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Posts Tagged ‘Celebrating Christmas’


I had a grand time reading Christmas greetings from friends, family members who are far from us and those friends who have left the country and got in touch.

I do believe the Christmas season unites friends and families, people you haven’t seen for ages, people who don’t normally get in touch regularly. It makes friends out of enemies too.

Social media is inundated with greetings always with the thought that the celebration of Christmas is a merry one for all of us. First and foremost is to remember what the occasion is for. Parties, exchange  gifts, reunions and greetings are just trimmings to make the occasion truly happy.  Christmas is a celebration of life, God became man.  It also means love, family, laughter, joy. Going to mass together as a family is the ultimate  thing we can sincerely  offer  to God.  Christmas means giving not just material things you can buy from stores but giving your time to other people. Christmas is sharing love. Somehow, others don’t  feel the beauty of the celebration. We can celebrate the occasion even without those trappings that come from commercial establishments.  We can celebrate Christmas quietly in our hearts.

The occasion though would not be the same without food on the table no matter how simple it is. We share, we reminisce too and we make new memories.  I spent the morning looking at pictures of my friends and relatives on Facebook.The happy faces, the festive atmosphere captured in several photographs. The food galore stands out. The surprised look of kids who got what they wished for and those who believed that Santa heard their prayers and read their letters.  My three brothers and I grew up not really believing in Santa Claus. We knew that Mom and Dad bought those gifts  we had before.  I asked Nate if he was aware of Santa and he answered with “ho, ho, ho”, but I don’t have stockings Nonna. I’ll stay awake on Christmas Eve.”   Haha, I wonder if he did.

I set aside reading for a while, well, probably until the  new year. Greeting the new year is always a happy occasion too sans the noise.

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Christmas will always be a blessed and beautiful celebration of Jesus’ birthday. I have always said in my previous posts that no matter how commercialized the season has become  the past years. I will always look forward to it, creating more memories with family and friends.

We started it with a pre-Christmas lunch on December 24  since Nissa’s family did not spend the Christmas Eve with us because they had a family reunion (on her husband’s side)  yesterday.  It was a lovely celebration with Nate doing the entertainment dancing on top of the bed with a  beautiful music on Jovy’s  new sound link.  Got a new headphone from Josef and a lovely Casio wrist watch from Nissa.   I also got a lovely BPI planner from Nissa.  Josef gave Nate a simple cellphone  and he was so proud to say “call me”. There is actually no SIM attached but you can load one.  I know it is not practical to have a kid with cellphone at Nate’s age but it’s one of those one can play with. It is not even a touch screen  but there was a low-end camera  in it.

Christmas Eve was a quiet celebration with an occasional firecracker from some neighbors.  We cooked plenty of food and  there are still leftovers in the ref.  We attended Christmas mass early yesterday morning with Mom.  The usual native cakes, sweets, ice cream, salad and desserts were served at the table.  It was a dinner of pancit bihon, baked marble potatoes  and some leftover ham.  Last night, I found myself watching the group Pentatonix on YouTube listening to their Christmas albums with my new set  of headphone. The rendition cuts deep, I guess they were singing from the heart.  So many greetings and videos from friends all over and I haven’t finished answering them all  yet on FB.

 

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Hello friends!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Contrary to what some believe that Christmas is over, December 25 is just the beginning of the twelve days of  Christmas which will end on January 5.  It is also known as the Twelvetide, a festive season that celebrates the Nativity of Jesus. Remember the song, Twelve Days of Christmas? It is an English Christmas carol which is thought to be French in origin.

Accordingly, each element of the song  is a code word for religious truth.  I found these on the web this morning.

1. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus.
2. The two turtledoves are the Old and New Testaments.
3. Three French hens stand for faith, hope and love.
4. The four calling birds are the four Gospels.
5. The five gold rings recall the Hebrew Torah (Law), or the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament.
6. The six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation.
7. The seven swans a-swimming represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
8. The eight maids a-milking are the eight Beatitudes.
9. Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.
10. The ten lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.
11. Eleven pipers piping represent the eleven faithful Apostles.
12. Twelve drummers drumming symbolize the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles Creed.

The song speaks of our Christian faith. ““The Twelve Days of Christmas,” was written as a kind of secret catechism that could be sung in public without fear of arrest – a learning or memory aid to Christians in fact. Each verse refers to a teaching of church doctrine — with the partridge being Christ who died on a tree and the “True Love” being God the Father, who gave us all gifts. The twelve days of Christmas are the twelve days between Christmas Day, Dec. 25th, the birth of Jesus, and the Epiphany, Jan. 6th, the day Christians celebrate the arrival of the Magi (Wise Men) and the revelation of Christ as the light of the world.”

Looking forward to 2018. How was your Christmas celebration?

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MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE.  Sending this greeting a little early since I may not be able to go online tomorrow nor on Christmas day

Just would love to thank all my online friends here on WordPress. Believe me, your comments,likes and visits always make my day worthwhile. Updating and visiting this site is such a joy because of all of you 🙂

May the spirit of  Christmas remain in you every day of your lives.  Let’s celebrate His birth.

