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So this is Christmas

How was your Christmas?

As per tradition, we had a simple homely affair with family on Christmas Day. We made sure we snapped some pics while the children were still chirpy and somewhat cooperative. Love how festive we looked! Foops just got a ‘smokeless’ grill so all we did was buy some groceries, marinate the chicken wings and we just BBQ-d everything on the grill. Easiest Christmas dinner ever! Really proud how minimal we kept the gift-giving this year. The adults figured we already have everything that we need (and much more). Plus, Foops and I already bought whatever we wanted during the Black Friday sales (I got a slow juicer) so no gifts for the adults!

Even for the kids, I kept it to one big gift per child and it had to be something they could all play together. We already got Heely shoes for the boys. We gave Sean a Roahl Dahl book set, Ryan a big magnet toy set (from Taobao) and Jo a wooden soup pot to replace his broken one. They also got books, t-shirts, water bottles, board games from family and friends (thank you). Sean was a real sweetheart this year. He got it into his head that we needed gifts so he spent the whole morning wrapping up gifts for Mama and Papa. He emptied his dinosaur coin bank and wrapped up $2 worth of coins for each of us with a note (mine read ‘Thank you Mama for buying things for me. Love, Sean’). He also included a pack of biscuits and wasabi seaweed for Foops – he did ask me if I liked wasabi and I said just a little so he didn’t give me any. Haha!

Sean also chose two board books from our shelves (after reading a couple) and wrapped them up for baby E. So sweet.

As for me, my favourite gift of all was from my sister-in-law. She made a lovely Scrabble board with our names. Very thoughtful of her. I must find a nice place to display it 🙂

Merry Christmas to one and all. Enjoy the holidays!

Counting down to Christmas

December is here. Can’t believe the year has flown by just like that!

The older boys has been telling me they wanted to me to make them a toilet-roll advent calendar filled with Pokémon figurines similar to last year’s. So touched they still remember it so clearly. Believe it or not, they still play with the figurines everyday so I just had to set aside time to make it again.

I tried to include new Pokémon figurines that they didn’t have – I ordered a random bag of figurines from Qoo10 but thankfully most were new to my boys!

In my haste (I put it all together in one night), I forgot to write down Christmas-related activities for them to do and include them in the calendar. Gah! Which was just as well as we wouldn’t be in town for the most of Dec.

Ah well, the boys loved the calendar and it was the one thing they really look forward to every morning!

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I really wasn’t planning to get a tree this year – I made it clear to everyone we would not be having a tree and the boys were okay with the decision. I just felt it would be such a waste as no one would be home and I didn’t want to come back from our holiday to a brown tree!

BUT after we got back home on the 21st, I did feel kinda bad for not having a tree. My boys are only little for a short while – Jo can’t even remember our last Christmas so now his memories of Christmas would not include a tree at all. Should we get a small plastic tree? But I didn’t want to think about where to store it. Maybe we could get a small not-too-expensive one from the nursery? We actually drove to the nursery after dinner one night to see if there were any trees on sale. But nothing was on sale and there were no decent small trees either. I really didn’t want to spend more than $100 on a tree we would be throwing away few days later.

Then on the Christmas eve morning, we were at Cold Storage buying groceries for dinner with some friends. Lo and behold, there were a few trees on clearance. $19 for a perfectly good-looking 6-foot tall tree! We just had to lug it home of course 😉

Now this is Christmas as we know it!

I was very happy to take out all our Christmas tree décor and ornaments. I have a habit of buying cute/unique ornaments whenever I see them so we have amassed a nice albeit a little mismatched collection over the years.

This year, we debuted a few new ones including beautiful personalized snowflakes from Urbanlil (thanks for the thoughtful gifts every year, Aunty S!), plus a couple of wire and wooden ones from H&M Home (from Taipei) and Kikki.K.

The tree lasted in our house all the way to the New Year. I thought I would keep it till it turned brown on me but it was still going strong by then. Finally decided to clear it because I knew I would have no time to deal with it – and its incessant shedding – once school started. The boys were quite sad to see the tree go.

Till next year!