Monday, January 20, 2014

Christmas Eve & Day Celebrations

This post is almost a month overdue but here it is! 

Christmas celebrations were pretty low key for me. They consisted of quality time spent with friends and family (over skype).

Christmas Eve was a lovely day which I spent outside with my new puppy, Zoe, and cleaning my apartment top to bottom! That evening the Cathedral had a typical Episcopal service with lovely Christmas hymns. I was disappointed we didn’t sing Silent Night, though.

After the service, the priest, Fr. Clarence, invited everyone, about 20 people, over for dinner and birthday cake. It was his son’s 14th birthday! I passed out candy canes to all the kids. Someone brought out a guitar and Christmas carols were sung.

Christmas Eve Buffet
Singing Carols

On Christmas morning, I headed to Marabulig with Sir Patrick and his wife, Jane. Here in the Philippines, everyone attends church on Christmas morning. Then a big potluck follows. While I always think of Christmas day as a low key day with family, here it is the day you spend with your friends and community. People hop from house to house eating and drinking all day long.

Marabulig is where my former neighbor, Vhanessa, lives with her parents. She cooked us a huge, delicious breakfast! I was seriously waiting for 20 more people to show up! Then we went to St. Joseph’s Church where the EDS Finance Officer, Sandra’s husband is the priest. After the well attended service, the aisle of the church turned into a buffet table full of delicious dishes prepared by the congregation. After a couple of hours of lovely fellowship, we went home.

That night I was able to skype with my family as it was their Christmas morning! We followed tradition where everyone got their coffee (except me), opened stockings first, then move to the other room and pile each person’s presents in their designated spot. Presents are opened one at a time going around in a circle. I could even join because I patiently waited to open my presents I received about a month beforehand.
That's me on the computer! 

Overall, it was a wonderful Christmas Day! It was filled with new friends and traditions but still sprinkled with family and tried and true ways.

Thanks for reading!

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