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Do You "Feel" Christmas?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I have seen a few status of my friends' status on facebook that they do not yet feel Christmas even if it's just one day away. What is it to like to "feel" Christmas? I suspect that what they are talking about has nothing to do with what Christmas is about. I am guessing that the Christmas "feeling" that they are hoping to experience is all about the excitement of gifts and parties and Noche Buena preparation and such things. I admit I used to be like them until than a decade ago and maybe it all started when we were little and believed in Santa Claus.

But really, these FB friends who are my grade school and high school classmates are now approaching middle age like me and they are still talking about that Christmas feeling. I have stopped "celebrating" Christmas more than ten years ago. By celebrating, I mean stressing myself with buying gifts until the 24th of December, standing in line at the grocery for the Noche Buena, doing a lot of cooking and pushing ourselves to the point of exhaustion just to keep up with tradition not to mention spending tons of money to have that Christmas "feeling."

Of course, I always went to mass on Christmas day and for some people, completing the Simbang Gabi gets them into that Christmas spirit as well as celebrating the real reason for Christmas, which is the birth of our Savior. All those other things we do are mostly from tradition. That we should do this and have that. It took a lot of hardship and trials to make me realize that what some people do to celebrate Christmas does not really mean anything and has nothing to do with what it is about. And sometimes what it is all about is forgotten amidst all these preparations because we get carried away by the "feeling."

My life is a lot better now but I continue to not "celebrate" Christmas. I have no decoration at home. I haven't bought gifts. We do attend parties and take them as that, parties the way we have the rest of the year.

P, being of a different faith (although he is also a Christian) from me has a different belief about Christmas. If I had not gone through what I have, I would not now have shared his view of it which is all centered on Him. I am considering converting to his faith next year. What did we do? Christmas eve is on a Saturday this year and Christmas day is on a Sunday. Via and I went to church just like we always did on Saturday to worship and on Christmas day, well, my Aunt whose husband passed away recently, has invited us for lunch. So we went and visited her.

PhotobucketI have not told Via about the Santa Claus of my youth. How I used to think that all those gifts were really from Santa Claus and he was real just like other children. Such fairy tales make it more difficult to deal with realities of life. Especially now, we are celebrating all these things that are just driven by big businesses like halloween, etc. Halloween never used to be celebrated in this country. Malls and hotels started promoting it in the 90s I think. So what do I tell the Twerp about Santa Claus because she does see him at the mall and on TV. I say he's a cartoon character just like Winnie the Pooh and Micky Mouse. I don't think I'm depriving her of anything by doing this. She is a happy and well adjusted child and very perceptive.

A lot of people will not agree with me and that is all right. This is my opinion and that I find some of those FB status really absurd.

Wishing you all happy holidays!


Super Bowl of China, Gateway Mall

Friday, December 23, 2011


So I had lunch yesterday with my friend Nono with the Twerp tagging along. Via and I took the MRT to Cubao and met Nono at the Gateway Mall. I let Nono decide where to eat since she was more familiar with the place. I had only one condition. The restaurant must have it's own restroom because the Twerp almost always needs to go to the restroom when eating out. She chose to eat at Super Bowl of China. We were given Shrimp crackers as soon as we sat at our table and they kept filling it up. The Twerp ended up eating four bowls of those Shrimp Crackers.

Hakaw (P125)


Pork Ribs with Spicy Salt (P285)


Steamed Fish Fillet with Garlic (P265)


Yang Chow Fried Rice (P210)


Via's Mango Shake (P90)


Chinese food is always great and Super Bowl of China at Gateway Mall had really good service. Linking this up with Food Trip Friday.

After lunch, we took time to buy this snap on watch at the bazaar on the top floor of Farmer's Plaza. I wanted to buy them in Greenhills when I finally decided to buy them, it was getting crowded and difficult to move around. Good thing. I got 2 of these for P145 with batteries thrown in. These were P100 each at Greenhills. The purple one for Via and a pink one for her cousin who's with us for the holidays.



We stopped by Megamall to buy her cousin a gift, then Via had a couple rounds at the Merrygoround. Dropped by my office to wrap the gift, then headed home. Via loves to run now and she was running along the sidewalk on our way home. She was going too fast and next thing I knew, she was face down on the sidewalk and crying so loud. Her first scratched knees.

Photobucket Photobucket

Of course when I told P about it, he had to see photos. They don't look so bad but she kept on pointing at them later, showing anyone who would listen.

Happy Weekend everyone!


A Break from Work

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Been off from work since Monday until the 2nd of January. How to spend it? If P were here we would be off to Bangkok again most likely. But he's not and cannot join us for the holidays. So what to do?

