By Fr Niall O’Brien
This article was written by the late Fr Niall O’Brien, founding editor of Misyon for The Visayan Daily Star, a daily newspaper published in Bacolod City, where he had a weekly column. Father Niall died on 27 April 2004.
‘Fond memories bring the light of other days around me.’ So go the words of a 19th century Irish melody by Thomas Moore. That’s the way I feel when I remember Christmas as a child.
In my family there were strictly no presents given throughout the year, except birthdays and Christmas but particularly Christmas. I had many maiden aunts and bachelor uncles and they added their presents to those of Santa Claus so there was quite a pile waiting for us we new awoke at dawn on Christmas morning.
I recall not being able to sleep with the excitement. My parents could hardly go to bed at midnight before we would wake up. They used to leave three wineglasses and a tiny trace of sherry in the bottom of each glass to show that they had had a drink personally with Santa Claus. That third glass was proof that he had been there and it certainly convinced us.
I recall skating on the road outside our house at 2:30 am on my new roller skates on Christmas morning. I wonder what the tired neighbors thought because roller skates in those days were metal and made a terrible noise.