Romantically, I have been waiting for a huge chunk of my life, and I am still waiting. I wait a lot in lines in banks, or tricycle terminals, and all that. I should be used to that, but whenever I am faced with a new kind of waiting, it seems like I do not know how wait again. I want things to happen my way, and I want them now. If not now, then as soon as possible.

I kind of hate that it has to happen now, when it’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year.

But then again, liturgically speaking, it’s not the Christmas season yet. We’re still smack in the middle of Advent. And Advent means a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the coming of Jesus. Yes, it is joyful, but it is more of a joyful expectation, where the coming of our Savior is so close but at the same time, it feels so far.

And so we wait.

And wait.

And it’s so frustrating.

Sometimes I get so caught up with all my worries and I don’t sit still, and I worry so much. I lost count at how many times I repeated this to myself: Stop worrying. You already prayed for it, and God has heard you.

But like I said, sometimes I want some things so much, and I want them now.

Be patient, my good friend, previous manager, and sort-of mentor told me the other day when I talked to him about what was happening to me recently. I was thisclose to panicking, and I was feeling so pressured and so scared that I wouldn’t get what I want. But he calmed my fears and repeated:  Be firm, be nice, be humble, and be patient. It will all work out fine.

What did I write last year? With God, no waiting is ever wasted.

This may be God’s way of letting me understand what Advent really means, and to prepare me for Christmas in a whole new way.

And so I wait.

I ask for the grace to sit still, and for the courage to be patient. Jesus is on His way, and everything will work out fine. God has always been faithful, and He will be faithful, and I believe He has heard my prayer and He will only give me what is best.

So I wait.

Christmas Eve

I don’t know about you, but I always feel a certain kind of magic in the air the moment Christmas Eve rolls around. It may be because it’s the last morning that I have to wake up at a very early hour for Dawn Mass1, or because it’s a non-working holiday and I can finally (sort of) rest, or because I can finally open the presents waiting for me under the tree2. Or maybe, maybe it’s because Advent is all about waiting, and Christmas Eve somehow feels like it’s the end of all the waiting for this season. Christmas is tomorrow, friends!

But can you imagine this: what if it’s just Christmas Eve…forever?

I’d talk about Groundhog Day here, but since I haven’t watched that movie (Don’t hate me!), I’ll go for something a little more familiar to me. There’s this Sweet Valley Twins book with the same idea, where Jessica was stuck in Christmas Eve for several days because she was so self-absorbed and ruined everyone’s Christmas. The only way she can get out is if she makes it right on that day, and eventually, she did break that time loop, with a bigger heart for Christmas and everyone else around her.

How frustrating it must be, to keep on waking up on the same day, never reaching that day you have been waiting for.

Even more frustrating, is how sometimes we thought we did things right, but end up still stuck in some kind of Eve, never arriving to where we wanted to be.

Sometimes, it feels like life is like that. We wait for something for a long time, and then when you thought it’s already here, it turns out it’s not. And you end up having to wait some more. And more. Sometimes we want to give up on waiting, so we do things: we try to make it come earlier by celebrating earlier, we distract ourselves with other things that require less waiting. Sometimes, we pretend it doesn’t matter. Sometimes we get tired of the waiting that we just give up.

Sometimes, it feels like we’re stuck at the Eve and we would never get to the Day.

But the thing about Christmas, and Christmas Eve, is that we are assured of the promise that Christmas will arrive. That the Messiah will come. No, wait, scratch that — that the Messiah has come, and He is born, and that God is already with us. All the waiting, the anticipating, and the frustrations come to a halt when Christmas morning comes, because Jesus is born. The prophecy has come true. God’s promise is here.

Emmanuel. God is with us.

I think one of God’s reminders for us today is to trust in His faithfulness. It may seem like we are and we have been waiting forever, like we’re stuck in some sort of Eve all our lives. But remember Christmas. Remember that day when God came down to the world for us, and became one of us. We have been waiting for a long time, but we have a God who is true to His word, and with Him, our waiting is never wasted.

Image source
Image source

O come, Thou Dayspring from on high,
and cheer us by thy drawing nigh;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night
and death’s dark shadow put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

Have a blessed and joyful Christmas, everyone!

  1. Misa de Gallo []
  2. At least, this year, I promised not to open any present until Christmas. It was kind of sad that I didn’t have any more presents to open last year when Christmas came, so now I’m working on my EQ. :P []