Christmas Countdown

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The month of December is like a long road trip where kids can’t wait to reach their destination and are asking non-stop “Are we there yet? How much longer?” I love it that kids anticipate Christmas! It is always refreshing to see their eagerness and wide-eyed wonder about Christmas in contrast to the stress that adults normally go through as they deal with their Christmas to-do lists. To make the time of waiting for my kids much more fun, we always do a Christmas Countdown. This year, the kids and I decided to make a craft out of it. With my old scrapbook papers, envelopes and clothespins, this is what we came up with: Got this great idea here. Everyday, the kids open an envelope and read our activity for the day. Today, for December 1, the card reads “Check your stocking for a surprise!” Other activities you can do […]

our lopsided christmas tree

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It wasn’t after most of our ornaments were hanging on the tree when we noticed how our tree looked. Joaquin, our 3-year old, wanted to join in the fun of decorating our tree so I gave him all our stuffed ornaments to hang. Naturally, because of his height, all the stuffed ornaments ended at the bottom of our tree. That was not how I imagined our tree to look like. Sometimes, it is really much easier to do things without the help of our kids. I say “help”, but it feels like they’re really not helping at all. We just end up undoing what they did and cleaning up their mess. Last night, Joaquin broke one of our ornaments and another child broke a candle holder. I was tempted to send everyone to their rooms so I can do everything peacefully, casualty-free, and exactly the way I wanted it. But […]

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

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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 […]


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As part of our Christmas traditions, our kids prepare loot bags with goodies and toys and we drive around the city and give them away to street children. I remember one Christmas when Ryan was compelled to give the slippers he was wearing to one boy who was walking barefoot. As we have done this year after year,  we saw how it has developed compassion in my kids for the less fortunate. Here is an opportunity for your kids to give this Christmas: OPERATION CHRISTMAS BOX: Build a Christmas Gift Box for a Child. Parents, here’s our opportunity to show our children how to make Christmas special for other people in need. Just one box can make a whole world of difference. Here’s how to make that difference: 1. Use an empty shoe box or plastic container and fill it up with personal hygiene paraphernalia, school supplies and toys to […]


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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 […]