Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Christmas Traditions

We asked some of you for annual traditions you've had or ideas on fun things to do during Christmas.  You shared a lot with us! We compiled some of our favorites!  We're sure that by reading all of these, you'll get some inspirations of your own on how to make this Christmas meaningful as well as memorable!

We also encourage everyone to think of how to be at one with the typhoon Yolanda survivors during this season. We'll live it up to you on how to send your love to them!


DECORATING

An advent calender- we put our most meaningful ornaments in a little pocket and then slowly decorate our home and tree! - Rachel Doll O'Mahoney

My husband and I make a day of decorating the house and then go and get the tree and will decorate it the next day. - Maureen 

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FAMILY FOOD + FUN

In our family, we usually start our celebration with a prayer for each and every member of the family. Afterwards, we proceed to share our Christmas dinner while watching our favorite movie on hand. After a sumptuous dinner, we all go to the Christmas tree where we placed all gifts and start calling out the names on the gift tags.  After all the gifts are given, we all proceed to open the gifts given to each other while the camera/video camera records the festivities. - Paul Rubens Mendoza

Praying together as a family to on Christmas Eve to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. - Ria Ramos

'We always have a very intimate celebrations when it comes to christmas. we always celebrated the Noche Buena together as a family. For us, christmas is family time.  - Leslie Zuasula

Our family always attends church at midnight on Christmas Eve! Then we go home and all cook a delicious breakfast : ) - Chris H

Every Christmas Eve, our family stays awake to prepare the Noche Buena. Our mom heads the preparation, and we do our best to help her. At midnight, we gather together to open our gifts. Then, we enjoy the feast that we have prepared (with a bottle of wine). - John Paul Egalin Abellera

Every Christmas I love to prepare cookies with my family! Cinnamon flavoured, with lovely shapes like Christmas tree, snow flakes and reindeers! - Elisa 

Every Christmas morning we open presents here and then we drive over to my mom and dads in our pjs where the whole family is usually waiting and open presents there. Then we have meat pie for lunch and its the same thing every year and it fabulous. - Maegan Morin

It has been our family's tradition to gather at our grandparents house during Christmas and New Year. We're doing this for as long as I can remember. Uncles, Aunts and cousins up to the 2nd degree gather to celebrate this festive season. We eat Noche Buena together. After that, we play parlor games and hold the much awaited exhanging of gifts. - Marinela Salamatin Diaz

I spent my past Christmas in our province in Quezon. My cousins and I had I lot of fun while preparing for the noche buena. I remember that we set the table in our grandfather's bahay kubo and ate the food in the batangueno way! Using a gasera as our table light even there is an electricity then, each of us placed one feet in our chairs with matching eating in our hands. That is so much fun! - Joan

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GIFT-GIVING

We like to open Christmas Crackers, wear the paper hats, and all share the joke we find inside! - Leslie J. Richman

Wrapping gifts is my favorite! And then getting to watch your friend's faces as they rip it off and see what they've been given - Megan Henn

I like the idea of surprise advent boxes all tied along a string. A countdown til Christmas Day, filled with all your favourite things. I love this nativity set. It might be nice for kids, in each advent day box, having a piece to add to the nativity scene, anything from traditional wise men and cows, to more unexpected dinosaurs and tigers!  - Yasmine Amber

We always get new Christmas Pajamas every year - Madison Hendrix

Exchange gifts (bunutan) when our Nanay was still alive - Maria Carmencita Atienza

Christmas is one occasion that our family is always looking forward to. My grandmother would always tell us of the Christmas she she experienced as a child- before and after the war. She said she always received a doll from her two "ninangs" for christmas but when war came, the doll gifts stopped. When the war was over, she was already too old to receive dolls as gifts. So in 2005, i bought a couple of cheap plastic dolls and asked my grandmother to sew dresses for them. I then glued little gifts to these dolls and called them Maninay (hiligaynon word for Ninang). Then i asked my grandma to give each of them a name. She gave the names of her two Ninangs. Eufemia and Estrella, who gave her the happiest memories of christmas as a child. Grandma passed away in 2008 because of cancer but the two dolls we made are still used as a christmas decors at home during christmas. I plan to add a Brigida doll soon. :) Brigida is my grandma. - Kristoff Grabatski

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DOING EVERYTHING TOGETHER

A fun and memorable activity that I haven't done for the holidays is to have a game that consists of certain names (anything you like to write) or things to act out written in paper and rolled out to be picked during the game proper and placed in a container. The holiday game is supposed to be like this - the container is passed around the participants while a short song is sung. When the song ends, the player whom the container stops at will pick a rolled paper from it and reads the words written on it wherein he/she must act out or blurt out what he thinks of the words written on it. The most creative and crazy answer or act will win points. The person with the most points wins a gift from papemelroti. - Vandro Casiwan

