My 47th Christmas

Is there a way to push Christmas back? This has been a question most, if not all, wish would have an affirmative reply. It’s a repetitive thought that even the modern day science still doesn’t have any answer until now. Boo Back To The Future fantasies.

Is it Christmas already?

Eleven months ago we all wished it would be December again but here we are all of a sudden almost caught off guard. It the midst of our hectic schedules Christmas was creeping in. Kids like it, we adults not so much.

Personally, this year was busiest I’ve ever had. It was as if everything was overwhelming. This year was the complete opposite of last year. For several months of the first half of the year I stayed longer hours at work. I was in and out of the house like a sleepy cuckoo clock. Thankfully, this last quarters I somehow picked up the rhythm. Then the unexpected changes our client made at work plus the new schedule were blessings in disguise. My team and I are no longer night owls.

In perspective, this is my 47th Christmas and it seems I still don’t know how to handle it as an adult, as a parent. I wish I’m back to being a young kid clueless who really Santa is. Well who doesn’t? I don’t know if I’m doing Christmas right, if I’m playing Santa well. My wife has her answer to that I’m sure.

I don’t want to sound cliche but I just wish that this Christmas will be more meaningful. That behind all the Lazada and balikbayan boxes would be the real spirit of giving and sharing. I still have several days to discover if I’m capable of pure yuletide spirit.

Merry Christmas everyone. Just me stopping by to catch up on my blogging duty.

***

Grinch grins. I got a Dremel from wifey and Marcus.

The Lazada delivery has been more frequent lately and I feel like our house is now its warehouse.

In an effort to save on Christmas packaging, wifey asked me to keep the Lazada boxes so she can use it to repack her gifts.

“If I don’t get any hint that none of those boxes are for me then these empty boxes go to the trash tomorrow,” I said in a jest. She took it seriously though and true enough, few minutes later I received a gift wrapped hurriedly in plain white paper. Thus the Dremel. Thank you female Santa.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Hard to be minimalist this Christmas.)

Evia has Evolved

We broke routine this weekend. Christmas is getting closer and yesterday’s advisory on SLEX’s LED monitors showed hint that grinches, I mean shoppers, are flocking to Alabang onwards. But luck was on our side this time.

Our recent plan to check out Evia Lifestyle Center once more was timed right. For the first time I drove coming from Calamba to Daang Hari via MCX and parted ways from motorists on SLEX who were then pacing slowly like reindeer-less Santa sleighs. Traffic to this mall in the middle of the Villar-owned properties was light with only a slight hitch at the toll gate. Thanks to RFID we got through faster than those queuing at the cash lanes.

Evia has evolved and improved a whole lot since we first set foot two years ago. It now has more stores and more parking spaces. Basement parking is also now open and there’s an extended parking area across the mall close to Petron gas station where free shuttle service to and from the mall is available from 10 AM until 10 PM.

Evia Lifestyle Center is part of the growing Vista Mall chain and construction is ongoing. I realized this must be the reason some of the guards are as confused as us. We asked a couple of them for directions to the cinemas and we were advised we can take the escalators with Marcus in his wheelchair. We obliged despite protest but soon figured there are two elevators we should’ve used. First is the one that’s only until the 2nd floor and another that reaches the cinema level.

Evia’s 3rd level offers more than just movies. We discovered after spending a thousand for two persons for dinner that there are cheaper alternatives like pizza, pasta, burgers, churros, and even street food snacks. No regrets though as Bulgogi Brothers served us a nice hotpot plus the staff were very accommodating.

Evia has a newly-opened iMax cinema but Marcus has his mind set to the new Fortnite season and was also anxious to get back home to see our dog which is why we skipped the movies this time. Anyway I’m sure we’ll be back some other time soon.

Evia’s Christmas decor beats the Ayala malls’ we’ve visited.
The tight elevator makes good effect.
At Bulgogi Brothers. Away from fatty pizza and burgers.
Cinema area looks nice.

***

Big question: what’s with malls that they would rather use a PWD elevator than build a ramp?

Evia’s wheelchair/stroller elevator.

Ayala Town Center has this similar elevator which remained broken until our last visit and it was the reason I didn’t like going there anymore. Hopefully they already fixed it is our access to the cinemas, North Park, and the sports store that sells nice shoes. Wink, wink.

***

Mood: 5/10 Honks! (Weather’s nice but I got cold to deal with.)

Domino 

Weather remains bad for almost a week already but so far Santa Claus has braved heavy rains and strong winds, unload some toy cars, and a dominoes set. Marcus must have been that nice. 

