Favorite Moments Last Christmas

Aside from those that I already previously mentioned, here are my favorite Christmas moments

1. When we visited a nearby orphanage and donated Aki’s old bike. Continue reading

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Oh Christmas Trees! Oh Christmas Trees!

First of all, I want to greet everyone who will get to read this post a Merry Merry Merry Christmas! I hope you are able to celebrate the season with less stress and more meaning.

 

We kicked off the holiday season on the weekend after my birthday when we put up our trees. Yes, with an S. We bought a tiny tree when we moved in back in 2010. In 2012, we bought a proper tree, a white one. I was in loved with it until in 2013, when we took it out of the box, we discovered an epidemic that has been affecting thousands of fake white trees. Parts of our tree turned yellow  and dirty white. I was so disappointed that I lost the excitement of decorating for the holidays. There were other reasons of course, work for one, but I took the yellow tree as a sign to lie low on my Christmas decors.

This year, I promised myself that it will be different. As early as October, I have been turning down invitations to Christmas parties and get-togethers. We chose which ones  we’d attend. I wanted to make sure that we don’t get caught up with the busy-ness. I want to savor little quiet moments. The feeling that everything is falling into place when I fold corners and sides while gift wrapping… The fuzzy feeling when I drink hot chocolate in our holiday oversized mug… The silliness when Aki closes his eyes and sings Star ng Pasko in his made-up no-sense lyrics…Watching the snowman in our failed DIY snowglobe float…Reading heartwarming notes on gift tags… Swing dancing with Franco in the tune of All I Want for Christmas. I am lucky to be married to a DI  or dance instructor. Seriously, he can dance. He has the grace and timing that both Aki and I do not have. Haha. I’d love to post a password protected video here for posterity’s sake but the MB size is just too much for my free wordpress account.

 

Oh wait, back to our Christmas trees. Even though Christmas songs were playing loudly, the overall feeling on the night that we put up our trees was peace especially when the lights were turned on. Continue reading

It is Starting to Feel Like Christmas!

Speaking of traditions, one of my favorite Christmas traditions is our holiday book collection. Every year, our collection grows and grows. When I was still starting this tradition, I’d buy books so long as they look interesting. Now, I only choose books that are age-appropriate and interest-related. Here are some of my newest finds.

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A Houseful of Christmas. The illustrations look familiar because this book came from the same illustrator who did Click, Clack, Moo. Unlike most Christmas book, Santa does not appear in this book. The story is about how Christmas brings the family together. Very Filipino. It reminds me of my family because in my mom’s house, even if there are only 3 rooms, we always have room for all my aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces.

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The Twelve Days of Christmas. I love the vintage-ness of the hand drawings of this book.

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Santa’s Favorite Story

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Santa’s Book of Names. I got this book because the main character, Edward, is also a new reader, like Aki.

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Favorite Holiday Moments 2012 {Part II}

Advance Merry Christmas! Here is 2nd half of the list of my favorite Christmas moments last year. Here is the part one in case you haven’t read it.

We bought two new books for our Christmas book collection.  If you like Little Mouse, The Red RipeStrawberry and the Big Hungry Bear, you will definitely like the twist in this follow up story.

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The other book was one of the best steals that I ever bought from Booksale. For only 120 bucks, I got the anniversary collector’s edition of Polar Express. Not only is it autographed by the author himself, it also comes with an audio book recorded by our favorite actor, Liam Neeson. It became a traditon for us to listen to the CD while browsing thru the pages on the weekends before Christmas

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I finally finally finally got myself a copy of the Martha Stewart’s Holiday bookazine. This is the magazine that I had been looking for. I remember when I first saw a copy in Booksale. It was already in the hands of another customer. I stalked the girl, hoping she won’t buy that magazine but she did. The wait was so worth it! I got so many doable ideas from this magazine

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Speaking of traditions, we added a new one – watching Christmas movies. Franco and I searched high and low to find movies related to the holidays but only got two. Arthur’s Christmas and Home Alone I. I know I should stop being scared of downloading from the net but I just can’t. I also know we’re the baddest of all bad parents for letting Aki watch a violent slapstick movie like Home Alone. I love that movie. Franco feels the same way. And Aki seems to have inherited his parent’s lack of taste in movies.

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Meeting Santa in person is also part of the holiday tradition list. As soon as it was our turn to take pictures with Santa, here is way Aki said: Hey Santa, where’s my Beyblade?! hahaha. Santa was lost for words.

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Aki’s first school presentation! Yey! But it was another bad parent moment for me! I was worried if people would notice that Aki was wearing a pair of light brown shorts instead of white, which was the instructions in the memo given weeks before. Good news, no one seemed to notice. Bad news: Aki’s class was supposed to wear a green top and Aki was wearing a blue one. Naman! Aki looked so cute though. That performance confirmed that he got his non-talent in dancing from me. Hahaha

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We went to Ayala Triangle to watch the light show and have dinner with my mommy blogger friends, Sha, Maggie and Aimee.  These are the only decent pictures that I have.

