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.