December 26, 2011

Christmas Season in Review

Our first Christmas in the Philippines was a fun experience. It was a busy holiday. Here it is in review:

-Christmas Carols in the stores and on the radio beginning in September.
-Fireworks going off almost every night sounding like a mini war outside the gates.
-11 Christmas parties—4 at work, 4 dinner parties with friends, 2 church parties, and one Christmas Eve movie and game night with my best friend, Lady Hiva

-Christmas tree and decorations went up Mid-November
-Ordered gifts online (the elves at Amazon must love us) in late November. We worked it out so that we used separate Amazon accounts and separate credit cards. It was good until only I can go to the mailroom because Lady Hiva works in the wrong building. She gave me strict instructions to NOT shake the boxes (it makes her mad that I can tell what it is by shaking it…a gift I inherited from Normy.) I told the mailroom guy that I was not supposed to shake it, so as he gave me the box, he shook it for me. We decided it was candy—and we were RIGHT! Luckily, the candy was not for me so I did not get into trouble.
-Bought Gifts for each other, small gifts for each of our colleagues, gifts for the Young Men and Young Women, pearls for the women in Hiva’s family, food gift boxes for four families in the neighborhood, and some ornaments for family at home.
Gifts for Lady Hiva's Co-workers

Gifts for Dustin's Coworkers (60 of them)
Houses made with the Cricut and filled with Chocolate for friends
-Visits to 4 different malls—several times
-3 movies in the cushy theatre with free soda and popcorn—none of which were Christmas movies because those were not being shown anywhere in the city.
-A Christmas Eve parade for the newest movies in Manila that closed one of the biggest roads in the city (why it was not a Christmas parade I am not quite sure—maybe movie stars are more important).
-A riddle game to open gifts for Lady Hiva and a scavenger hunt for me to find my gifts.
Lots and Lots of cupcakes, cookies, and chocolate.

-A vow to not spend so much money now that the holiday expenses are over—(then the old, huge, dinosaur college television broke…brmp)

-2 turkeys, 3 hams, 6 pounds of mashed potatoes, salads, 3 bags of taro plus two bags of marshmallows for candied yams, 2  medium bags of flour, 4 bags of sugar, pecans, orange rolls, dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, and more butter than I think we all care to know we consumed. (and Stove-top stuffing that we made a special trip to buy and did not even cook!)

I just read this to Hiva and she said, “it makes it sound like we live in excess…” MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Playing the new keyboard
The Aftermath on Christmas morning

And that brings me to the best part of the Season, to remember the gift of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. 

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