Christmas without Christ

Posted on Posted in Parenting

I have a confession to make. My four-year old son Joaquin is confused about Christmas. He was out with me grocery shopping and was excitedly admiring all the Christmas decors that adorned the supermarket when he exclaimed “Santa is the king of Christmas!” I was shocked at his statement. I felt like my child blurted out some kind of heresy ! (Okay, okay, I’m over-reacting, I know. He is, in fact, only 4.) Of course I couldn’t just let that kind of statement slip, so I corrected him on the spot and said that it’s not Santa, but JESUS. This incident reminded me of one important reality… that it is easy for our children to miss out on the real PERSON behind Christmas. Everywhere you go, the Christmas spirit is in the air, decorations of Santa and reindeers and evergreens are all over, but nowhere will you find Jesus. Only […]

our crazy gingerbreadmen

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For Advent last night, we planned to make our own gingerbread ornaments. It was supposed to look like this: (of course this was mine ;D) But the kids’ finished product were these: Part of me wanted to force them to do it the way it should be done, to follow the rules. The objective of our ornament-making activity was for them to make an ornament, write on it what one thing they’re thankful for this year, while having a great time as a family. I saw how everyone was having fun making their silly gingerbread ornaments, so I just held my tongue and let them have their way. Rules are good but there are times, we can just throw the rules out the window and allow our kids to have fun! P.S. And this was Paolo’s. He didn’t follow the rules too ;D

kicking Christ out of christmas

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Family, Parenting

We just finished watching the movie “Elf”, a funny and touching Christmas movie that our family watches every Christmas. Though we love this movie, it is sad that it and even most Christmas movies don’t really talk about the real essence of Christmas. Not just movies, but even the songs that we hear playing on the radio hardly talk about real meaning of Christmas. Interestingly enough, the top 5 Christmas songs for this year are: White Christmas, The Chipmunk Song, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, and Jingle Bell Rock, none of which really mention the coming of Jesus. Pop culture has kicked Christ out of Christmas. I hope that we spend some time to sit down with our kids to bring their focus to what’s really important this season: JESUS. Last night we had a family huddle, which we call Advent night. We sang […]


Posted on Posted in Parenting

Whenever I smell peach potpourri, I am always reminded of my 18th birthday because my give-aways at my debut were little baskets filled with dried barks of peach fragrance. Isn’t it interesting when we walk into a room and smell something that triggers certain memories from the past? How often have you gotten a sniff of a particular scent and it fills you with nostalgia and brings back feelings from a particular experience, whether pleasant or unpleasant? “Scents have an uncanny ability to trigger memories because they are the only sense that directly connects to the part of the brain that stores emotional memories“. Because of this, I always use cinnamon-scented candles in our home every Christmas, and I don’t use it on any other time of the year. I want my children to associate that scent with happy memories from our Christmas celebrations. I want my children, when they […]

a tree of memories

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Every year, we kick off the Christmas season by decorating our tree together as a family. It warmed my heart when Janina exclaimed how she loves our tree because of the different ornaments we have collected over the years and said that she wants to continue the tradition with her own family. This tradition was inspired by our pastors Steve and Deborah Murrell, and it gave a more special meaning to our Christmas tree. Our kids always look forward to opening our box of christmas decor and reminiscing memories attached to each ornament. Decorating our tree is only one of the different activities we do as part of our Christmas traditions to make the holidays memorable for our children. Here are some of the Punzalan collection:

The “ber” Months Are Here!

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Yikes! I can’t believe it’s September ! It was just like yesterday we were opening our Christmas gifts by our tree. Why does time have to fly so fast? I remember last September when I was walking in the mall, tears filled my eyes when I heard Christmas songs being played. I am always overcome with a feeling of nostalgia at the thought of Christmas. For the most part it’s because of a lot of happy memories of past Christmases, but also it makes me sentimental to think that another year has flown by just like that. It is never too early to prepare for Christmas. Especially here in the Philippines where Christmas trees are already being set up as early as October, it is always good to plan ahead. Here are some tips that year after year I remind myself of but never actually get to do. Haha. 😀 […]