Merry Christmas, everyone! I'm sure all of your tummies are happy today!
The holiday season caught me off-guard this year. I used to be really big on Christmas, getting excited for weeks for the holidays to come, but I've been too caught up in my pregnancy to notice the dates go by. The only countdown I've been doing is how far along I am, and how many more weeks to go until I'm due. Even my 30th birthday, which is supposed to be a milestone birthday, crept up on me.
I've been avoiding malls lately, what with the large crowds and long queues (and my frequent need to go to the restroom), so I haven't been able to buy my brothers their gifts. Sorry, brothers. Habol na lang. My sister's was ordered online (the Belle du Jour planner), I got my mom something she really wanted from Etude House, and my dad just asked for whatever aftershave Abet uses. Boys are so hard to shop for, no? Abet and I bought the gifts for his family at the very last minute, on December 24.
I have always wanted to give out edible homemade gifts for Christmas, and I finally achieved that this year. I baked countless cupcakes and cookies to give away to friends, which made a good excuse for me to meet up with people to give them their gifts. I'll be baking well until after New Year's Day because I still have friends to meet then. Good thing I was able to do that this year, I don't know if I'll still be able to bake as much as I did this month once my baby arrives.
Like last year, Abet and I spent Christmas Eve with my in-laws while Christmas Day was at my parents' house. My mother-in-law went all out: we had puto, dinuguan, macaroni salad, fried chicken, mechado, and arroz Valenciana on the table. Abet baked his very first cake, a two-layer carrot cake he kept calling his Opus. no. 1. There was also ham from my dad that he ordered from Earle's Deli. At my parents', we had their really-yummy-but-oh-so-labor-intensive paella, my mom's bam-i, and there was also Earle's ham. Abet and I are continuing the tradition we started last year of having our own celebration for our little family on December 26. Last year, that was when we opened the presents under our tree and we prepared a nice special dinner and got drunk on white wine. This year, we skipped the tree altogether (hello, multiple cats) so we opened our gifts as we got them, and I'm not in the mood to cook (nor can I have wine). Abet & Dea's Christmas Celebration will be pretty simple, we'll just have dinner at our favorite Thai place later.
Abet and I skipped getting each other something this year and bought stuff for the little girl instead. Buying things for her is so much more fulfilling than getting something for ourselves. Our family and friends also probably thought the same thing because Audrey got more presents than I did! Not that I'm complaining, I love it. Keep them coming, titos and titas!
This is probably the simplest Christmas I've had in years, but my heart is filled with nothing but contentment and gratitude. It is in simplicity that you get to appreciate the things that matter most--family, good health, friends.
Of course, a big chunk of my happiness comes from the beautiful little girl growing healthily inside of me. She is my testament of how much The Birthday Boy loves me and my husband. Thank you, Papa Jesus, for all the blessings.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
*image from here