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Monday, December 31, 2012

My heart says ... Our Christmas Story (2012)

In every year of Christmas celebration, we should always ponder on all our blessings we have received regardless of how much food we have on the table, how much gifts we receive from our loved ones, and how much time we spend for each other.  What is important in this celebration is your presence, unity in the family, and same belief. But there maybe some instances that you can’t attend this celebration with your family due to bad weather condition or sickness-- that’s understandable. Time flies so fast that we don’t know what will happen tomorrow.  But at least, remembering someone by simply sending a card or calling on the phone or texting or talking online, is still something good to consider which means  -- you ‘re  still thinking about them. This also explains about your “presence”, not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually.  Having same belief brings unity to the family-- no matter what differences one may have with the other family member, it can be set aside for the meantime.  I really miss my own family. I usually just talk to them online because they live in another country. (^.^)

The Nativity Scene at the Main Altar 

Christmas Tree at the Church

Christmas Wreath

Our parish church is not too big, but it is beautifully decorated with 4 small Christmas trees and poinsettias set on the main altar. There are also 2 Christmas trees and poinsettias set each on the tables of Mother Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Long, thin cloth with Christmas lights and wreaths hanging near the ceiling on two sides can be seen, as well as, the big Christmas tree-like made of garlands with artificial poinsettias attached on the front stained glass of the building. The main focus is the main altar with the Nativity Scene set in front of it and I love it.  It gave me an idea to make my own cute Nativity Scene, but in a coffee can. I designed the Christmas wreaths on the front doors two years ago as shown above. I serve as a lector during the mass. 
December 24—My husband and I attended the Christmas carol in our parish church which started at 5:00 pm.  We arrived 30 minutes late, but we were still able to hear the choir’s beautiful Christmas songs before the mass started. The seats were almost filled up, but luckily, we were still able to have our favorite seat. Thanks to Craig and Linda, my in-laws, who arrived early and were seating in the same bench we had also. Then mass started at 6:00 pm. Our parish priest, +Father Daniel, asked us to sing Christmas songs before he gave an inspiring homily that night. He is funny and really, really, a good priest. He loves to tell story about his family and likes chocolate. We gave him chocolate pumpkin mini bread and cookies in advance as our Christmas gift to him during our last cookie sale. (-.*)

December 25—Though it was raining, we still had Christmas celebration at Craig and Linda’s house.  All of her family members came, except his eldest son who couldn’t come because of bad weather condition. Each contributed food to share on the table, in other words—we had “pot luck.” I brought a sweet potato pie (harvest #8) only as our share. There were lots of foods and desserts on the table to eat and everybody became full and satisfied. It snowed heavily after the rain while we were still eating.  +Jeanie, Linda’s eldest sister, and +Jessica, Linda's youngest daughter, gave us baked cookies, while +Linda gave me one quart jar with raw ingredients and a recipe on how to  bake it.  They were so generous to give us these Christmas gifts that we didn’t expect to have.  I felt so sorry about not being able to give something to them.  Next year, I will make some goodies for them—promise (-.*)  We really had good, happy moments being together as a family. Before the children unwrapped their respective gifts, we went home earlier than the others did. It was still snowing continuously, but it didn’t matter to us to drive along the road because our house is not too far from their house. It’s really hard if you’re going to drive a long way in a highway.  Here are some pictures comparing between this year and last 2011 to show how the snow had covered our area.

Winter 2012

Winter 2011


The Birds in the Snow
Even if there is a snow, different birds, whether big  or small and colored or black, still flock to the bird feeder to eat.  There are really nice to look at. My husband always tells me to give more feeds to them and pour warm water to the birdbath.  Did you see the red birds there?

Simple Tablescape (a)

Simple Tablescape (b)

December 26—Our own grand Christmas celebration.  I say, “grand” - though it is just so simple, this is my first time to make a nice table setting this holiday season.  Whatever my mother-in-law’s Chinawares, glasswares, and silverwares are on hand, I just used them.  I didn’t buy expensive, new table cloth.  Would you believe, I just used a white bed skirt as my table cloth and a bed sheet as a table runner?  Yes, I’m not kidding because we really don’t have a table cloth to use. We usually eat without a table cloth. I pulled the two corners of the bed skirt together and tied them nicely with a red ribbon, so it wouldn’t be touching the floor.  I did the same on the other two corners.  Afterwards, I nicely folded the bed sheet into four and laid it on top of the “table cloth” bed skirt.  I used old garland, candles, artificial flowers, and pine cones I gathered from the house of my friend, Lina. I even used my Holiday Angels as my centerpiece. Then, I started setting the decorations, China wares, and silverwares as shown in the pictures above.

Main Dish 

Breads and Dessert

I baked sweet ham, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin mini bread, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin pie. Remember these pumpkins during the harvests #5? I cooked vegetable (harvest #4) soup which is really a good one to take during cold weather.  I also cooked fish fillet with my seasoned tomato sauce and had canned corn from our harvest #3.  We  bought only sweet ham and fish fillet, while the rest of the food came from our vegetable garden.

My husband was really surprise to see me set our table for the first time.  He is really very appreciative of me every time I do something even a little bit of work done.  Here’s a big hug and a kiss (<>)  Hmmmm… (smack -- with sound effect, of course   (-.*). Regardless of what we can afford only to have, we are still thankful to our Lord for all the bountiful blessings He has given us throughout the whole year.  We are not rich and not even living in a big house, but just living simply in our humble abode in a country, courtesy of my husband’s mother. Family members, friends, and acquaintances are always welcome to come by.  

Our Family Altar

The Nativity Portrait
The Holy Family is the most welcome in our modest house. To have peace, harmony, same belief, respect, and love in this small house are the most important to us, not only during this holiday season, but throughout our entire life. (-.*) 

I made this Nativity Portrait when I was in California in the house of my previous employer.  We had a Christmas Decoration Contest among us, her employees. This project won the first prize and I got $100 as my prize.  

Updates: It's no surprise that this project I featured in my designer’s profile at All Free Holiday Crafts as “NativityPortrait” also, was posted as #1 in What’s Hot-Christmas Ideas (May 09, 2015) as shown below. Aside from this,  I also got an extremely good recognition from them -- #1 in Top Craft Designer Profiles (March 21, 2014) as shown below also. It's also listed as one of my Top Holiday Projects and one way of setting up a Flower Arranging.

What's Hot

  1. Nativity Portrait
  2. Tattletale Santas
  3. Bright Button Wreath
  4. 48 Easy Christmas Crafts to Make at the Last Minute
  5. "10 Dollar Store Crafts for Christmas" eBook
  6. "7 Easy DIY Christmas Crafts: Make Your Own Ornaments, Wreaths and More!" eBook
  7. 26 Mason Jar Crafts for Christmas
  8. 178 Easy Christmas Crafts for the Holidays
  9. Santa Treat Cups
  10. Amazing DIY Christmas Lights

What's Hot
Top Craft Designer Profiles
1.                          Susan Hamilton
2.                          Angie Holden
3.                          Maureen Wilson
4.                          Jenny Chang
5.                          Carlene Eshelman
6.                          Amanda Formaro
7.                          Breanna Newbill
8.                          Marie Chorak
9.                          Staci Wendland
10.                        Anne Weil

Merry Christmas 
Happy, Prosperous, New Year 
to All!!!


  1. Thanks for letting us know how you spent your Christmas! Nothing can be more joyous than being with our loved ones to celebrate Christmas! May the Lord, the source of joy and peace be ever present in your home! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  2. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, too!