Yearend, New Year, it was a blast

HOW do I count my blessings? It always starts with family. They are the only people who can withstand a difficult individual named Jinggoy. Maybe they have no choice and I love them even more for it.

Like always, the holidays were centered at the family. As much as I want to say yes to hotel-hosted party invitations on the eves of Christmas and New Year, I won't pass on our family-style gatherings where we dress down, feast on home-cooked spread and countdown to the red-letter days with torotots, hugs and kisses and jumping (para tumangkad, and we are living proof that it works, if you can believe that). It has always been this way, and I wouldn’t want to change it for the world. Indeed, there’s no place like home.

The gathering was quite special with the youngest sibling and her brood flying home for the holidays. The youngest boy and his family, who came home to visit earlier in the year, can't make it back. Thanks to FaceTime, they were able to join the fun from across the continent.

But there was another cause for the family to celebrate -- the wedding anniversary of the eldest brother and wife, the fourth birthday of the first and only grandchild in the Salvador clan and another milestone for dad as he turned 85 on December 31st. So much blessings in the family especially for the big man, who took the role of father and mother for the past fifteen years now.

Yes, it was expected of the season to feast, but the other events were as good reasons to prepare a banquet. Guess how many lechons were in a span of ten days?

More than the food, it was the company. Can you imagine how it is to be with ten crazy nephews and nieces plus one grandson in one room? There’s never a boring moment with this bunch. It must be in the genes. I remember how it was with cousins in the past during reunions.

While waiting for the clock to strike twelve, there was beer pong in the living room, music was courtesy of two cousins playing the keyboard and trumpet, a few were watching movies in the family room while the rest were gathered in the dining table drinking beer or sipping red wine. Altogether it was a racket.

How much weight I gained in the short span of time, I don't want to know. What I know is I will count partaking of food with my family as one of my blessings. How often does this often in a year anyway?

Happy New Year, everyone! Don't forget to count your blessings. It’s such a nice way to end and start a year, or even a day. Waking up to a new day is already one.

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