It's good not to have anything planned. I'm really exhausted and all I want is to stay home and do nothing. Well not nothing. I'll continue reading "A Dance of Dragons" which I started reading sometime in October. I haven't gone past the first few pages. I went through the first four books in about a week but got caught up in work when I started with the fifth book.


I will watch a lot of movies, have a Modern Family marathon (I love it!), play a lot of FB games (rearrange my city and build my kingdom), and best of all, enjoy this time with the Twerp. I love the city during the holidays, especially on Christmas day and New Year. The business district is deserted and it's great to walk around.

The other day, the Twerp and I went with my friend Bex to Greenhills. It's much like MBK in Bangkok and I haven't been there for ages. I was enjoying just looking having no intention to buy anything (I need to get rid of stuff at home before the New Year). However, I saw this small "Longchamps" bag which I have wanted to have for ages and Bex got a really good price. I'm no good at bartering myself and wouldn't have gotten it for P250.


We got out of Shoppesville when it started to get crowded and had lunch at Yellow Cab. We had our all time favorite, Dear Darla pizza and Charlie Chan pasta.


Today is my friend Nono's birthday. She's my oldest friend. We met in 3rd grade and have been the closest friends since. The Twerp and I will have lunch with her. Later today, I hope I'm not too tired, we will have a swim and try out Via's new swimsuit from Tita Bex.


Bye now, I'll  do a little yoga before we go. Yoga, by the way, has been a life saver during the stressful peak season at work and Esther Eckhart is the best yoga teacher! Check out her site and youtube videos.


The Twerp is 3!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Via turned three a couple of weeks ago. I had initially planned a proper children's party for her, inviting her friends, relatives and all the kids we know :) I had already reserved the venue and was planning the cake, giveaways, and other details. However, work was just too much the past two months and I felt too exhausted to arrange Via's party. I opted to have a simple lunch, inviting some of my friends and Via's two constant playmates.

She had plenty of presents. She's old enough to appreciate them and of course happy to have a lot of it. She needed help opening her presents though.

One of her favorite toys now is this cake and ice cream set from her Ninang Pearl. My friends also gave her a toy kitchen which needed their collaboration to put together. Children's toys are much too complicated now.

I ordered Via's cake from Red Ribbon because last time I checked, Goldilocks did not make marshmallow icing anymore. When I was still planning the children's party, I wanted to order from Marta's Cakes because they had a really nice Angelina Ballerina birthday cake which, by the way, is Via's birthday party theme. I went to Red Ribbon to order the cake 5 days in advance to make sure there was no mishap with the cake. On the day itself, I called an hour before to remind them but couldn't get through. The phone was busy. When I finally heard it ringing, no one answered and it went to voicemail. After several tries with the party already underway, I finally left a message on their voicemail.  I am sooo disappointed with Red Ribbon. Via's party was almost halfway through when it arrived. Never again!

Also, Red Ribbon had limited themes. I ordered a generic cake with some figurine on top (which I did not place on the cake) and made the Angelina Ballerina cake toppers myself.

Via's party, small as it was, was a big success. Like my friend Bex said, it was a blockbuster. Our small unit, was packed. I did not expect so many people to come. Good thing we did not run out of food.

The food was super too. I ordered them from a friend from badminton who does catering. We had spaghetti, chicken lollipop, laing, and fruit salad. I made Beef Rendang and Tita N made Pancit Molo, an Ilonggo specialty. The photos don't do the food justice especially the laing. It's really a must try!

We were in constant communication with P, sending him photos  and videos through BBM. It was like he was there too. I so love BBM!

The next day at Sabbath School, Via also had a celebration. We gave lootbags to her classmates and they sang happy birthday for her. The teachers had a cardboard birthday cake just for singing happy birthday to little kiddies.

Until three years ago, I told friends I did not particularly want children and I was content to have a dog who adored me no matter what. I said having a dog is the same thing. Now that I have Via, it certainly is NOT the same thing. I still love dogs but I am so very grateful to have this very special little girl. She has enriched my life in ways I have never imagined.  I am also thankful for having P in my life. Before him, I did not know how limited my life was.


Against Doctor's Orders

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Having been discharged from the hospital didn't mean Via could go back to her normal routine. She still had medications every few hours and the doctor said to stay home for two weeks. However, we live in a building and staying home for two weeks will definitely make her cranky. So we went to the mall across the street. 



We went out for a couple of hours again the next day, a holiday.  She had the playroom all to herself.


We didn't stay out too long as her meds had to be taken every 6 hours. However, short it was, she enjoyed it.

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