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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas 2013’


Would love to try another language to say Happy New Year.  In Tagalog we say, Manigong Bagong Taon. Whew, Christmas has come and gone and I am stuck here with so much to do, fixing things here and there, cleaning the house and getting rid of unwanted items that are no longer in use.  Just wanted to greet  2014 not just with a trimmed garden but with  lesser bits and pieces in my  cabinet. I’ll be hosting a party for a small group of friends on January 11 including two priests who are also members  of my Catholic group at Facebook where I am one of the admins.  We have decided on a potluck lunch and snacks so we could concentrate on sharing news and tidbits  about our individual journeys in life.  My co-admin and creator of the online group Fr. Louie Coronel, OP used to say, ” you can share anything under the Catholic sun except sin”. Believe me, in all these years that we’ve journeyed together, some members have become real friends. And that’s something to be thankful for, finding friends in social media and bonding with them and we’re like brothers and sisters who have found a home through our page.

How was your Christmas? It was another peaceful, joyous and happy celebration for us, just the family with Nate (my grandson) grabbing the limelight sharing what he has learned the last month since his birthday. The joys of being a grandma, more greatly felt with Nate’s generous kisses that made my day and   the celebration of Christmas a happy one for me. He is walking on his own now and beginning to touch things that his hands could reach. I told Nissa to say goodbye (in the meantime)  to small objects that  he could grab and play with. He was amazed when he discovered the knob of our CD player and turned the sound off while we were listening to some Christmas carols of old.

I made a video of our Christmas pictures at OneTrueMedia but I forgot that I can’t listen to the music that I chose as a background since my son detached the defective speakers of my PC a month ago. Anyway, I am sharing some pics I took in a photo box so as to save on my allowed limits here at WordPress.

photoboxI baked lots of chocolate chips cookies that I gave to friends and neighbors. I think there are two or three more left in the cookie jar.  I received cash gifts from the kids but one thing that I really love is one of the additional gifts from Nissa, a lovely infusion bottle which I could use later. Kev brought a bottle of Novellino red wine.

photobox2Christmas was a simple celebration but it was one of the best ever. What about you, how did you celebrate  Christmas? And before I forget, let me greet you Bonne année  . Let 2014 be a happy, peaceful and a fruitful year for all of us.

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Before you think I am super excited about  Christmas, I am. Since  December 21 is about to end in a few hours, let my count be, it’s  three days to go before Christmas.

It was a busy day for me  (weekends are always busy days). We went back to the wet market to buy last-minute things that we need to prepare for Noche Buena. I’m finally done cooking embutido, our Filipino version of meat loaf. My son requested that I put whole hotdogs inside so I also bought Purefood’s tender juicy hotdogs. I normally don’t put hotdog in my embutido recipes  but it’s Christmas anyway so I let my son indulge a bit.  This afternoon, I made a lightning visit to the grocery store to buy confectioner’s sugar since I am also planning to bake  chocolate crinkles  (another request from my son)  but I was a bit disappointed when the sales clerk told me that he doesn’t know what confectioner’s sugar is. They have baking supplies in their shelves and  he pointed to the baking powder lined up there, such a shame because they clearly lost a customer because I am not going back there.  I am reminded  a few months back when I was looking for  baking soda in another supermarket and the sales clerk told me that it was quite sometime since they had a box in their shelves.  I asked how could they sell all those baking goodies when the ingredients are not even complete. On my next visit, I was surprised to see small boxes of baking soda   prettily lined-up along with  all-purpose flour, cake flour, rice flour  and boxes of baking mixes. I smiled. At least they listen to the needs of their customers.

Christmas time is a perfect excuse to make those sinful and calorific sweets. I don’t eat much of them anyway because I usually give them to our neighbors and friends. There is nothing like a home-cooked  food to share, right?  I am planning to bake  chocolate chips cookies with cashew nuts. Yes, you heard it right, cashew nuts. Although there are plenty of cashew nuts here, they don’t come in cheap but compared to other nuts like pecan or walnuts which cost an arm and both legs, they are more practical to use.  Come Christmas Eve, I’ll make carrot squares to go with the traditional pancit bihon and fried chicken.  I usually spend my time laboring  in front of the stove after the holy mass come Christmas day.  This  will probably  be the only time that I won’t do it because I can always prepare the Callos    and macaroni salad the day before.  Would love to spend my time playing with Nate when they come over to celebrate with us.

