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Archive for the ‘Christmas 2018’ Category


This song was playing in my head early this morning. Today is the third day of Christmas.

♫♫♪♫On the third day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.♪♪♫♪

(Photo culled from the net)

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I know I said I am done with my last post for Christmas but I like to share some snippets of  some behind-the-scene moments  that we simply enjoyed.

Armed with the two empty boxes of Olay, Nate started singing some Christmas songs of old. We urged him to go and sing for mom and his tito Josef while Nissa and I were laughing so hard because Nate felt so hesitant to sing in front of them. All I heard clearly was “thank you, thank you, ang babait ninyo, thank you”. A typical line I always hear from street kids during Christmas. I laughed when he said “there is five thousand pesos there” referring to the 500-hundred peso bill that he got. He counted the new crisp twenties and he was happy. I remember last year I also gave him a big piggy bank and he said that it is almost full. I told him to make a habit of saving.

We had our snack around 4 pm and Nate finished two big slices of pizza. He said he loved Hawaiian flavors but I doubt if he really knows the difference. As long as it is pizza, everything is fine with him.  They waited for the dream cake to bake and brought home a tin together with two boxes of our native delicacy we call bibingka.

Obet and I were both craving for green mangoes  so we had one each. Loved it with sweet spicy bagoong.  A officemate gifted Josef with a jar of crunchy garlic in soybean oil. Perfect for dips with kalamansi and soy sauce.

It’s the second day of Christmas. ….♫♪two turtle doves and a partridge on a pear tree♪♪♫. Oh, I feel like singing.

Always strive to be happy. Joy comes when you are.

 

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Ah, that was a lovely Christmas lunch. And we almost forgot to take pictures except  for the group shot  and the food on the dining table before we had our lunch. Since Nissa’s family didn’t spend the night here, we have to open our gifts early.

Nate was a little impatient and he kept asking “Are you done eating Nonna? Can I open my gifts now?”. He was a little disappointed though when he didn’t receive more toys but clothes and cash gifts instead. He knows cash goes directly to his ITF savings account. I told him when he got his birthday gift last month that I won’t give him toys this Christmas. Right after, everyone got busy but we were so noisy around the dining table except for Nate who was busy watching cartoons, Obet sleeping and Kevin on his cellphone. Mom had that indulgent smile and was curious about what we were doing.  They prepared puto bungbong, some more orders of Dream Cake and we also ordered two boxes of pizza for snacks. Such a joyous family gathering.

Aside from her other gifts, Nissa gave me a Samsung phone with a 16 megapixel camera. I have to buy one more SIM card and a load.  I tried it with one of our potted blooms and the picture looked so sharp although the light was a little low because of the rain yesterday.

Mom and I  attended the midnight mass on television  after our Noche Buena  and  was officiated by Fr. Jerry Orbos, one of the best SVD priests around. Last February he met an accident and he questioned God’s wisdom. Why him? It was then that they found out about the stage 2 lung cancer.  He  has undergone surgery, been on chemotherapy. He is a little thin now but the zest for living and sharing His words are still there. He emphasized how faith could work wonders when you have nothing more to cling to except God’s mercy.  He talked about the importance of family. When everyone has given up on you, your family will still be there by your side. He talked about health, one thing that we should not ignore is our health. Trust in His goodness,  He would not let us be burdened by loads we can’t carry. I was touched by the prayers he shared in front of the image of the Holy Family.

We slept around 1:30 am and looked forward to today. Oops, I know this would be my  last post for Christmas this year.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

 

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Remembering Christmas past.

This would be the first time that we won’t be complete on the 24th which is Christmas Eve. Josef still has to report to  work on the 24th but it is a special holiday here.  Nissa, Obet and Nate are coming over though but they won’t spend the night here because Christmas day happens to be Tuesday and they will spend  it with my son-in-law’s family. The following day is a regular work day.

In the past we would be busy preparing for Noche Buena  right after the evening mass and wait for 12 am  (Christmas day) to partake of the food on the table and open the gifts afterwards. We would always sleep late and wake up early again to attend Christmas Day mass.

I was looking at some of the photos I uploaded at  Photobucket and found  some Christmas photos.

