I finished my Christmas shopping early, just to get that out of the way. I bought my godchildren their presents, and wrapped them myself. I get a real kick out of being all Martha Stewart this time of year. However, unlike Martha Stewart, I can't bake to save my life so I just ordered a dozen boxes of homemade chocolate chip cookies from my friend. This was part of my pledge to support, small local entrepreneurs. I then gave these out to colleagues - mostly The Husband's - and to friends, and neighbors. I didn't put bows on these. I just put leftover holiday postcards. My mother had more moolah to spare and wanted the stuff she gave out to be fancier, so she ordered ten boxes of cupcakes from The Cupcake Theory. The stuff there aren't exorbitantly priced but they are really special. Mom said the recipients were more than happy. (Of course, nothing but the best from my friend, Arvy, who owns and bakes for The Cupcake Theory)
There were no lavish purchases this year. We just bought stuff we needed to be replaced. We bought an LED 32-inch TV, yes, but only because our old one is well, old. We'll place that in the little girl's room as the new TV is in the living room. We'll have it mounted on the wall only after the holidays as things are still in a state of (happy) chaos.
The last working day of 2012 for me was on the 21st, and I had Christmas dinner with two of my favorite girls - Alveel and Raen. We just really click because we have so much stuff in common. For one, we're all moms and we all became moms in our twenties. I love these girls to bits and we can really just talk - in two languages - and giggle the time away. There is no dull moment. We had a buffet dinner at the new Quest Hotel's Puso Restaurant. I swear, we ate so much. Then we gave each other gifts. We capped the night off with tea at La Marea.
It's a 'me' sammich! Flanked by Raen on the left and a pregnant Alveel on the right in Puso Restaurant
photo grabbed from Raen's Facebook
Then it was my sister's 23rd birthday lunch. We went to Kotobukiya. I also had Christmas lunch with my good friends, Arvy and Graeco, at La Tegola Cucina Italia. The Husband tagged along. We had a blast catching up and exchanging presents.
The Circle of Trust: Graeco, Arvy and me at La Tegola Cucina Italia
photo grabbed from Graeco's Facebook
I also took the little girl to see Santa Claus at Rustan's on the last day of school before her Christmas break. We waited for an hour or so because we were early, so I ended up shopping for her and her dad, even if I wasn't planning on buying anything. Oh well, it's okay. Kaelana was thrilled to be able to see Santa. I thought it was perfect because her present from 'Santa' had Rustan's gift wrapping. It would make sense for her to see the jolly bearded man there. Here she is in her school uniform. Santa looked at her and saw how skinny she was and asked, Have you been eatin'? My daughter just nodded and climbed onto his lap. Then Santa said, Oh, you're heavy.
Without me really knowing it, Christmas Eve rolled around. For noche buena, we had three cheese spaghetti with mushroom, and Alveel's bakareta and mango icebox cake. My little family just relished being together. We watched movies, we laughed, we read in bed, we told stories. My little heart is happy and content.
Christmas Day was simple and meaningful. I woke up early with Kaelana to open her present from Santa. I had to actually wake up earlier to eat some of the cookies and drink the milk she laid out for him the night before. I also ate some of the candies for the reindeer. Of course, she assumed that Santa and his hooved friends devoured the goodies, and not me.
The Husband is off to his last work shift of 2012, and we'll both be back to the office in 2013 yet. We're leaving for Iloilo tomorrow afternoon so tonight and tomorrow morning will be spent packing. My entire family is there right now at my maternal grandparents' ancestral home. The whole clan is going to Boracay for our annual reunion, and it's going to be loads of fun.
I'll try to blog, tweet and update you while I'm there... NOT.
Let's spend the holidays focusing on our loved ones, shall we? The internetzzz can wait. Merry Christmas! Happy birthday, Jesus!
I am grateful. My cup runneth over.