Christmas Morning

Christmas morning, to me, speaks of a feeling of overwhelming peace. Growing up, the household I was raised in never celebrated Christmas, so there was never a big deal about presents and such. Here in Canada, 25 December was not celebratory because my Mom would usually be working on those days. But there was always something about waking up on the 25th of December that made my heart feel content and peaceful, like all was right in the world.

Christmas morning at Niagara
Christmas Morning at Niagara. (c) Dani Magsumbol

I took this photo last Chrismas at Niagara Falls. It was my first time spending a major holiday over there, and I have to say that I loved it. Waking up as warm and cosy as a cinnamon bun in a soft bed with fluffy sheets, surrounded by family without the stress of holiday prep, and looking out to a gorgeous view of the falls from the hotel was an amazing experience.

It was a beautiful Christmas. As we drove out of Toronto, every single twig, leaf, and bud was coated in ice. It looked like a scene straight out of a storybook. Trees were bowing due to the weight of the ice, often collapsing onto electric wires. Pipes were frozen, the streets were rivers of ice. As we made our way closer and closer to Niagara, the difference between a normal winter scene and Toronto became clearer. Obviously, Elsa had frozen us over.

Photo from: http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2013/12/21/21353301.html
Photo from: http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2013/12/21/21353301.html

Niagara Falls during the winter season is the perfect little holiday destination. Powdery snow, relatively quiet because most people are staying home, and the Christmas sales at the outlet strip are only some of the draws. Of course, the gorgeous decorations are not to be missed, either. I’m a sucker for strings of Christmas lights (apparently more commonly known as fairy lights in North America), sprigs of greenery, ribbons, and festive trees. Having only left the Philippines for good when I was 20, I was accustomed to songs blaring from every store and jeepney, and decorations being put up as early as September, being in a “Christmas village” did my heart good. Even the falls themselves had a festive atmosphere, with the light show providing some variation from the ice and snow. As much as I enjoyed that outing with my family, I think I would have enjoyed it even more if I had gone alone. We need to recharge, sometimes. For me, my recharge system is being alone, walking around, wandering and meandering to my heart’s content. I feel bad about it because I feel like I am very selfish for wanting to be alone more than being with them, but the statement stands.

By the way, this is the view I woke up to:

Christmas Morning
Sunrise Overlooking the Water. (c) Dani Magsumbol

The world is an awesome place, in all senses of that word. It is both beautiful and terrible, and teems with wonders and horrors that some of us will never experience. All we can do is make our own little corner safe for everybody in it. I dream of the day when waking up feels more like Christmas morning than another dreadful foray into the world.

Where I was and what song was playing: Safe in bed 10 floors up, and Jason Mraz’s The World As I See It. 

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