Every family has its own Christmas traditions and usually these are practices passed on from generations before. For our family one such tradition is our decorating the tree together. Just as my parents had us practice in our own home, I make it a point to bring the kids together, play some Christmas carols and have fun putting up the decor. I know that my sister now does this same thing with her own family, and while Gary did not have this tradition in his own family, he has adopted it for our own family.
Like most families, our Christmas spirit came late this year because of the calamity caused by Yolanda so we only put up our décor a few days before Christmas. We also kept it toned down and did not play carols like we usually do.
Nevertheless it was nice to be together and gather round the tree.
I suddenly remembered this video of Reese in 2010–
Another tradition is for us to attend Misa de Gallo or Simbang Gabi. I grew up in a village in Makati where dawn masses were held in the village park so my siblings and I would take our bikes or walk to the park. It is the same here in our village so Gary and I have been going religiously the past years and almost if not always completing it. This year, we were so happy to have Reese join us! And she was so enthusiastic and determined to complete it- it was easy to wake her up every morning until she reached her goal!
Since our village serves complimentary snacks every morning to the villagers, Reese was so happy to not only got her fave bibingka at the end of 9 days, she gets 3 wishes too (also based on traditional belief).
And what’s Christmas without the parties and gatherings, endless eating, and gift giving? Gary and I have a scheduled we’ve followed since we were newlyweds- and it’s a good balance of spending time with both sides of our family.
Christmas eve dinner is usually spent at our house with my siblings and mom. After mass at the park, we prepare a simple potluck dinner and we are lucky Tonette loves to cook. This year she made Takoyaki balls for us using the Electrolux induction cooker which I so love.
I tried helping her make the Takoyaki along with my niece Zoe. Yum. The Electrolux induction cooker allowed us to set up a cooking station outside. It heated the Takoyaki pan very quickly which allowed for more Takoyaki balls to go around, and that is always a good thing!
We skyped with our brother Jude who is based in El Salvador but this time spent Christmas in New york with friends. then started opening gifts and delight in watching the kids light up with joy especially our youngest nephew-
Jake with Auntie Jaymie. Check out that glowing smile (Jaymie’s too!)
After gift giving with the fam, everyone heads home as we head on out to Gary’s mom (Bita) to eat (again) Noche Buena right before midnight. This time we had ham, German sausages, hot chocolate batirol and some noodles. The newlyweds Miggy (Gary’s brother) and Ria are also home to spend eve with us. We also skyped with our older siblings Bernie in NY and Joyce in Calgary to make the family complete, albeit virtually.
So after round two of eating, we have another round of gift giving here too then we head home around 2am. It is usually while we are at Bita’s house this is when Santa usually visits to drop off his gifts at our house. Reese usually leaves a plate of cookies and milk for Santa, and just as in the past, he usually just takes a bite off one cookie and sips milk then leaves it at that. I tell Reese he is probably full because of all the cookies and milk other kids leave for him the whole night!
The get together with my cousins (mom’s side) is also something to look forward to every year. Growing up we would see each other every Sunday at our Lolo’s house in Sta. Mesa, but nowadays we only “see” each other on Viber or when we have business together or on special occasions.
It’s always great to catch up with my cousins!
My bestie cousin Candy and her family. It’s David’s first Christmas!
Then the youngest kids, Bella, Katie and Reese treat us to their annual Christmas performance. If last year’s was Gungnam, this year’s hit is Frozen. Which I should count also as a simultaneous documentation of pop culture. Here’s the terrific trio in their matching outfits-
Candy and I got their AnthillXME collab wrap around skirts from mompreneur Rone of Mothering Earthlings. Reese and Katie are wearing matching Amaize shirts made of corn fibre🙂
After resting at home, we leave again by evening we pick up Gary’s mom for a quiet Christmas Day Dinner.
After so much eating, we all agree we want something “light” and we g driving around Quezon City to choose a place. Guess what we all end up eating that night- Steak.
Coby and Bita after our supposedly “Light meal”
Between Christmas day and New years we have parties with our two groups we also consider families in our lives.
Dec 28 we saw our GB college barkada. Gary and I met in college in UP when I joined ICTUS- he was a member by the time I joined and we became friends and later on a couple. Our barkada then is GB and we consider our friends then our family till now.
Then Dec 30 our TUX family. Gary has been working for the TUX, an a capella singing group since we were in college, and now he is acting as their manager. TUX is also our family-
these are people you can count on in good and bad.We’ve been through lot together the past two years as two of our friends and TUX members, Carlo and Eric so suddenly, but we remain strong and present for each other. Even our kids grew up together–
I love Christmas. It’s a time to celebrate Christ, and through traditions that allow us to express faith and love, that’s what makes it meaningful. To have time to be with family,
Love this family tree gift from John and Benz of Weddingsatwork🙂
to make children happy
to show friends appreciation. It really is a time to count your blessings and I know when it comes to family and genuine friendships, we have really been blessed. Our Mommy Mundo message for the holidays:
How did you spend your Christmas? I wish you and your families a blessed Christmas!