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Nevertheless, it was a fun evening filled with lights, laughter, failed exchange gifts, cakepops and friendship. Sha, who is talkative online and offline, blogged about it here

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Favorite Holiday Moments 2012 {Part I}

I know. I know. Christmas posts are so 2 months ago. I was really busy during the holidays and was even busier when I returned to work.

Here is the Part I of my favorite moments last December.

1. Making ornaments for our white Christmas tree. Blogged about it here.

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2. N@W Christmas party. It is always fun personally meeting online friends. Plus, Aki got a ninja shirt from the exchange gift. For a time, he wanted to wear the shirt all day everyday. Thank you so much Cheng. Recently, I learned that Laya loved the elephant watering can that we gave her. Yey!

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3. In Franco’s family, it has been a tradition to go to Malvar, Batangas to visit Lola Maring, Franco’s paternal grandmother every December 24th.

Here, Franco and Lolo Tay,are in a middle of an exciting chess game. I grabbed the camera and took a couple of shots because watching them made me realize how fortunate I am to be part of closely knit family that really enjoys each others company.

My wish is for Aki to grow up having the same close relationship with his dad.

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Oh, it has also been a tradition to have a family picture taken by the entrance door. The family has been doing this tradition even before Franco was born.

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4. Before Aki went to bed on the eve of Christmas, we left milk and oreos for Santa. Hopefully next year we will have time to make cookies from scratch.

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2012: The Year that Was

A couple of hours before we officially welcomed 2013, Franco and I sat down to write ourselves a holiday card. We started this tradition in 2010. The idea is to reminisce the highlights and lowlights of the current year.

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Looking at the card, 2012 was a good year for us. In fact, when we were already in the lowlights part, we could only think of a few things. See notes on the side.

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So what were the highlights?

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Aki’s Little Christmas Tree

Thank you so much for appreciating my popcorn wreath. Aside from making a wreath, popcorns can also be made into a Christmas tree garland. It is quite unheard of here in the Philippines but popcorn garlands seem to be a tradition for many American families according to my craft books.

The white popcorn garland looks invisible against my white Christmas tree so I gave the garland to Aki.  It looks so much better on the apple green tree. This year, Aki’s been decorating his tree using his toys. This week’s motif is red. Last week, he liked purple.

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The tree looks sad

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Last Christmas

Last Christmas eve, little kids came to our house and sang Christmas carols! Finally! I wish these kids would be more active this coming December.

Last Christmas eve, Aki was cranky and refused to give me the key that we were supposed to leave in a secret spot. Haay. It would had been a cute tradition to leave a key for Santa. When I took out the Xmas books, one of the first things that I thought him after reintroducing him to the jolly old man is that we need to give him a key so he can come in and leave presents by the tree.

Last Christmas, Aki woke up even crankier because he is not used to being woken up in the middle of the night.

Last Christmas, Aki only lightened up after seeing his gifts.

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Ornaments that will remind me of 2011

Remember this post? Finding out that my 2008 and 2009 ornaments were missing, left me demotivated to go on full gear with my Christmas DIYs. Well, I found them, the ornaments! Among my special plates for special occasions. When I was packing away the Christmas decors. Grrr!

I  am hoping to keep this tradition of having new ornaments every year. Year 2007 is represented by Jamie and Frank candy cane ornaments that I bought from the rooftop of the Empire State Building a few weeks after Franco proposed. Year 2010, because of my momnesia, I could not find nor remember what was the ornament for that year. Hmmm. I will just find something that will remind me of the house in to our home since moving in was that year’ s highlight.

Year 2011 will be remembered as the year when we had a toddler, when I became crafty and when Franco when to El Salvador.

 Crafty Ornament. I was supposed to use this as an accent to one of my gifts. I think it is too pretty to be given away so I will just keep it to remember 2011.

El Salvador Ornament. I don’t want to use the non-ornament ornaments that my hubby brought home so I will just put a string on one of the El Sal magnets.

Toddler Ornament # 1. What else could better represent how crazy it is to have a toddler? I will just tie them together to make one imperfectly perfect ornament. Continue reading

More Christmas Family Traditions

Tradition # 3 – Letter to Santa. Oh yes, he really wants to receive a mouse and 5 fishes. On some days, the list gets longer. He also wants to get an elephant and a crab.

I recently discovered IShare and I am sooooo loving that site. All the printables that you can ask for in just one click, or maybe  several. Go go go!

Tradition # 4 – Happy birthday Jesus song. This is my way of teaching my two year old the reason for the season. Everytime we have receive a cake or cupcakes, we light a candle, sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and blow the candle before we enjoy our cake.

Tradition # 5 – Meeting Santa. I am glad SM Bicutan sees to it that the jolly old man visits our mall every year. Interestingly, unlike last year ( looking at the pictures makes me extremely sad, I will blog about it once I have ran out of tears), although Aki’s excited to receive Santa’s gifts, my little drummer boy was not in the mood to hug Santa.

Tradition # 6 – Opening our gifts on and only on Christmas Day. This is my 3rd year to try to stop myself from immediately opening my presents.  I was only semi-successful in my first two attempts. So far, this year, I have been successful.  

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