Wishing you a Happy Christmas

Today is the day I have been waiting for since my parent’s anniversary on Dec 7. I love this day. And even though my Mum was talking about going to a friend’s party on Christmas Day, I’m glad I was able to convince her not to go. Yesterday we drove out here to Niagara Falls1 to stay at a hotel and enjoy some fancy in-room whirlpool action. I would have loved to have taken my brother to Las Vegas for his 21st birthday, but it just wasn’t to be.

We opted for a  late check-out and will be back in Toronto in the afternoon today. We were going to do a big turkey Christmas dinner, but because we were driving back today we decided against it. We might still roast a chicken that we bought but at least it won’t be as big of a job as a turkey will be. We’ll still have all the fixings as we just prepped them before we left and refrigerated them – all that needs to be done is throw everything in the oven. We might also not bother with the big meal and just have something easy like rice and a stirfry.

Regardless of what we eat, after dinner we get to open our presents! This will be a first for our family as we usually open our presents after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. But we didn’t think bringing all the presents down to Niagara Falls would have been a good idea2.

I’d like to thank you for stopping by today. I won’t be around, but as my Christmas thank you gift to you, I would like to give you your choice of the following3:

  • 1000 entrecard credits.
  • Link love in my first post in January after I return from Holidays.
  • personalised twitter background.
  • personalised 125×125 card for use on any social network.

So please leave me a comment, letting me know you were here and what you would like to receive and I will make sure to give you your gifts.

Happy Christmas!!

Footnotes:
  1. Ontario[]
  2. in fact, it would have been a huge hassle[]
  3. sorry, limit 1 gift per person[]

Flickr Friday: I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas

Snow on the Front Porch

I was originally going to post this song as performed by Connie Talbot, but she didn’t do as well as she normally does in her version of this classic so I chose this performance by 3 Angelic voices who happen to be Celtic. YouTube says they’re just called Celtic Woman and I don’t know the story behind the performance nor did I investigate – because this post is about Flickr Friday and this photo.

With 6 days left until Christmas, I’m hoping we have a white one1. I’ve spent the last two years without snow on Christmas and I want as much snow as there is on the day I took this photo.  This was taken on the first day in February earlier this year. I had been home for exactly 10 days and was excited about the snow. But then it just kept on coming!

I’ve experienced being somewhere warm during the holidays, and it was loud. You see, last year my Mum’s side of the family had a big reunion in the Philippines. It was a lot of fun and it makes me wish I could have gotten to know my family a little better. They’re all very fun people and even though I haven’t been in touch with them, they all still love me as if I were their own daughter. I’m sure it helps that my Mum is great a keeping in touch with them and updating them on everything that we do.

But despite all that, I still prefer a white Christmas. There’s nothing like driving around in the snow and walking up to someone’s door and feeling the warm gush of air as they answer it. Combined with the warmth in their smile, how could I possibly feel anything but Christmas cheer?

Are you wishing for a white Christmas?

Footnotes:
  1. and considering we are supposed to be getting about 20-25cm of snow by the time I wake up tomorrow… I may just get my wish[]

Our home: dressed in Christmas cheer

I’m sure its pretty evident now that I love Christmas. I love the extra effort taken by everyone around this time of year to decorate, celebrate and keep in touch with people. And because its Christmas, I can tell you about the extra effort we’ve made around the house!

Outside
Our neighbours are pretty tough competition when it comes to Christmas decorations, some of them are quite quick to put up their Christmas lights1 and others go all out.

Outdoor Christmas lights

Our lights are slightly less than perfect. I would prefer one solid colour all the way around but I wasn’t LED Christmas lightshere when my Dad put up the red & green LED lights so I can’t have much say in the matter. I did manage to convince them to put up lights on the railings leading up to the front door and the lawn ornaments =) The star in the window is what is called aChristmas Socks Parol. Its my Mummy’s most favourite Christmas decoration because it reminds her of home. She brought it here from the Philippines one year and even though it got damaged in shipping but my Dad rescued it – she’s so lucky my Dad is a handy, handy man.

