When I turned 18, my Papa made sure to bless me with an unforgettable affair. Like a kid in a candy store, he asked me to choose anything that would make up for an “extraordinary” birthday. I enjoyed the ball and cherished the words spoken that night but something was amiss.  I told myself that it would be the last time that I’d fritter away a fortune for my birthday.

Upon turning 20, my birthdays became celebrations for other people – children in particular. I am not sharing this to sound holier-than-thou because this is definitely nothing compared to the deeds of full-fledged volunteers. I am also a fan of people who do good things without chasing the spotlight.

Still, I want to acknowledge people who have been patient and nice enough to join this year. I initially wanted a Disney Princesses theme but to avoid frowning boys, we opted for the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse gang. The creative Dreams Come True team did our wonderful setup. They specialize in making parties appear magical through their imaginative (and cost-friendly!) standees and backdrops.

Joseph, my friend and former colleague, accompanied me in searching for prizes and loot bag contents. He also baked the cupcakes and brownies for the event. My wonderful mom prepared the meals and like usual, her cooking’s a hit.

 Some of my high school classmates also came to play with our guests. I was surprised as well that they (hello Alfred and Christy!) brought more toys for the children even if I didn’t ask for anything. Donnie performed Disney’s “Let It Go” and amazingly, the kids (even the little ones) knew the entire lyrics.

The joy I get from celebrating this way inspires me to work harder. While life will find its way to exhaust us in forms of heartbreaks, unnecessary dramas, and other letdowns that might seem too much to bear, looking at the children’s faces is enough for me to maintain my grateful disposition.

IIf you feel as if your world’s about to crash, cry, eat boxes of chocolates, or shop until your wallet’s ailing but at the end of the day, remember that there’s a BIG GUY up there who’s more than willing to carry your burden. For this, I want to thank Him for trusting me with blessings I know I am undeserving of. If not for His grace, I don’t know where I would be.