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Our First Christmas in the Philippines

Happy New Year 2013! I just wanted to share how our first Christmas and New Year Celebration in the Philippines went. Actually, the last time we spent the Christmas holiday here was  in 2005 and we only had 3 children then. This is the first time that all 7 of us stayed here with all the lolos and lolas, titos and titas and cousins to celebrate the Christmas and New Year.

Christmas celebration here is really different. All of the grandeur of Christmas displays in malls, the playing of Christmas carols, the promotions and ads on television, the Christmas sales that are keeping the people busy shopping … All of these are all first time experiences for my children because they didn’t have this back in KSA.

We spent Christmas together with my side of the family. We have a small family, only 2 unmarried siblings and our father. My mother just passed away and we missed her much this Christmas. I certainly wanted to have a taste of her delicious Beef Mechado and her other spicy cuisine. But, my sister and I just prepared a simple Noche Buena.

Delicious Chocolate Caramel Cake for Noche Buena
After eating, we had several games with our children like the classic Bring Me, Paper dance and Pinoy Henyo. Though we’re just few in number, I’m glad that the children had some fun.

Bring Me Tito Benjie!

Paper Dance Elimination – We’re just 3 pairs of players.

Paper Dance Final Showdown.

Pinoy Henyo
After the games, my sister distributed the gifts to her nephews and nieces. All the gifts were just simple and not lavish at all. Well, as I always tell my children when they receive a gift, it’s the thought that counts and that they should always be grateful.

Christmas Gifts for Us 
Our Christmas Eve celebration was simple. Just the way we used to do it. On Christmas Day, I asked Janel what’s the greatest gift she received. And she said “JESUS.” I smiled and said, “That’s true.” I’m glad that despite all the commercialism and busyness of the world, my daughter knew what Christmas is really about. It’s about Jesus.

I hope you had a meaningful Christmas. Tomorrow, I’ll post about our New Year celebration. God bless you.


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