Spending the Holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Hope you’re having a blessed and fruitful holidays. 🙂 I haven’t forsaken this blog, I promise. 🙂 The past few weeks beginning December was just…whew! I couldn’t find a word to describe how busy-bee I was before we could finally go on our much-anticipated Holiday break.

Just to give you a rundown of what kept my schedule full, Christmas parties, for obvious reasons, occupied most of my December calendar. We had 3 in our office. The first one was our company-wide Broadway-themed party held on the first week of December which is a yearly tradition of theme-based performance competition per unit/building. Our building was assigned with the boring Les Miserables. 😀 I wasn’t a performer neither anyone of us in the department, but in the spirit of Christmas, we decided to dress up as something related to the theme. Apparently though, the organizing committee from our building had a different plan of involving everyone in the performance and having us wear Les Mis printed shirt with a plain text at the back! In silent protest for asking us to shell out P200 for a piece of shirt that we are most likely to wear as pambahay, I together with some of my “irele” officemates insisted on wearing peasant-looking costumes instead. So even though I didn’t want to “karir” the costume, I had to go over my wardrobe and unearth pieces of clothes for me to look like a peasant.

Les Miserables

Do we look like peasants? 😀 Sorry I don’t have a full body photo to convince you that we were peasants. 😀 Photo by Jo Ann.

Next was our department’s “The Voice”/Videoke party on the last week before work ends which was a whole lot of fun! No costume required, just the willingness to enjoy the games and the guts to sing our heart out! 🙂 It was a bit bitin though because we ended at 9pm due to regular work the following day while the other groups also partying at the place were just beginning to enjoy the night.

The Voice of MRD

The Voice of MRD 🙂 Love the photobooth props! 😉

Then the last Christmas party was for our division with a theme Foreign Film Festival which was my official office year-ender. This was stressful because a very good friend of mine who was part of the committee “volunteered” me to be one of the program hosts! 😀 Hosting requires some skills which I know I lack but I accepted the “request” nonetheless. This party had a costume contest which I didn’t plan to work hard on since I already won as one of the best costumes 2 Christmases ago. Haha! I was just actually planning to come as a very effortless Jamie Sullivan from my favorite A Walk To Remember. 😀 But since I was a host, I decided to level up a bit by dressing up as Arwen of Lord of the Rings. Thank you to my college friend, Jenica for lending me the dress! 🙂 I just bought a piece of beaded headband and some necklaces and turned them into an elven head dress who was arranged by my college and office friend Raissa (who, by the way, was the one who “volunteered” my name to host! 😀 I think it was her way of making it up to me for dragging my name into this hosting stint. Hehe!). And guess what? My Arwen outfit won as the female best in costume! Hahaha! Plus, I won an induction cooker at the raffle! 😀 The hosting paid off! 😀

LOTR1

Eowyn and Arwen of LOTR 😉 I love how the background perfectly matched our costumes! 😀 Photo by Jo Ann. 

Aside from our office Christmas parties, our college barkada also had a Christmas get together at our place. We rarely see each other since most of us are already married and have our own family so we really needed to make this one happen. It was a fun afternoon of food trip, catching up with each other, playing with the kids and games of Pinoy Henyo Beki Edition and Name That Tune hummed by the players. 🙂

CROI Re-unite! :D

CROI Re-unite! 😀

We also attended one of our very good friend’s wedding where the 2 kids were part of the entourage. The Big Boy was a coin bearer while the Little Princess was obviously a flower girl. The Big Boy only got to fit the coat on the wedding day itself because we were not able to meet with the very busy bride to get his outfit and have it dry cleaned and altered. He ended up wearing a little big coat and a really long pants. The Little Princess’ gown, on the other hand, was fitted for the first time 3 days before the wedding! And it had to be adjusted by the designer because it was too small for her. We got the final dress the night before the wedding and we were also not able to dry clean it. Rashes on her chest therefore appeared after we changed her into a more comfy clothes. Also bought the Little Princess a nice pair of gold shoes to match her yellow dress which I had to replace because I got the wrong size for her chubby feet.

Because the bride is very special to us, we obliged to her request that our car be a part as well of the wedding. 😀 It was dressed up and used as the bridal car with the chauffeur no other than hubby. 😉 I don’t think we were able to take a photo of the car though.

