I’ve been braving the malls, parking lots and cashier lines this week. I know, I know, Christmas is over a month away. I know. but I’ve been putting together a monster care package for some of my favorites back home in the Philippines, just in time for my dad’s business trip this weekend.
It’s a luxury to have someone hand-deliver the gifts. Usually, we put together balikbayan boxes, stuffing it to the rim with anything and everything imagineable, and send it via cargo ship. It takes weeks, and I always worry that it might not arrive, imagining the T-shirts and sneakers and bags of candy floating to some distant shore.
I wish I could be there to give the gifts myself. I want to see their faces light up as they tear open the packages and collect the “Thank You” hugs and kisses. Mostly, though, I want to sit around with my cousins like I did this summer, eating microwave popcorn and garlic roasted peanuts, teaching our parents to play B.S. and Murder and other card games, teasing each other viciously and laughing hysterically until the early hours of the morning. That would be my Christmas wish come true.