Inside
We don’t have a fireplace so I thought it might be a good idea to use the mirror in our dining area to hang our socks. We got some small, clear hooks with suction cups and attached them to the mirror and voila! The next project was our buffet, the top of this buffet is usually cluttered with random junk but for Christmas my Mum and I agreed we wanted to give it a more ‘decorated’ feel.  Other small projects included wrapping some fake poinsettias at the base of our lamps, and putting this old ring of fake poinsettias around our candle coffee-table centrepiece.

Mini PoinsettiaStars on my windowChristmas GlobeMe-ow-rry Christmas!!

I also did a tiny bit of decorating in my own room. Nothing too crazy, my Mum bought me a mini poinsettia plant and I put up my old Star lights that I bought when I was still working at Ikea. I also have a mini Christmas tree from Ikea… its really cute and apparently, I’ve had it for 4 years now!

And finally, the focus of Christmas our beloved Christmas tree. I would love to have a real tree, but I know how messy it can be and since we can’t afford a cleaning lady2 its not practical to get one. My Mum and I decided on a Red & gold theme this year and I think we did quite a good job!

Red & Gold Christmas tree theme

Have you decorated your house for Christmas (or Hanukah)?

Footnotes:
  1. some, like us, never take them down[]
  2. we have one, my Mum, but she doesn’t get paid for it[]

Monday Madness: Twas in the Moon of Wintertime

I got this Meme from Spo-Reflections, a blog I don’t read but found interesting when googling for Christmas Memes.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper and ribbons!
2. Real tree or Artificial? I’d prefer a real one, but we have an artificial one.
3. When do you put up the tree? Our tree went up early this year – Nov 30! But we usually wait until after my parents anniversary which is at the end of the first week in Dec.
4. When do you take the tree down? Usually the 2nd or 3rd week in January – before my Mum’s birthday.
5. Do you like eggnog? Yum!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? My little kitchen!
7. Hardest person to buy for? My Daddy; he doesn’t have any hobbies other than fixing motorcycles or things around the house – but there are only so many tools you can buy for one person. Also, this is the man who owns 5 lawn mowers1.
8. Easiest person to buy for? My Mum; she never buys anything for herself but has a lot of easy likes – jewelry, clothes, gift certificates to movies and shows, etc. 
9. Do you have a nativity scene? No – not sure I’d ever want to. Too religious for my taste though I usually like the life sized ones they do at Church.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Both – but only because some people2 don’t want to give me their mailing address so they’re getting ecards instead3.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I can’t say this has ever happened. Apparently, I’m scary when I’m upset.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? The Family Stone or Miracle on 34th street.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I wrote out after Halloween, finalised my budget after my birthday4, and purchased my first present soon afterwards.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes, I’m filipino – its what we do.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Does ‘everything’ count as an answer?
16. Lights on the tree? Yes, we have red LED lights; I’m hoping to convince them to get white ones soon so it goes with any colour scheme we pick.
17. Favorite Christmas song? I can’t remember the name of the Christmas Hymn we use to sing in the choir, but Twas in the Moon of Wintertime is another good one.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home – but travelling for New Year’s.
19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer’s? No, I’m not psycho nor do I have a photographic memory.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star. Angels can get a little creepy at night time.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning – right after Christmas eve Midnight mass5.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? That the ‘good’ spirit that is shared by all doesn’t last all year.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Red & gold6.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Hm.. still going to have to say ‘everything’!
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? A DSLR Camera, but I know I won’t get that so I’d like more of ‘my’ perfume which Ralph Lauren has discontinued: Blue.
26. Will you bake any cookies? Damn straight!

Whoever wants to play, please make my day!

Footnotes:
  1. I know… don’t go there[]
  2. like Ken[]
  3. I guess the cat is out of the bag now[]
  4. in November[]
  5. muahahahaha[]
  6. though I suppose technically its red, gold & green because the tree, wreath, and garlands are usually all green and the ornaments we hang are red & gold, but get the picture[]
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