It is dark when we finish putting up the tree. We snuff out all lights in the room to set off its spruced-up, lit-up branches.
This is the same tree we’ve had for years and years. The same ole star on top. (Almost) the same ole flowers and angels and tinsels and bells. (Almost) the same ole garland of tiny dancing lights.
This is the same tree we twitted as being too scrawny and not tall enough when we first put it up 15 Christmases ago. The same tree I threaten to get rid of year after year, never mind if we went treeless.
Yet, today, there is something magically new and different in the same ole.
All because we are seeing it through the eyes of a two-month-old baby looking at her first Christmas tree.
Held up by her mom, she is wide-eyed with wonder. The lights begin to blink and she blinks, too, then gurgles. As her chuckle breaks through, I almost hear the laughter of the stars one silent, holy night, eons ago.
We all watch the little scene with a silly grin, awash with feelings too magical for words.
Nope, it isn’t just another Christmas.
It is Apo Andeng' s first.
Note: Thanks to Marthalee, scrab buddy from Britanny, for Andeng's outfit.