And Christmas will always be the best time of the year to share love and joys  and make peace with those who may have offended you at some time in your life.  I remember  a  year ago, I posted this message on my wall, Happy Birthday Jesus!  And a child of nine, a relative asked me, “why happy birthday” so I told him, He is the reason why we celebrate Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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We’re into the first week of the Advent season and  I’m just like a child waiting for Christmas. And did I say, I have my countdown?  It’s Josef’s day off so we had the chance to do some honest to goodness cleaning. I was pleasantly surprised when he showed me his room  with a  functioning 14-inch color television complete with a DVD player.  He brought them down when he cleaned up our upper cabinets.  I have completely forgotten about them, they’ve  been there since typhoon Ondoy and that was more than four years ago. We sorted out a box full of CDs, DVDs, some favorite movies that Nissa collected and songs of yesteryears  which are still so good to hear and listen to.

And it’s time to bring out those treasured Christmas albums and sing along with the likes of The Gunter Kallmann Choir, Jose Mari Chan and the upbeat Tagalog Christmas songs of the Dyna Ensemble.  A friend who was a former DJ asked me if I have an album of The Gunter Kallmann Choir. I just learned from him that it is no longer available locally.  It’s the best album there is that I have treasured listening to through the years.  It makes me  feel nostalgic just listening to the music and remembering Christmas past.  We have  Nate now and it would surely be a happy one for us.  It’ll be his second Christmas with us and  I am sure he  can now appreciate the twinkling lights on the Christmas tree and the sound of Christmas carols that he could dance to.

I was thrilled when I saw the number of likes, comments and shares  on this simple message which was culled from one of my previous Christmas blogs  here at WordPress.  Last Sunday, I  posted it at our Catholic site which I help maintain at Facebook. As of today, it earned 34 tags, 1,603 likes, 798 shares and 73 comments. Amazing. Maybe they found the message uplifting. I am sharing it again here:

It’s the Holy Season of Advent and we’re now celebrating the first Sunday. Every year, we look forward to the coming of Jesus and pray those beautiful prayers of longing and waiting and sing those beautiful songs of hope and promise.

The Advent season is full of God’s blessings for all of us. He makes us realize and remember to look back at the whole year that is about to end and to look forward to a new and hopeful year that is about to begin. Are we ready to take Him into our hearts? Are we ready to accept Him in our lives? True, we always say time is gold and we should not waste it but we also need to take stock of what is more important, a quiet contemplation, a moment of silence, a minute of giving thanks. Let this be a season of joy for all of us, awaiting a most precious event of the season – a baby born in swaddling cloths to save mankind.

Wow, it’s 23 days to go before Christmas!

 

 

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Got sick again.  Been so busy the past few days that I had fever last night accompanied by muscle pains, sore throat and that feeling of being so helpless and sleepy. Son reported for work early this morning and I went back to bed when he left. I was surprised when he came back  two hours later carrying a large bag of Pan de Manila   pandesal, two soup pack and some medicines for headache and fever. He said he filed a leave of absence so he could take care of me. So sweet, I was touched. We did our groceries for Christmas the other day after which he  asked me to accompany him to the appliance section of the store. Gosh, he bought me additional birthday gift,  an AC/DC rechargeable AM/FM radio with LED  light.  He said I could use it for gardening since it is so handy to carry around. We had a good laugh while he pointed out the advantage of having one (although I have an old radio that I still use to listen to news).  We repainted our gates and did some minor works at the house with the help of a neighbor.

And it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, it’s actually 29 days to go. Who’s counting? I am. I took shots of our street a few minutes ago with the Christmas lights on, it is so beautiful. It is the only street in our village that has uniform Christmas decoration. We have permanent lamp posts in every house here and our street coordinator had them all decorated with lights and lanterns.

IMG_5410Violet St. at night.

IMG_5404In front of our house

IMG_5409A corner street light

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For quite some time now, Josef and I were toying with the idea of repainting the house (retouches would be more like it). I asked him,  “Will we be  able to do that?” and he said, “Sure, why not?” 

Easier said than done.  About two weeks ago, Nissa sent me several pictures of Nate and I  was of course excited to have them printed  and had three of them enlarged and framed. They’re now occupying pride of place between our sala and dining area. And since our house is a free open plan, it’s quite easy to get them painted in the same color all over to maximize space and make it look larger than it really is. We have an accent wall though where our family pictures are displayed. And when son suggested that we retouch it, I readily agreed and went to the paint center to have the color mixed  in the original tomato red. It’s complimentary to the almost peach look of the walls and the off-white ceiling and dark peach color on the cornices and base boards.

IMG_5328See, the framed pics are almost all of our baby Nate, some family pics and the Papal Blessing from Rome which Nissa applied for when she got married two years ago and a cross stitch I did several years ago.