Marcus used Sketch to achieve this.

***

The rain let up somehow to let my father-in-law celebrate his 80th birthday today and every family member was there except for a few.  Marcus too hasn’t dropped by lately due to wheelchair access concerns but come rain or shine we committed to being there. Good job to everyone who made it happen.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (It’s starting to rain again but we’re warm and cozy at home.)

The Promise

It was during Christmas dinner last year— over fatty foods, beer, and good company–when I first heard of Timehop and I loved the app since then. It’s the crystal ball of social media. It made me take a look back at whatever I’ve posted online years back. Some cringeworthy, some that I am proud of. This Timehop post is the first on my blog just so I could test how it would look like. See more in the next days.

Our Santas’ House

We must have been so nice that this year our Santa Clauses decided that we personally pick our gifts from where it come from.

No reindeers here but fat cats and nosey dogs.
The table has been cleared and beers and gifts take over.

While this isn’t my first time to set foot in the US, this is the first time to be with Marcus and wifey and with our Santa Clauses. Needless to say, this is one unusual Christmas for the three of us and we couldn’t thank God enough for this opportunity and for surrounding us with people who support us: people who paid for this trip and even people back home who wished us well.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks!!!! (Our Garmin watches are waiting to be tested.)

 

Christmas S_cks

Second to the last for this sock.

Depends on who you ask, the idea of Christmas could differ. For most kids, it’s all about Christmas socks. For most adults, it’s Christmas sucks and that is just sad. It is why it pays to be a kid or a kid at heart this holiday season. It’s about setting aside all that pride and prejudice that hinder the true spirit of Christmas. It’s about having that innocence, at least for the time being.

Christmas is the perfect time to once again believe in Santa because Santa does exist. Baloney? Grinch, eh? Hear this. You see kids do not have a strong grasp of the origin of Christmas yet and so it takes some creativity to enforce to them the reward system–what one gets when he’s naughty or nice. And this is when Santa Claus comes to the rescue. With his sleigh and reindeer. With Rudolph the red-nosed leader. Remember that even Jesus made use of parables to get his message across. To use therefore a fat bearded man in a red suit who tirelessly shouts ho, ho, ho isn’t really a bad thing. Given the right parenting and faith, kids will soon understand the real reason behind this season. For now let’s allow Santa Claus to fill those Christmas socks.

***

I have to stressed most kids in the statement. There are others out there with an empty Christmas socks as the least of their worries. Let’s spare a thought and a prayer for them.

***

Mood: 1/10 Honks! (One more day and Marcus’ dream will come true.)

 

Our Healthy Christmas Tree

I like Christmas but I have been anti-Christmas tree. This year I survived another begging from wifey to buy one as, to reiterate same statement I say every year, I find it a waste of money and that I would feel guilty staring at a new Christmas tree when I could have used it  for charity or something more important.

I am no Grinch, however. (This is where I expect to see people, including wifey, raise their eyebrows.) I don’t sneak into Christmas trees and secretly breaks it. I am a kid at heart whenever I see the sight of Christmas trees at the malls and someone other houses. I am just not ready, nor could afford, to buy our own.

It does not mean though that I couldn’t or wouldn’t build one. In fact, wifey and I made one again. Thanks to the stash of empty Berocca–more than a year’s worth–canisters I kept up the ceiling a new Christmas tree is born. The past years we built one made of badminton shuttlecocks which we used for more than three Decembers.

I love Berocca that I find it hard to throw even the empty canisters.

We must always remember that Christmas will always be Christmas with or without a Christmas tree. There are always ways to feel the spirit of the yuletide season and the more we understand that it should come from within and shared with the others the better it will be.

Merry Christmas everyone!

It takes a glue stick, some creativity and a patient wifey.

***

Early this year I stopped using Berocca to try out two products being endorsed, forced may be appropriate, by wifey. Berocca was something hard to let go as I personally find it an effective supplement so I had hesitations welcoming Royale’s Spirulina and Performax into my routine. We even had to compare side by side the content of Berocca versus Spirulina and based on supplement facts Berocca wins. Anyway, to cut the story short, I gave Spirulina plus Performax a try and surprisingly I adapted to it. I use Performax when I go to the gym and I can attest to its potency. On top of my other routines I can now do two sets each of 50-lbs dumbbell flat and incline press. Placebo? Who cares.

 ***

It’s eight more days before our diet will be tested and fifteen more days before we realize our resolution to lose weight has failed.

***

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (The gym has not replied, looks like they’re closed when signal # 2 typhoon strikes.)