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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas countdown’


So this is the official Christmas countdown here in our country as I write this post. By the time  I’m done with this post,  those minutes and seconds have already moved.

68
DAYS
04
HOURS
50
MINUTES
22
SECONDS

It used to be that I start my countdown as soon as the BER months begin. This pandemic changed everything. It used to be that I was always excited to play Christmas songs and listen to those lovely melodies of old. By this time around in the previous years, I have already done my purchase of Christmas gifts to family members. I can’t think of items that would be easier to buy online since I have no intention of going to the malls and risking myself with Covid 19.

The truth is I am not really enthusiastic to do my own Christmas countdown except today for the sake of this post. I am not even thinking of bringing out the Christmas decor to choose which to use when December comes. Another effect of Covid 19. One thing that it brought me though is that I am able to attend masses online every day because almost all churches here go live from 6am until around 9pm. I could choose which mass to attend.

The Department of Health previously said that they have no intention of zeroing out those who were found positive of the virus. To each his own? We have reached more than 350,000 cases to date. They have acquired loans by the billions but until now, no concrete plans are in place. Where did the money go? They even changed the dates of our social security pension maybe without studying the repercussions of it. Mine was late for almost a month and so were the rest of the pensioners’s. Kawawa yung mga umaasa sa pension nila para bumili ng basic necessities at gamot.

This pandemic is surely getting to the nerves of everyone. How are you coping with it?

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And before the day starts, I  want to greet you all a very Merry and Blessed Christmas!  And Christmas clock says it is 18 hours, 53 minutes.

Thank you for another year of journeying with me.

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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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What a mouthful for a blog title! Some would probably say it is too early yet. It’s the anticipation and the countdown though that make Christmas something to look forward to  every year.  It’s 76 days to go before Christmas, better yet make that 75 since October 10 is about to end.

Our street is the role model for the others when it comes to decorating. Christmas season or not, we have a color motif all year round. Since we adopted the idea of lighting our own street (that means every house has a light post in front) without relying on the subdivision fund to pay for our street light consumption, it has become even better. Our street coordinators maintain them and we have uniform potted plants lining the street as well.  I saw them fixed the parols this afternoon, those small Christmas lanterns that light our street every year. I got excited watching them decorate each light post.

Violet St. at night....

Violet St. at night….

This was how it looked last year. I wonder what they’ll add  to make it look more festive this time. I think it’s time to clean and bring out my favorite Christmas decor again although I don’t get to hang them until November 30 of each year.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Do I hear Christmas carols too?

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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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Some all-time favorite Christmas Quotes:

“Somehow, not only for Christmas but all the long year through, The joy that you give to others Is the joy that comes back to you. And the more you spend in blessing The poor and lonely and sad, The more of your heart’s possessing Returns to you glad.” – John Greenleaf Whittier

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?” – Bob Hope

“Peace on earth will come to stay, when we live Christmas every day.” – Helen Steiner Rice

I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the world seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses. – Taylor Caldwell

Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas. – Dale Evans Rogers

It’s eleven days to go before Christmas….have a blessed and merry Christmas everyone!  May the joys of celebrating the birth of the Christ Child live within us all!

 

 

 

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For some strange reason, this simple pair of socks touched me more than the many gifts  Nissa received during the  baby shower in her office. It’s the thought of having our first Christmas too with baby Nate that makes it an event worth waiting for. A few more days to go…..I’m thrilled!

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Perhaps you’ve probably heard and read  several times that the Philippines celebrate the longest Christmas season. As soon as the BER months set in, be sure that you’ll hear Christmas carols played on the radio and not long after that, you’ll see Christmas decorations not only in each home but in department stores as well. And the celebration sometimes even extend to February the following year.

December comes with so much anticipation. It’s the happiest month of the year so far. We are finally done with putting up Christmas decor although it’s not as detailed as the one we had a year ago. For the first time, we haven’t put  up our seven-foot Christmas tree. I am looking for our smaller tree, about two feet long which I used to put atop the console table in our bedroom. I think it would look lovely in one corner of our side tables in the sala.

There is much more to Christmas than just the decor, the food we plan to prepare,  the parties we want to attend, new and old friends we want to meet. There is more than just the twinkling of Christmas lights at your neighbor’s house or the lovely Christmas lantern which you bought in Pampanga. Christmas is a season of hope reborn again, a season of peace and goodwill. The miracle of Christmas time brings us closer as a family and makes us even more aware that it is a very special season for the simple reason that Christ Child is born. Don’t you wish sometime that the season of cheer and joy would be yours throughout the year? Don’t you wish sometime that you would experience that lightness of heart in sharing what you have all year through?

I remember our conversation yesterday with my daughter, Nissa and her friend Marisse while we were watching and listening to the lovely and touching rites of Diaconate Ordination of our close friend. I told them that it’s like getting married too, with all the “I  Do’s” , only this time you’re not saying I do to promise to love and to serve your wife and husband but you are committing yourself to God. You say I do to remain celibate for the sake of the kingdom and in lifelong service to God and mankind. I love the part when the candidates prostrates themselves while the Litany of the Saints was being said.  And the Investiture with  Dalmatic, the presentation of the Book of the Gospels, the Kiss of Peace – the solemn and inspiring celebration itself, it was all so surreal.

Hello December!

 

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