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It’s a fact that ours is the longest Christmas celebration in the whole world. Nothing could compare with the Simbang Gabi or the dawn masses that end on the day before Christmas. Where in the world could you find the whole family, extended families and sometimes close friends and other relatives celebrating Christmas together under one roof, sharing Noche Buena food, going to mass together, having fun with the kids and the whole rigmarole of exchanging gifts and jumping with joy because you got what you wished for? Or maybe you have given enough hint to your son and daughter that you want this and that without putting a hole in their pockets.

I remember one Christmas long ago, when my son was still in his teens, he told us that he did not want to receive gifts that he needs but he would be happy with something that he wants – the needs being the usual handkerchiefs, underwear, socks  etc. and the wants listed as a new jacket, books, gadgets   or some  simple do-it-yourself  things that he loves.

So how do you lessen stress and enjoy the holidays?  You can really plan ahead on what to prepare  by listing all the things you need and buying them at least  a month, three or two weeks before Christmas. One of the best recipes that we usually cook  in advance is the  embutido. Embutido is a Filipino style meatloaf that can be served hot or cold depending on your  taste and they can be stored in the freezer for as long as a month. There are times when I do  my Christmas shopping as early as the month of September and by November, all gifts are wrapped and labeled.  Do your Christmas shopping all year round. Be on the look out for items that you think would be appreciated by your loved ones. And when December comes, you don’t have to join the Christmas rush because you have saved time by planning ahead.

Don’t feel obliged to reciprocate each single item that you received from someone you didn’t get anything for, a simple “thank you” would be enough.

And there are only 35 days,  11 hours and 50 minutes to go before Christmas.   Enjoy shopping.

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The lazy bug strikes again.

The truth is I am not inspired  to write so I  read the past  three days. I was able to finish a ghost story ( a re-read) and a thriller. Done with 182 books since January, 32 more books added to my 2017  reading challenge.

Looking at the Christmas tree lighted at night makes me remember those Christmas past when the family was still complete with Dad still around and my youngest brother who migrated to the US of A  since 1991.  We used to spend Christmas  Eve in the province, a simple celebration of  Christmas Eve mass,  then later partaking  Noche Buena  with various sweets prepared by Mom.  When I was in high school, I also experienced tagging along with my aunts and uncle a few days before Christmas when we would visit neighbors and friends and sing Christmas songs accompanied by my uncle’s violin and Dad’s guitar.  The fun of walking late at night with a cold breeze on your cheeks, the generosity of people who love to hear Christmas carols of old.  Some would offer hot drinks  or sweets aside from  coins from their piggy banks.  Nowadays, you’ll hear the voices of little children shouting “namamasko po”  and singing  “Thank you, thank you, ang babait ninyo, thank you” and that means “thank you for being so kind”.   Every year, the Mini Parish Pastoral Council would send a letter a week before they are due to serenade each house  in the village with Christmas songs. It’s a way of collecting funds for the chapel and other  Christmas activities in our village.

Envelopes are aplenty during Christmas time from the maintenance of our subdivision, guards, messengers  (some you’re not even familiar with, like those who just delivered  mails  just once)  and our garbage truck collectors.  I give more to the latter because they  are more visible than the rest.

Gosh, it is already November  and we are still having tropical storms. Typhoon Salome is the  19th one this year. We are under signal number one. PAGASA says it  would bring lots of rain.  It is expected to move out of  PAR (Philippine Area of Responsibility) by Saturday morning.  I am hoping it would not bring lots of rains  as they have predicted.

Looking forward to a sunny weekend since I am meeting some friends.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mornings are definitely getting colder.

I was pleasantly surprised.  It was kind of foggy when we woke up.  Officially, “amihan” is finally here.  PAGASA  has declared the start of the northeast winds a few days ago. We call it “hanging amihan”.  It signals the end of the rainy season and the start of  cold weather until February of next year.

I love this season. One would not need to worry about flash flooding or heavy downpours although based on experience, this is where we sometimes have late strong typhoons.  The weather is good though, sunny and bright.

We  are thinking of putting up the Christmas tree but we still have to buy new sets  of lights to decorate it.  So lazy to go out 🙂  They have changed the mall hours, it’s now from 11am to 11pm until January 15  of next year. So if you don’t want to be caught in the  Christmas rush, you can do your  Christmas shopping now. I did mine two weeks ago but I still need a few more for close friends.   Some of us are planning a get-together one of these days of November.  Fr. Lovell and I agreed to meet after Christmas. He is busy with work and we won’t be able to see each other if we don’t make time for it.  I love meeting friends. I love the camaraderie it brings. I love getting in touch with each other. My close friends usually visit me here and I normally cook for them. Nothing that special, just good food to tide us over.

October has been a quiet one except for the days we went out for Nissa’s birthday and mine.  It was just the family. Looking forward to Nate’s birthday but then he’ll probably celebrate  it in school again  just like last year where Nissa ordered food for his classmates and they had it for snack.  Maybe we could go out again after his birthday or  after Nissa’s and my son-in-law’s  annual vacation  (mandatory leaves) scheduled this month.

Of course, I am excited for Christmas, who would not be? xmasclock.com says it’s 51 days, 8 hours and 34 minutes to go before the day.

 

 

 

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