Christmas Eve is usually a sleepless day and a continuous celebration for us, Filipinos. We celebrate this day, as early as dawn by attending the last “Simbang Gabi.” Then, afterwards, every family already starts preparing “Noche Buena” which is a family feast that takes place after midnight. Some families, held ‘family reunion’ during this event, as well.
Noche Buena is like an open-house celebration. Family friends, relatives and neighbors drop by to each houses or families to greet them “Maligayang Pasko”. Foods that are being prepared in this occasion are usually: Spaghetti, Pancit, Salad, Chicken, Ham, Lechon or Pork, Rice, Barbecue, Grilled Bangus, Relyenong Bangus and sweets like: leche plan, halayang ube and so much more. Drinks like wines, beers, alcohols, etc are also abundant in this event.
In our neighborhood, we celebrated Christmas Eve by having a Christmas party. It’s a 2-set Christmas party. One, for the young ones (toddlers and teens) and the other, is for the ‘young at heart’…hehe!
Four days prior to the Christmas party, our neighbors, including my mother went house-to-house caroling in nearby streets. In anticipation to get aguinaldo or money(s) for decoration to the party, foods for the kids and also prizes for the parlor games (only for kids also)…hehe! Since next year will already be election, our neighbors decided to drop by to the houses of each hopeful candidate in our place, hoping to get a small amount. And all of them actually gave money(s) that are even higher to what we expected. One, candidate even donated whole Lechon to our street, which we equally divided to every family in our street during the Noche Buena itself.
Our first set of party which is for kids include parlor games such as: bring me, trip to Jerusalem, paper dance and so many more. Of course, there were also foods for them like spaghetti, chicken, hotdogs on stick with marshmallows and a tetra-pack juice. The last part of the party is of course, the exchanging of gifts which is the most favorite of all kids. ^_^
For the second and last set of the party, which is for us, “the young at heart” category (ages 20 and above), we had of course eating and drinking sessions, picture takings and also exchange gifts on the last part. Foods and drinks were abundant in a long-rectangular table outside. Some of the foods are leftovers from the foods during the first set of the party, and then some are donated by each family in our street. ^_^ Our barangay captain, who is still running for a re-election next year, dropped by in our neighborhood, greeted everyone “Merry Christmas”, had a speech, stayed for awhile to eat with us outside and donated a P1,000, which our neighbors decided to just used it to buy wines, ices, other drinks and foods, the change is divided to children who are still awake that time. Just before, 10 o’clock in the evening, another candidate (the one who donated Lechon) also dropped by, greeted everyone, stayed for awhile and socialized with us and lastly did his speech.
Everybody celebrates the Christmas Eve happily ^_^