Friday, 6 December 2013

Christmas Spectacular: Holiday Traditions


You probably have a fair idea by now that I love everything about Christmas. I'll let you in on a little secret though. Christmas makes me a bit homesick. Ever since my mother and I moved to New Zealand, we've never really had any traditions for Christmas anymore. It's just a little difficult to come up with traditions when there's only the two of us, and our only relatives here live 4 hours away.

Back in the Philippines, we normally start celebrating around 7pm on Christmas Eve. While most families sit down for Nochebuena at midnight, we graze throughout the evening. My mother spoils me by cracking open the roast chestnuts as we sit with one of my aunts, listening to Christmas music, or watching movies on tv. As soon as midnight strikes, we open our presents.

The rest of the entire family doesn't arrive until the next day, so we normally sleep in. Around lunch time, aunts, uncles, cousins start arriving. We don't start the midday meal until Granddad arrives with the roast pig. All the young ones always beg to open the presents, but are told to wait patiently after lunch. One of the cousins gets picked to play Santa. Everyone politely watches as the first present gets opened, accompanied with the expected "Oohs" and "Aahs" as the present is unveiled. This goes on for the next few, until... I'm not quite sure at what point, but suddenly, everyone's just tearing open presents, and Little Santa is a bit confused and flustered, handing presents over left, right and center.

It's that moment that I love the best. Seeing everyone smiling, laughing, delight on their faces (or for some, trying to show delight but unsuccessfully hiding the twinge of disappointment), the little cries of "How come she gets that and I don't?!" or the high-pitched squeals of, "Look what I got!"

I think it's in that moment that I can actually see each family member as they are.

I miss them a lot.

Do you spend Christmas with your whole family? What do you normally get up?

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Christmas Spectacular


take care,



14 comments:

  1. My whole family normally get together for christmas. we eat, drink and be merry.

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  2. I love reading about different peoples' Christmas traditions. I'm actually sharing quite a few of my friends' traditions on my blog this season. :-)

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  3. Amanda Papenfus Eatherly6 December 2013 at 11:49

    I also don't really have any traditions since I've moved. I'm posting about ones from years past also. We used to gather at Christmas Eve with one side of the family, do presents in the morning, and then go over to my grandma's for brunch.

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  4. I really like reading about different family traditions. Since I've been married, we haven't really created any new traditions, but I know we will once we have kids. I'm sure it has been hard since you moved, but hopefully you all will be able to make some new traditions soon!

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  5. Aww, sorry to hear you left your family traditions back home. Now's the time to make new ones!


    My family never really celebrated Christmas. My parents work(ed) 24/7/365 pretty much, so we never had a tree or presents. Now that I'm older, I'm forcing my parents to join the significant other and I for Christmas. They're opening presents by a tree now and while they don't really understand the point, I'd like to think they enjoy it at least a bit :)

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  6. you should make some new ones. :) after we got married, we started to just make up our own. for example, we try to get a new ornament every year to represent the year for us.

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  7. It's pretty great isn't it? It's getting me truly excited for Christmas. Can't wait to see the rest of what you're sharing :)

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  8. Your post was beautiful :) I'm considering doing something similar with the snow globes. But maybe something less breakable, because my cat is far too adventurous!

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  9. Thanks Ashley! I was thinking about it the other night, I should just start new ones anyway. Even if it's just a tradition of watching Christmas movies and baking gingerbread cookies on Christmas eve, why not!

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  10. Thanks Kat, you're right. I can just make new ones. :) I'm glad to hear that you've gotten your parents into the spirit of the holiday! My mother has gotten a bit bah-humbug as I've gotten older, but I'm going to try and get her into it this year.

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  11. I really like that idea! As soon as things die down for me at the end of next week, I think I'll start cooking up some new ones :)

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  12. Amanda Papenfus Eatherly8 December 2013 at 12:53

    Thanks :) It's fun. You could always just put them up high. Less breakable isn't a bad idea though. I'm glad I left them in Ohio because the military movers have broken so much of my stuff that there's no way I want to trust them with a couple decades worth of snow globes lol.

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  13. i'm trying to think of some new ones for me too. i like the idea of traditions

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