I also made myself busy shopping for make-up for the wedding and at the same time, update my make-up kit. 🙂 Since there would be 3 wedding events that we would be attending this Christmas break, I think I’d get the breakeven by then plus I have a regular everyday make-up. 😀

And in between Christmas party preparations was the need for me to brave the Holiday traffic and buy gifts for everyone — family and relatives for both my and hubby’s side, godchildren, friends and officemates. I would go to the mall whenever possible after office to complete our gift list and I would pray everytime that I’d be able to get a ride home without fuss. Exchange gifts and the weekly kris kringle in our department (yes, that kris kringle!) also added to the “stress” and pressure of looking for presents. Imagine picking your brain every week for something “funny and strange” or “colorful and sticky (except food and clay)” or “unique and special” worth P30 each? 😀 Then I had to stay up late to finish wrapping all the gifts because it’s almost impossible to do some crafty things while the kids are up and running around the house. I need peace and serenity at times like this. 😀

And oh, it was not just my Christmas parties that I became pre-occupied with. The Big Boy also had one to cap off the school days for this year and they also had an exchange gift. I had to squeeze in buying a P150 worth of gift for a little boy after a work Christmas lunch. I also needed to prepare gifts for his teachers which I wrapped last minute before he left for his party at school.

And before the Big Boy’s Christmas party, they still had their 3rd mastery exam for 3 days! Seriously? Days before the Christmas break?! My thought bubble shouts. Stress! I had to go home right after work and cancel gift shopping itineraries to review the Big Boy for his exams. So thankful for hubby for filling in for the 3rd review night as I needed to go to finish buying gifts and prepare other stuff as we would be leaving for vacation that weekend.

Work was also hectic that final work week since there will be changes in our assignments. We had to prepare for smooth transition, manage important last-minute tasks and prepare for our new assignment. And there were projects that needed to be finalized before the Christmas break!

I must not forget that I needed to pack things of 2 adults and 2 kids for our 2 week Christmas vacation. I was initially thinking of starting packing a week before we left but figured it wouldn’t be realistic given all the things I had to do and the events that would take place so I ended up packing the entire day of Saturday. 😀 I swear, this is my most hated part of going on vacation. It seems to be an endless task! We had no choice but to miss the baptism of my friend’s (since pre-school!) baby in the morning of Saturday held in the province even if I was a godparent. 😦 I was also too tired from the Film Fest Christmas party the previous night.

Busy schedule didn’t end while we were on vacation. We met up with some of my pre-school to high school friends, one of which was the one who invited me to be her child’s godmother. We had to prepare for the blessing of my parents newly renovated house. We needed to prepare our Noche Buena since my parents do not have a househelp. I’m proud to say that I cooked the tomato pasta with the help of Joey while he grilled the barbecue. 🙂

Then we moved to hubby’s side of the family and celebrated the annual Christmas party with games and prizes for the kids, gift giving then dinner. So amazed and proud of the Big Boy who readily joined the games! He looked so cute in the Stop Dance game. 🙂

We also visited my Father-in-Law’s side of the family and I was just so thrilled to experience more of the laid-back province life away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The plains and hills on our way to the place were a sight to behold. And the plants and gardens were so beautiful I’m dreaming to have the same at home someday. The air was so fresh! Being both raised in the province, I mentioned to my husband while getting awed at the beautiful creation of the Lord that we were blessed to have grown up seeing and experiencing the greens and beauty and freshness of province life. This is also one of the reasons why we make sure we spend a vacation at least once a year in our hometown for the kids to experience these.

The day after we attended my cousin-in-law’s amazing wedding with the 2 kids. Thank God there were relatives who helped us look after the Big Boy and the Little Princess because we didn’t have a yaya with us. They went on vacation, too. 🙂

DCIM100GOPRO

The newly-weds! 🙂 Photo taken by my hubby using a GoPro.

It was indeed a totally jam-packed Christmas season not only for us but for everyone I’m sure. I thank God for reminding me amid all the presents and parties and busy itineraries that the reason for the season is our Savior Jesus Christ. He was born one blessed night so that we will all have the greatest gift we could ever receive not only for Christmas but for the rest of our lives. And I pray that as an undeserving recipient of that gift by the grace of God, I will also be able to share about that very special present with the others who have not known or accepted it, including my family. 🙂

The busy Christmas season is coming to an end and another year is beginning to unfold. Another opportunity to put our focus on what really matters and that is our relationship with Jesus — allowing Him to take control of our life, leaving every problem and decision to Him and seeking Him, worshipping and pleasing Him all the time. Personally, I take this new coming year as an opportunity to cultivate and deepen my relationship with God. 🙂

May we all have a blessed and wonderful 2015! 🙂

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