Every year my family and I would watch White Christmas together. Then I got married and my husband and I would. Now this year I can't wait to watch it with my son.  - Katie Tamblingson

I love that we always go out to eat on christmas eve and open gifts, and christmas day is all about making ham and seeing a movie in theaters - Lauren Becker

One person hides clues around the house so others can find one big present besides the other presents - Jacqueline Woolley

We wrap up 25 books and put them under the tree on December 1st, then unwrap one Christmas book each night to read together. :) - Lindsey Freitas

Every year, my family watches "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" at Christmas time. It's really an Easter story, but still, there wouldn't be Easter without Christmas. :) - Deb

Last year was one of the merriest Christmases I have celebrated. For the first time, I got to celebrate a White Christmas in China. It was a wonderful experience. We still had the usual Noche Buena with loved ones, and as an additional treat, we went out skiing (my first time, too) in one of their popular ski resorts. It was a Christmas full of firsts. - Norman Ray Villamayor

This year, instead of giving material gifts, I would like to make the Christmas season more meaningful for the family by encouraging everyone to do one act of service to a family member which he thinks will be most appreciated by the receiver.  :-)   - Jasmin Santiago Alejaga

We like to walk downtown Portland with all of the holiday lights to get us into the mood. - Rose

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MUSIC

Singing christmas songs together while somebody is playing guitar -  Sveta Damiani

On the Christmas eve of 2009, the youth group of our church went to the other member's houses to sing them carols. But instead of accepting money from owners of the houses, we were the one who gave them gifts. We gave them foods to enjoy for their noche buena. - Jorezza Navallo

We used to put on lip syncing acts to christmas music as kids. - Mary Fanara Coleman

Christmas carols singing them by the fire - Kimberly Summer Pollock

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REACHING OUT

One of the most memorable Christmas is spending with our brothers and sisters who are differently able like people with hearing impairment,people who are mentally challenged, people with paraplegic. Archdiocese of Manila and Quezon City with the leadership of Rev Fr. Nonette & staff of AMOPDM will be holding early Christmas affair for PWD's. This is empowerment and letting them enjoy the day with free gifts, activities and at the same time creating awareness in the community. - Desiree Delrosario Demafelis

It could be fun if with my son and husband be able to visit our baryo for christmas and new year festive season and share gifts and blessings.  Kahit paulit ulit pipila mga kids (Even if the children lineup again and again) for their gifts but its so joyful & meaningful! - Veronica Daus

I was thinking of being a "surprise Santa" to a random person in need this Christmas.  - Joselyn Agres

Last 2 years ago, we spent our Christmas morning giving simple gifts to street children in our community. The feeling is really great. Then, in the evening we had a delicious Christmas dinner feast with the whole of our family. Including our pets. :)  - Cristina Dalina

I buy gift items in Divisoria/Binondo for the street children in our subdivision, wrapped the gifts between December 22 and 24, and distribute the gift items on Christmas Day. The gifts are usually toys, books, and candies and we give as much as 300 bags and all of which are given away.  - Jeffrey Yap

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CHRISTMAS IS FOR CHILDREN

Childhood Christmases were always fun and exciting as I write my letters to Santa, wake up in the morning to see my sock heavy with goodies. I had fun reading Santa's letters to me too! :) - Rowena C Segovia

All the kids come in costume during the family Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve parties. - Faye Marco

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TRAVEL

This holiday season, my med friends and I will go on a road trip. We've only been friends for 6 months but the bond we have can compare with those long time friends. We plan on making it a tradition starting this year! - Evangeline Go

I want to go to Policarpio Street this Christmas and take some pictures using an analog camera. - MJ Plaza

Last year, my brother in law who was working abroad, made a surprise homecoming, Christmas Day. Everyone was overjoyed because it has been years since our family spent the holidays with everyone present. We shared simple home-cooked meals over endless "kuwentuhan" (story-telling) of the past, the present and each sibling's future plans. We recalled adventures spent together on roadtrips and in an instant, decided that we take an adventure the morning after by trekking the family hometown's treasure, Taal Volcano! Reaching the top made everyone tired but the energy was high and even the kids appreciated being one with Mother Nature, which rarely happens when they're in the city holding their gadgets. It was one holiday adventure that everyone didn't miss and will surely be the start of the quest for more holiday adventures in the years to come! - Tin Marqueses

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ECO CHRISTMAS

i recycle gift(wrapper)s! i would slowly unwrap a gift to preserve the wrapper and reuse them again. i have a large plastic bin of wrappers already and several boxes of ribbons. i love wrapping and unwrapping presents. i'm the official gift wrapper of the family. and it's somych fun especially since we usually give away either candies, chocolates, chichirya and trinkets instead of money to kids na namamasko (caroling). I would wrap all those trinkets as well as my mom's and sister's gifts for their pupils and sunday school kids and the prizes for the christmas party games. Thinking about it right now makes me want it to be December na! (November is for putting up decors). - Salmon Cat


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