Last Friday, Josef and I visited Wilcon Home Depot  to buy paints for our project. I had written the exact shade and paint colors that we have to buy. Four years ago, I blogged about our house renovation after typhoon Ondoy destroyed most of our cabinets and furnitures,  so I took note of the colors that we used in the painting job. Davies’ Bio-fresh paints are odorless and easy to apply. Almost Peach for the walls and True Blue for the bedrooms but we didn’t touch the ceiling though because it is hard to paint the cornices and the ladder is not long enough for the job.  We have finished one bedroom, done with the comfort room and I did retouches on the kitchen walls including the dirty kitchen adjoining it.  It’s quite fun when you get engrossed in a project and you finally see the big difference once it’s done. Last summer, we did the same with the concrete fence and our two gates outside.  My only frustration is I still have to hire a painter to do our roof. It’s a difficult job if you ask me because you are at the mercy of the heat of the sun.  Josef  suggested we’ll  have it done after Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, I have put up some decor that I recently bought at National Bookstore, four  small stockings for the family, and a Merry Christmas wall decor in silver.  I am not so keen in putting up our seven-foot Christmas tree, it’s hard to remove all the trimmings when the season is over. I have my favorite Nativity set inside a large water globe which has been with us for a number of years but I still dream of buying the real thing which is the Belen, which I think is more symbolic of Christmas than the tree itself.

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Last year, I was so excited to make these Christmas decor.  Let’s see how I could fashion something else with old  Christmas decorations  which we  have plenty of. Recycling is the key and a simple DIY project won’t hurt, my wise son says.

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Yes…..and they’re  playing Christmas carols. If not for the southwest monsoon  (habagat)  brought about by typhoon Odette, I would say, the cold winds of  December are blowing our way.  It’s definitely windy  and I am thankful Metro Manila won’t be much affected by the typhoon which has maintained its gustiness the past days in Northern Luzon.

It’s 96 days before Christmas. Just excited to make my countdown, that is. Every day, I hear Christmas carols on the radio and it feels nostalgic, exciting and sentimental. I’ve always said time and again, that the Philippines celebrate the longest Christmas ever. As soon the BER months start, you will hear Christmas music.  I guess it’s time to bring out those Christmas CDs once more.  Do you anticipate Christmas as we do? What’s your favorite Christmas song? Mine is the lovely  and classic Christmas album of the Gunther  Kallman Choir.  A trip down memory lane?  I particularly like their Christmas Sing In album. Listening to it is quite an experience.  They’ve been around since I was a kid but it was just a few years back that I was able to have my copy of the CD album. I used to have them on cassette tapes though.

I remember this blog entry I made two years ago and I smile at the thought of Christmas past and the nostalgia it brings.

Time flies, too soon and we anticipate another event which has always been  and always will be so important to Filipino families.  Celebrating Christmas here in our country is probably the most joyous season of all.Nowhere else  can you find a place where it is most celebrated the longest, from the early days of September to as late as February of the following year.  Christmas celebration is the only thing  which I always blog the most.  This morning,  Umagang Kay Ganda, a morning show on TV, featured a Santa Claus collection of  someone whose entire third floor is full of different sizes and designs of  it.  There were unusual fork and spoon shaped like Santa, plates, mugs, you name it, he has more than a thousand Santa features.  I wonder how they keep them clean  and all in shape because  they’re displayed all year-long. Christmas is a very meaningful affair because most Filipino families who are apart during the rest of the year gather together during the Christmas season. There’s  nothing more touching than celebrating Jesus’ birth with the whole family. I am doing my Christmas list. It’s not as if I have lots to give gifts to but I just want to make sure that family members, some close relatives and close friends are included in my list.

And this will be the second Christmas for our baby Nate.  How much lovelier could it be? He’ll be ten months  in two days.

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It’s the start of the BER months and in our country, it’s the official start of the Christmas season. It has been said that we celebrate the longest Christmas ever so just to start the day and the month of September, I am posting a Christmas song here. I’ve just had a LSS this morning humming this song silently in my head.

♫♪♫♫Said the night wind to the little lamb,
“Do you see what I see?
Way up in the sky, little lamb,
Do you see what I see?
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite.”

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy,
“Do you hear what I hear?
Ringing through the sky, shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear?
A song, a song, high above the tree
With a voice as big as the sea.”

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
“Do you know what I know?
In your palace warm, mighty king,
Do you know what I know?
A Child, a Child shivers in the cold—
Let us bring him silver and gold.”

Said the king to the people everywhere,
“Listen to what I say!
Pray for peace, people, everywhere,
Listen to what I say!
The Child, The Child sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light,
He will bring us goodness and light.”♪♪♫♪

Do you know that this song was written in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis as a powerful plea for peace by a man who had experienced the horrors of war? It was composed by Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne.

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