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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year!

Again, it’s been a while since my last blog entry. I wish I had some fabulous excuse as to why I’ve been so lax in writing. It would sound so glamorous to say we’ve spent our Xmas holidays skiing in Aspen. Or maybe that my hubby and I went on some exotic cruise to usher in the new year.

But truth be told, it’s nothing more than being extremely busy with all the end of the year things (work – seminars right and left; last minute shopping that just never seemed to end; gatherings with family, friends and neighbors; decorating the home; cooking; weeding out my closet; etc, etc). Oh yeah, and the highlight of my Yuletide season – coming down with a nasty, nasty cold/flu virus that took me 7 days to get over. 7 days! My gad, I’m getting old!

But despite that – we did have a wonderful holiday season. This year we took turns hosting the “three main holidays”. Marik (Jojo’s sister) and Roy (her husband) hosted Thanksgiving, Tracy (Jojo’s other sister) and Jojo (her husband) were our Xmas Eve hosts, while Jojo and I had a New Year’s Eve party at our place.

As can be expected (with Jojo’s large family), Xmas Eve was a rambunctious and lively event. There was dinner, followed by Xmas Eve mass at St. Maria Goretti, Bingo games, exchanging Secret Santa presents, Noche Buena (traditional midnight meal), and finally the opening of Xmas gifts (you should have seen the kids – they were opening up gifts right and left!). We ended up with wrapping paper everywhere, good presents, happy faces, and four (5 counting our new born niece) tired but excited kids.

New Year’s Eve was the same – dinner, games of Win, Lose or Draw; Charades; and a version of a married couples game (“how well do you know your spouse”). My hubby and I lost the first round (we came in 4th place – there were 4 couples playing). Lots of good natured teasing and us justifying that we lost because we were the couple that was most recently married (of course that came in handy!). But we made up for it in the second round where we tied with Tracy and Jojo for first place. We ended the night with the traditional midnight meal to welcome in 2006.

Spending Xmas away from home, away from my family, is something I claim I am getting used to (this is my 5th one so far). But in all honesty, it does not get any easier. It's still tough esepcially since the holidays were always a huge part of my growing up and since my family always made a major production of celebrating the season. Lavish Xmas and New Year's Eve dinners at our place where everyone would get dressed up, extra-special homecooked food, wonderful presents under a splendid tree my mom would decorate herself, stockings filled with goodies from Santa every Xmas morning, driving around the subdivision giving Xmas presents to the security guards, going to my grandparents place in San Lorenzo for Xmas Day and New Year's Day lunch, going to mass at Mary the Queen dressed in our new clothes, listening to the choir sing Xmas carols, my friends stopping by in the afternoon, having leftovers for the next few days ... the memories are endless. The one blessing I am grateful for is knowing that everyone is well even if we are apart. It helps too that my hubby has a warm and very close-knit family here and celebrating with them makes my holiday almost complete.

I guess the bottomline is wherever you are and whatever you end up doing over the holidays – it helps to be with the people you love and doing things that you enjoy.

(Belated) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!


jml said...

Holidays are always made special when shared with people that you love. It makes me very happy that the cherished and traditional holiday celebrations we created here in our home for our family have been a great source of joy for all of you children and a fountain of nostalgic but joyful memories. Let this guide you as you now celebrate and continue the traditions with your new family. May all your holidays be always wonderfully special.

jol said...

It took quite a while for you to write this blog. I know just about everyone is busy during the yuletide holidays. The days are just not enough for all the activities lined up. I am glad that you enjoyed the festivities but have not forgotten the tradition of the way christmas and new year is celebrated back home. The past may be history but it is a good starting point for the future. May Jojo and you have the very best for 2006!

atsi said...

I miss you most specially during the holidays. Happy New Year to you and Jojo.

Joanne said...

Mom, dad, Atsi, I have a proposal -how about we celebrate Xmas and New Year's next year here in LA? :)

consay said...

Belated Happy New Year!

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