Friday, December 01, 2006

Friday 13

It's been a peaceful day so far. I am thankful that the typhoon passed over the place I live. It's very windy outside but the weather's cool and the kids and I just woke up from a very long afternoon nap which I will probably regret later tonight. It's a long weekend for us which I hope will mean the Christmas gifts will get wrapped and the kids' old toys and clothes organized to give away. The hubby is spending the entire three days working which means I will try very hard not to distract him (I promise not to make faces while you're working, cross my heart!). So while the two of us are on the couch, typing away, here's my thirteen list.

13 Things I look forward to every Christmas season

1. Making my Christmas list. It's in excel and has my lists since 2002. It has everybody's names on it classified by immediate family, relatives, friends (college, grad school, office, etc), gift ideas, budget for each. Then I fill in the actual gift I bought and how much it costs. It is probably major OC for me but it helps me prepare myself during the holidays. (And the hubby's list is also included).

2. Buying gifts. I especially love thinking about what to give to very close friends and family. I like looking at people as they open their presents and knowing that the gift made them happy.

3. Wrapping gifts. There's something relaxing about doing something mindless and repetitive every once in a while.

4. Cool weather. December - January is about the only time during the year when we get moderately cool weather without the rain. Although, now there's a typhoon.

5. Christmas carols.

6. Spending time with close family. This year, my aunt and cousins who live in the US are coming over. The last time they went for a visit was 10 years ago. I visited them last year in San Francisco on my way to Arizona and realized how much I missed them (my cousins were still little kids when they left). I can't wait for them to arrive and spend some time giving them the tour.

7. Midnight mass. Every year, we gather at our aunt's house (my dad's sisters and brother), have dinner and then wait for midnight mass where we all troop to church.

8. Noche Buena. After mass, this is the traditional Filipino midnight feast. We gorge on ham, cheese, and whatever it is my aunt serves while everyone distributes the gifts. As a kid, this was the part I liked best.

9. This is now my favorite part. We go home then it's our turn to give the gifts. It's just us, my parents, sisters and brother, the kids and Jun and I. When the presents are everything you said you wanted, and then we talk and laugh until 3 am, or until the kids are so exhausted they fall asleep amidst the Christmas wrappers.

10. Reading my husband's Christmas card.

11. When the kids are safely in bed and Jun and I just talk quietly, going over the year and the funny highlights of the night.

12. Getting up really late on Christmas morning and having a lazy, lazy breakfast while the kids are preoccupied with their new toys.

13. New Year's Eve. Just me and my siblings at home, playing really loud chillout music and dancing till midnight. A little wine and a lot of food.


Samson & his Mummy Juliet said...

You are lucky to have a lie in on Christmas morning. I remember being up at 5am jumping on my poor parents bed with Christmassy excitement!!! Enjoy

Menchie said...

Samson and Mummy Juliet,
I think that's why we celebrate it the eve of the 24th. To preserve my parents' sanity!

Caroline said...

I love Christmas!!!!!!!!
It's nearly here.
You have made me too excited.
I can hardly breathe.
I am jumping jumping jumping up and down.


kj said...

menchie, what a fantastic list. your holidays are so much from the heart i was sheer joy to read about them.

you brought back my memories of midnight mass. i've always loved that. i am so glad for you that you have a wonderful and loving husband and family to share your joy with.

and menchie, how i wish you can maria could be my personal shoppers. how i wish...!
thank you for sharing the spirit of christmas in such a great way.

Ces said...

The midnight mass was so cool. My entire family, all 10 of us in one pew. There were bibibgka vendors and this was the only time, my Mother allowed us to buy food from street vendors. I did not get sick, all those years. Public food vendors were cleaner and food preparation was better. I would like to spend Christmas again in the Philippines. They are the best. My family was never materialistic. Our Christmases were full of aroma of food and the sound of laughter. We had parties and dinners until January 6th.

My favorite toy presents (ever) were inexpensive plastic dolls named Ms. Adorio, Toti and Kiko. I got a new pair of shoes and a new dress every Christmas. My father being a photographer took family portraits On New Year's Eve. We had family photographs at midnight, January 1st until we got older and started having our own families. So every midnight my family pose for photographs here in the US.

Menchie said...

Me too! Me too!! I am so, so excited! Sometimes I think I am more excited than the kids! I can't wait for them to open their presents!

as a child, i never appreciated midnight mass. maybe because i was too excited about the presents. now it's different. sometimes just listening to the choir sing the opening christmas carols with everyone singing along makes me teary eyed.

I agree that Christmas in the Philippines is the best (now if we only had snow for one day it would be perfect!).

Now when we attend midnight mass, we occupy more than 1 pew since there are about 25 to 30 of us (aunts, cousins, babies, etc) -- and since the church is always packed we bring along our own chairs. I actually need to sit since my children almost always ask for milk and fall asleep on my lap during the mass. Then Jun would share his Host with me since I can't line up for communion.

Growing up, we also didn't have much and life was much simpler then. But being with my family makes it the same every year.

Marie said...

It all sounds lovely. Thanks for sharing this with us, Menchie.

-Princess Shin- said...

Oooh.. arent u an organized lady! =) i would like to see ur Christmas list ! Heheh.. have fun preparing for X'mas!

Maria said...

YOU! WITCH! YOU WERE HERE LAST YEAR!!!!! IN SF! ON YOUR WAY TO AZ! omg! and you didn't call me?! WHY?????


I didn't know you keep your christmas list on excel... you are OC, I know for sure, cause I do the same.

Hey, you're not forgiven yet.

Menchie said...


Sorry po talaga!!!! I was rushing because I got my visa at the last minute, as in day before (last minute decision of Maroy to send me instead of him going). I only spent a weekend there and my tita didn't even give me a chance to make calls and everything because we rushed off to Tahoe the minute I arrived and I didn't have your cellphone number.

Di bale, Jun and I are planning to take a trip in 2008 (ang layo pa!) with the kids (and if I'm not pregnant -- HA HA HA!). So we'll visit you! You have to take me shopping to your favorite places, ha!

Yeah, I'm as OC as you. That's why we're friends! :D