Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Christmas Memory, by Noemi Rabina

Christmas is a time for making memories. Sometimes the memories we make for someone else turn out to be our own best memories. Read Noemi’s story of a very special Christmas memory created by a very special group of nurses.

"Unto us a Child is born!" That was the message written on a lantern that adorned the lobby of the Mary Johnston Hospital in Manila one Christmas season. Everyone knows that the child is the Lord Jesus, born in a manger more than 2000. years ago who brought peace and goodwill towards all men.. It is His birthday that we now celebrate with great rejoicing.

I happened to be a part in this place many years ago. The institution was started by an American missionary who have seen the need for a health care facility for families living in poverty. It started as a small clinic and later expanded to be a general hospital, treating the patients' body, mind and spirit, following the ideals of the Great Physician.

On Christmas morn, at 5:00 AM, all students and graduate nurses in full uniforms, went through all the hospital wards in long procession, holding candles and singing Christmas carols. The patients waking up to the beautiful songs while their nurses greeting them  a Merry Christmas. Pain were alleviated, sorrow turned to joy and hope. Nobody would like to be in a hospital at this time of the year, but this was something that they will always remember and cherish.

During the day, the gate of the school was opened to let the children from the slum district come in for a Christmas celebration. They were seated and led in singing Christmas songs. Soon two trucks from the Clark Air Base came rolling in. American service men with their families and children added more joy and excitement. They brought some goodies for the children. Some men dressed as clowns entertained every one with magic. After the children have eaten to the fullest, they were given apples, oranges and candies. Then Santa Claus came down the fire escape with a loud "Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas !" carrying a big bag full of toys. Every one clapping their hands and screaming with joy to see a real Santa Claus. After every child was given a toy, they went home very happy this Christmas day.
That is the spirit of giving on Christmas day, a living tradition of the school and hospital for years.

For "Unto us a Child is born", the greatest gift of God to men.      

Merry Christmas !


  1. From Charlotte ~

    A lovely memory, a joy to read. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thank you Noemi for sharing such fun and warm memories of Christmas in the Philippines. And Merry Christmas to you.

  3. Thank you for your warm and tender story. I always enjoy your writting! Happy holidays!

  4. Dear Noemi
    Wow!Truly the experience in which you helped lift the spirits of the sick,sad,lonely, and perphaps worried patients was work divinely inspired. That IS the Christmas Spirit at work!