Christmas at The Shire

6:35:00 AM

There are things about Christmas that I don't particularly like. For starters, I hate the traffic. I hate that the malls are always so full of people, making shopping a Man vs. Wild experience. I hate that Christmas decorations are so expensive. I hate that too much paper is wasted on gift wrapping, and that too much electricity is wasted on bright lights. I hate that the fireworks are making it harder to breathe. And I especially hate that it's cold, because I thrive in the summer.

My current domestic situation doesn't help much. So much has happened, and although I'm no longer angry,  I'm still not ready for a happy reunion with my father and brother. As for my mother, well, she has been gone since 2010, and I don't really want to spend Christmas Eve in a graveyard. I could have opted to spend the evening with my relatives in Malabon, but I decided not to because I wanted to enjoy my dinner without the possibility of my father and brother walking in looming over my head.

Despite all those, I still love Christmas. I love giving gifts (even if I couldn't afford to give anyone anything this year). I love receiving presents, and I can never wait until Christmas Eve to unwrap them. I love that people are generally nicer this season, and a part of me hopes that they'll continue to be like that when it's time to put the decor in storage boxes again. And I particularly like this Christmas because I spent it with my friend Alex and his family in their home in The Shire (a.k.a. Alabang).

Alex's home in The Shire
Alex owns my favorite wine shop in the universe, Cyrano. We've only known each other for a little over a month (I first walked into the store/his life last November 23), so I'm very grateful that he invited me to spend Christmas with them. I will admit that I was a bit hesitant about taking him up on his offer, partly because I already made up my mind about a quiet Noche Buena for one in my condo, and I don't really like changing my plans. And partly because we haven't known each other long enough. But I figured, if I could already crack what people call an Alex Joke, then we're good enough friends to spend Christmas together.
A second home
Little beast got us from Rivendell (Makati) to The Shire in 28 minutes
I brought ice cream (of course) and I wore the lovely dress that Tagpi gave me. We met up at the shop at around 7pm, and our good friend, Peter the Scotsman from Scotland, stopped by for his Chardonnay fix. At 9pm, we drove off to The Shire. I was nervous on the way there, for two reasons. One, I was worried that the ice cream was going to melt, and two, I was afraid that it was going to be weird. After all, I was just someone who walked into the wine shop a month ago. But Alex's family was just absolutely wonderful. They were warm and welcoming, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself there.
And of course I brought Selecta Ice Cream! :)
Alex said to me before that Christmas is about family, and I completely agree with him. But your family need not just be the one you are dealt; it's not confined to your parents, siblings, and other relatives. I know people say you can't choose your family, and I am contesting that statement. You can choose your family because you can choose your friends, and your friends can also be your family. In my case, my friend and his family became my family for an evening, and I'll always be grateful that they let me into their home on Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas everyone! :)

P. S. Yesterday was my first time at The Shire. I've driven past the place a number of times before, usually on the way to Tagaytay, but I never really had the chance (or the reason) to stop and be there. And I have to say that the place is just beautiful. The houses in their village are nice, although I find a lot of them too big for my taste. The air is so clean that I almost wanted to go for a run. And there were no skyscrapers to block my view of the sky, and of the beautiful moon (just tall trees).
Happy holidays from The Moonstruck Society! :)
And when everything was over, Alex brought me back home to Eastwood. Oh yes, the man from The Shire drove all the way to the gates of Mordor (a.k.a. Quezon City)! We had a few drinks to cap off the celebration, plus some good old KFC Crispy Fries because I was already hungry despite stuffing my face just a few hours prior with generous helpings of paella, turkey, spaghetti, and liempo, plus soup, ice cream, coffee, and wine. I really need to run off the calories.


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