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Promise tree

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Promise tree

Friday, December 15, 2017

CHRISTMAS time is a time for perfection.

We all want the perfect feast and drinks on the table, the perfect party, the perfect gift for loved ones and friends, the perfect reconciliation with an estranged significant other, perfect after-celebration time at dawn—perfect everything.

On the other paw, we all know no one is perfect, so why do something we know we will fall short of the glory at doing? Riiiiight! Let’s be realistic this Christmas, and just strive to do our best. If you’re good at making spaghetti—in fact, the sought-after item in every community potluck you are invited to—don’t go overboard with carbonara that you know you will botch.

We’re all better at doing our best, compared to doing something perfectly. So nine days before Christmas, I’m suggesting we set up a small second Christmas tree. Place it on the bare corner table. Pick a three-foot plastic tree that you can recycle every year until it becomes ratty.

Nine days before Christmas, place “My Best” promise tags on the bare branches. Since the promises are no secret, what do you put on the bare branches? On top of the list are promises to share food, since this column talks about food 70 percent of the time. On a gift tag, write: “My Best promise this Christmas is to buy chocolate mousse for mom, who likes it” or “Buy crispy pata for the midnight meal, since this is kuya Bee’s fave food” or “I will buy good Christmas ham for my laundrywoman.” That’s the drift.

Other tags can be filled with messages, such as: “Nine days before Christmas, Mom, I will help you in kitchen duties” or “Tatay, throw out your scruffy belt. I will buy you a new one plus one six-clip fashion suspenders” or “Nine days before Christmas, I will lead in our evening prayers” or “This will please you Papa and Mama. It’s very hard, and I feel like crying now, but I will limit my game app time to five hours per night for nine days.” Consider the second tree as your tree of good intentions that are achievable. I mean, it’s not like you promise to give the gift of love, which spells “impossible to do.” It can be done. In fact, we started this second tree project on Dec. 1 and we’ve been having fun outdoing one another.

“I like your idea, ‘Ber. Let’s make this a family tradition,” my Uncle Gustave said.

“The second tree is a gift tree we can dedicate to the Greatest Hero ever, Christ, whose birthday we will soon celebrate,” Tita Blitte said and we all agreed. I hope you do.

Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on December 16, 2017.

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