Sunday, December 31, 2017

Thankful for Spending Quality Time with My Family During the Holidays

It's one of the busiest months of the year for me. Aside from taking on new work and taking care of the kids, my brother and his wife from Canada came home last November 26 for a vacation. I'm thankful that we saw them again after two years. I'm especially glad because that made my dad very happy.

Of course, it is also the Christmas season so people are extra busy this month rushing to and fro to go shopping, cook and attend parties. But what's most important for me is having the opportunity to spend quality time with the family. I treasure the times I spent with my children. They are growing quickly and soon they will be on their own ways. So, I would like to enjoy them now while I still can.

This post will talk about personal things that kept me busy this December. So, just feel free to read if you have time. The main emphasis of this post is to "spend quality time with family" because you may not be able to soon.

1. The School 's Family Day

Our two girls in grade school had their yearly Family Day celebration last December 18 and 19. I'm glad that the school gives high importance to family. It was fun to play games with other parents, to see the students share their talents in singing or dancing, to eat together and to listen to the school chaplain share an inspirational message to us parents. To wrap up the event, the students sang a special song and then they gave love letters to their parents.

2. Family Getaway

It was great that finally we got the chance to go on a getaway outside the Metro. We (my daughter and I) would like to go to Batangas but it did not push through. But we went to some place nearer - Caliraya Resort Club in Laguna. It was just a one-day event since it's hard to get everyone together and we did not really plan for that trip, but it was fun being there. This is the post where I shared about our Caliraya Resort Club experience.

3. Shopping for Gifts

We sort of started two years ago a family tradition to exchange gifts among the seven of us. The rule is to buy a gift for at least just one other member of the family. So, there'll be no pressure to spend a lot on gifts. But this year was extra special because my dad, sister, brother and sister-in-law joined the exchange gift. 

The three girls are always extra excited on going out shopping. After the girls' Christmas party at school, we went to Tiendesitas to look for gifts to buy. It was the first time we went in the Fashion Hall and we kinda liked it. It was a good idea that we went there because the crowd there was not huge. There were no long lines unlike if we went to a mall or to the nearby shops in our place. We also went to the Food Hall where we ate some Ilocos Empanada.

4. Noche Buena and Media Noche 

If there is one time of the year that we all come together as a family, that is during Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. We go home to be with my family on Christmas Eve and we go to my in-laws on New Year's Eve.

We did not prepare a festive meal -- just enough for the family to enjoy eating together. For Noche Buena, we had veggie salad in vinaigrette, litsong kawali, pansit canton and rellenong bangus. For dessert, we had biko, leche flan and yema cake. After eating, we had our exchange of gifts. We would have played some games but my children are not really little kids anymore. So, we just watched TV and retired early in the evening.

For New Year's Eve, we were not able to go to my in-laws. Both my husband and I were not feeling very well. My dad came to our house and brought pizza. I just cooked kaldereta and ham-cheese lumpia. Of course, we also had some fruits on the table - pear, dalanghita, kiat kiat and grapes.

We ate the pizza for dinner. Hubby wrapped himself up in bed and woke up in the morning. I also dozed off because I was not feeling well. But my youngest girl woke me up because she's hungry at around 10 pm. So, we ate the almost Media Noche meal I prepared at about 11pm. After cleaning up, we just watched a bit of the fireworks we can see in the sky.

While we would like to create good memories during these times, sometimes things just don't work out the way we want to. What's important is the family stays together no matter what. We go to church together. We eat together. We watch movie together or sing together. We may not be able to do these things together all the time, but as oft as possible.

My family went to church  together on December 24 and 31.
My two girls joined the Christmas presentation at church.

5. More Family Time

On Christmas Day, we took advantage of the opportunity to go to a mall that we haven't been to. My boys and little girls were happy that they could shop for PS4 games using the money they got as Christmas gifts. Then, we left the mall and ate dinner somewhere else because the restaurants at the mall had long lines. We ended up eating at Mang Inasal, thank God, the waiting time was not that long.

On the following day, we went to SM MOA because my brother was scheduled to meet somebody there before he and his wife go back to Canada. At the same time, he wanted to buy a karaoke-DVD player. There were a lot of people, of course, so when we accomplished our purpose for going there, we went home. Then, my children enjoyed singing using the Mediacom Karaoke player my brother bought. It was definitely one fun and memorable night.

It would probably take another two years or more before we see my brother again. But I'm glad that we were able to spend time with him and his wife. They left December 28 for Canada.

So, that basically is what happened to my family during December holidays. How was yours? I hope it was also fun and full of special moments.

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