We didn’t put up this Christmas tree this year because we have Oreo now.  He would play with anything he could reach and those Christmas balls would be added attraction to him. It’s a seven-foot tree. I don’t miss it much though because it is a little hard to dismantle it afterwards and clean all those decor before returning them back to their boxes. It is always exciting of course to put up a tree. Sadly,  we have never experienced having a real tree because we simply don’t have them here.  Even stores except for S & R and probably Landers now don’t sell real pines.  Next year, I’d like to decorate a small  one that would fit a side table.

And I’m in a quandary to take out or even display the gifts for the family this early. Oreo might play with them too. He played with my indoor plants last night 😦

This morning, I went to the wet market to buy some fresh ingredients for my pasta. I was thrilled when two of my sukis gave me a pretty small utility bag and a big bottle of patis (fish sauce). Such generous gestures. I receive gifts from them both every year.

Christmas clock says it’s two days, fifteen hours to go before Christmas.

 

 

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I always see these words everywhere. It seems as if the whole word is so hard to type that you have to write, “Merry Xmas”.   Christ with an X.  It’s just like those shortened version of text messages that sometimes you cannot understand.  How long will it take one to write the proper word with six letters compared to the four-letter word?

Accordingly, X can mean so many things. For example, when we want to denote an unknown quantity, we use the symbol X. It can refer to an obscene level of films, something that is X-rated. People seem to express chagrin about seeing Christ’s name dropped and replaced by this symbol for an unknown quantity X. Every year you see the signs and the bumper stickers saying, “Put Christ back into Christmas” as a response to this substitution of the letter X for the name of Christ.

There’s no X in Christmas

First of all, you have to understand that it is not the letter X that is put into Christmas. We see the English letter X there, but actually what it involves is the first letter of the Greek name for Christ. Christos is the New Testament Greek for Christ. The first letter of the Greek word Christos is transliterated into our alphabet as an X. That X has come through church history to be a shorthand symbol for the name of Christ.-  (Legonier Ministries)

I still prefer writing the word Christ though in Christmas, no abbreviations for me. It seems the meaning is lost when you just write X. Same thing with greeting someone with “Happy Holidays”.  Of course we know it is a holiday but for us Catholics, it’s a Holy Day.

So X is just the first letter of the Greek name for Christ.  Cristes Maesse or  “Christ’s Mass” is an old English term for “celebration of  Christ”.

Beyond the traditional festivities that we observe during December, Christmas reminds us of Jesus’ birth.  We start our nine-day Novena masses on the night of December 15 (for anticipated mass) and dawn masses early morning of December 16.  It’s a tradition for us. We call them Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo.  It is a unique Filipino celebration of  Christmas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Santa says:

Right now, there are 
27 days
until Christmas 2018!

Really, how time flies and before we know it  Christmas is here. There is one thing that I’ve noticed though, Around this time in the years past, our subdivision and its environs were full of  Christmas decor and the houses  were brightly lit at night. This time around, most of the Christmas decorations that you see can be found inside large malls and those traditional places that they choose to erect huge Christmas trees  and those ostentatious decorations in their  areas.  Although our street has Christmas lights and lanterns lit at night, gone are those parols and decor that I see in each house that I pass. Signs of the times? Or is it too early yet  to put up those decor?

If you are an ordinary working employee earning just much nowadays, you’ll probably set aside buying decoration and spend your money on more needed grocery items and food. Gosh, everything has gone up from the lowly Christmas balls on the sidewalks to the more expensive trimmings in the malls. Groceries have gone up by as much as 20% and I wouldn’t be surprised if in the next twenty or so days, they would jack up the prices more. Such is the reality we have now.

Oh, they still have those weekend sales but then some unscrupulous and well-known department stores change  their price tags to higher ones then  put a 10% or 20% off on the item. If you are not clever enough to see it, you’ll be doped into buying higher than the original tagged price. They do it all the time and the unsuspecting buyer thinks he or she has gotten a bargain in the process. Sad, isn’t it?

I need to wrap a few more gifts that I bought earlier. I bought an additional one for mom. I bet she’ll be spending not just Christmas with us  but for a long time yet.

