Saturday, January 5, 2013

Bring Joy to Others, Bring Joy to Your Heart

We often here it said, "When you strive to make others happy, you make yourself happy in the process as welll."  That's what I experienced recently or last December 28 to be exact.  I thought of what could make my parents happy this Christmas Season.  Yes, it's still Christmas today.  It's actually the 12th day of Christmas. I decided to bring my parents to their original date place again -- at Magnolia Flavor House.  I thank God for the idea and inspiration for it proved to be have brought joy to their hearts.
I could still remember the many times that my parents recounted how they would meet each other and date each other at that memorable place when they were still single.  They looked very happy reminiscing those times.  They also liked bringing me and my younger brother there when we were kids as their way of sharing their experience, their special place and happy memories with us. 

My parents, back in their original date place, after many years.

Last December 28, after attending the house blessing of our former neighbors, we went to Robinson's Magnolia to have merienda/snack at Magnolia Flavor House.  The old Magnolia Ice Cream Plant was no longer there.  The place was smaller because it was replaced by a mall.  The lawn where my brother and I used to run around and play when we were kids was smaller.  But there was still a fountain and some space for kids to run around.  My kids, ages 4 and 1, had a grand time running around in the grass.  They were so happy!  It was hard to take pictures of them or to make them stand still.  And my parents... there were peaceful and joyful smiles on their faces as they recounted once more how they dated each other many years ago and how they shared their date place to us when we were kids and how happy they are to be back there with their grandchildren.

My mom could even remember what she and my father used to order every time they date -- lover's delight.  Hahaha But it was no longer included in the menu.  So, I chose one that they could share just like old times.

Looking back, it was really just a simple visit to an old and familiar place... a simple meal shared with people significant to us.  But it was such a memorable day for my parents, for me and my kids as well because not only did we relieve the beautiful memories of the past, we also somehow renewed a family tradition... that of going to Magnolia Flavor House to enjoy some ice cream and each other's company.

Aside from this bonding activity with my parents, I thank God for the inspiration to give them a simple plaque as a Christmas gift.  I was on my way to our condo which was being renovated then when I happened to pass by one of my favorite gift shops -- Papemelroti.  I stopped for a while to see if there is anything I could get from their store.  I saw this plaque which says "World's Greatest Grandparents."  There's a caricature of a man and woman in Barong Tagalog and a woman in baro't saya.  You need to put a picture on each caricature because there are no heads.  I bought it right away and thought that I'd give it to my parents as gift from my sons.  Days passed and Christmas Eve was fast approaching.  We had been very busy.  But thankfully on the afternoon of the day before Christmas, on my way to buy Jesus' birthday cake, I saw an open computer shop and I was able to ask the staff to resize a photo of my parents.  I was able to put the right size of photos on the plaque just in time for Christmas Eve.  My parents liked it very much, especially my mom.  She was so proud of the simple gift she got from us.  She displayed it right away and even showed it to her friends.
Photo source here.

Watching her with much joy because of my simple gesture and even my "cheap" Christmas gift reminded me of the fact that a lot of times, the best gifts are not the most expensive ones but those things or actions which fill the love tanks of  the receiver/s.  It also brought joy to my heart to find out how happy they are with my gift, just like during our simple bonding activity at Magnolia Flavor House.  Even my eldest son was so happy with our Robinson's Magnolia visit that he kept asking when we'd come back.  I'm sure I'll be bringing my kids back to that wonderful place, made wonderful by the presence of the significant people in my life.

On this 12th day of Christmas, I'd like to invite you to think of people or a person you can bring joy to.  I encourage you to do something or give something that you think will make that person or those people happy.  I guarantee that you will eventually notice that you are feeling happy as well as you watch their happy faces or hear their laughter.  Let's continue to give love on this 12th day of Christmas!

Merry Christmas! 

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