I’m counting, are you?

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Went to the mall again yesterday. I  bought some groceries, more ribbons  and  I am finally done with my Christmas shopping.  At last!

The Christmas clock says it’s 43 days  and  13 hours to go before Christmas. SM East Ortigas looks so festive and there was even a show for kids at the lobby of the mall. I enjoyed  looking around and finding those gifts I  would like to give to some friends this Christmas. I love the piped-in Christmas music. I think this is the best time to enjoy the season before  the shopping frenzy. Some are stocking up  on groceries too. If you would look at those families and people from all walks of life enjoying and eating at the many restaurants there, you would not even think that our economy  is going down the drain ( no thanks to the poor management of the present administration). Maybe some of them have already received their Christmas bonuses. Online, there are promos everywhere.

I love the glitters and the wonderful Christmas decorations in each store. I love the Christmas trees full of twinkling lights. I love the new items  displayed at their windows to lure shoppers. Window shopping is a nice pastime (sometimes).  You don’t have to spend your well-earned money left and right. The best thing is for you to have your shopping or grocery list and stick  to it. There are plenty of days more to check what you lack in your pantry before the big day.

Every Sunday morning before they go to mass, Obet and Nissa take Nate on a bike ride for morning exercise.   Those few hours of bonding and enjoyable moments.  Look at the world with a child’s eyes – the simplicity of things, enjoying the wind on your face, enjoying the ride. How lovely it is to feel free like a child again.

Morning exercise

Happy Sunday all!

 

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And here I thought my tab with pre-existing Facebook upload when I bought it was not working right  the past several days although I could still use it for my Moonreader.

Come to think of it, I could not log off from Facebook when I am using my tab. I read somewhere about Facebook issues with Android phones. Finally, it is now working again. I could now upload photos then copy them to my documents.  I didn’t bother to check  that there was a problem of Facebook with those using Android phones. I  receive this message always, Facebook  has stopped. I still use my reliable old PC when posting except when uploading  photos.

My kids didn’t grow up actually believing in Santa. They’ve known since they were old enough that Mama and Papa bought all those gifts under the tree. It is nice though that the image still brings the magic that kids  nowadays always look forward to.

I am not done yet with the decorating. I am just so excited to put up the garlands I bought yesterday. Josef has to secure them with thumb tacks.  I am thinking, do I have to put up  later the Christmas tree or not? It is hard to place something that Oreo can reach, he will surely play with it. He is fascinated by blinking lights as it is.  You can’t hang a tissue in the tissue holder without him playing with it so what I did was to buy a separate tissue holder and place it at the to of the tank where he can’t reach it. One time, I discovered that he played with one of my pencils.

And did I say, it’s 52 more days to go before Christmas? Advent is the next season I really look forward to.

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Gosh, been busy the whole day I didn’t even have time for a siesta. I took advantage of the holiday today, there is no work. Tagged along with Josef and Jovy and did my grocery shopping for next month.  I had a grocery list, mostly ingredients of the recipes I want to cook come Christmas. It’s hard to shop when you don’t even know how to drive. We took Oreo to the mall, he was excited.

I also bought some garlands and ribbons. And here I am watching a tutorial on how to make a ribbon bow the easiest way. I chanced upon this lovely Santa figure with his sackful of gifts so I bought one too.  Then there is this door hanging decor that says “Please Stop Here”. Can’t resist it….haha!

I guess I could relax now, only a few more gifts, one more trip to the mall and I’m done.

Jovy and I went to  the bazaar near our place  where they sell all kinds of ingredients  and materials for baking.  Josef waited in the car with Oreo.  There are all kinds of baking chocolates, nuts  and everything you need when you want to bake. They discovered it online and  I was surprised there was a big branch in our town.  When I want to bake cookies and brownies again, I will buy here.  It’s Jovy and Josef’s extra earning venture. Now that it is nearing Christmas, there are lots of orders from their office mates.

It’s a long weekend, Nissa’s family and her in-laws all went swimming in Bolinao,  Pangasinan, about an hour trip from  our place there but about five to six hours by car from Manila.

Today is All  Souls Day. Let us remember our dear departed in our prayers.

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