Christmas Quality Time

Tall Drummer Boy

It’s true.  I’ve been on vacation mode for weeks now.  Man, the minute the 18th rolled in, I was like shut down, turn off, tune out, hibernate, and recuperate.  So, I did a ton of yoga classes (since the studio was going to close for the season).  Took my time with everything, including Christmas shopping. Removed certain words like — deadline, work, alarm clock, crunch time, To Do lists, tasks, marking students’ papers — from my vocabulary.  And went where the wind took me.

Sometimes, I found myself on my own, sipping a fat free apple pie latte in CoffeeBean Burgos Circle, reading a good book, writing epic emails and blogging.  I also often caught up on my pop culture fix — tweeting, watching the news, catching up on favorite  TV shows and TED Talks at home.  During quieter moments, especially right when I wake up, I sought the wisdom of the Word and spent quality time with G.  Being alone never felt so comfortable.

Being alone, there's a certain dignity to it. (Singles)

Other times though, the wind took me to very spontaneous moments with friends and loved ones.  The most precious of times too.   From crashing Ina and Je’s post yoga class brunch at Alexa’s diner (where this Aussie kept on asking us random questions about Globe Plans and our feedback for his sleazy ad for Axe. Yikes.) to a special movie night with Y (watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Boo.) where in the end, we were glad the movie was bad.  It allowed us to talk about other important things over beers in Gilligans, Galleria instead of deconstructing the things we loved about the film.  Win Christmas date with Y.

Then there was the  impromptu dinner with the sorry food group (in Abe then the new Gelato place in Serendra) the day before the last day of school.

Isang tunay na Christmas gimmick

Christmas Hams

Mai and Pau, you are team number ONE!

Then, there’s nothing like getting together with friends who are super busy during the year but will always make the time to catch up and reconnect.  Such a treat to sit down with M, to eat, talk and reflect.  We also do a lot of deconstructing and over-analyzing.  The reason why we are friends, I think.  We shared blog/tweet stories, talked about Wikileaks, what we’ve been up to, love and ate really well.  Here we are at Chef Laudico’s resto at the Fort.  Yum!

Maria before digging in

My grilled chicken with sweet potato and blue cheese

The next day, I had pre-Christmas dinner and a movie (The Holiday) with Charlez and Chriz at their beautiful home where we (well, Chriz did) cooked Thai food.  I did julienne the carrots and the bell pepper.  So win.   We had wine, wine and more wine while sharing our love stories.  Double win.

Cuentuhan Time

Kiss the cook

Chriz was very patient and supportive as I julliened the carrots. Thanks, Chriz. I was slow but sure.  Mudakis, Mrs. Salvan and the Lapster would’ve been proud.

Thai Shrimps Stir Fry with Veggies
Exchanging gifts and stories

We exchanged gifts too.  I got Chriz a Gaiam yoga strap and Charlez, a purple boa.  They got me an archipelago bag and this book called,  “Strengths Finder 2.0” by Tom Rath.  Can’t wait to read the book and check out the site.

Charles with his Boa

We had chocolates for dessert and had a great cozy time watching the film together.

Dessert before the movie

I took some other shots of different Christmas things in their house.  Also tweeted these images and sent them to a few special people across the globe.  🙂

Capiz Star

Easter Egg Light
Christmas Tsinelas

Finally, had girls night out last night at Bowler near Tara’s place after spending the afternoon together just literally gushing and loving life.  It was so awesome to be around shiny, happy people who have been through a lot and survived.   Took some portraits of M and T after a few beers, intense conversations about love, life and editing, and finally hearing from Lau and Y.  Here they are:

Ganda Babae

Mabi. Girl made of sterner stuff

Christmas time is really second to none.  It’s a time to be alone and be grateful. It’s a time to gaze at G and be transformed.  It’s also a time to unwind and have meaningful moments with good friends and loved ones.   I didn’t always think this of course,  but am so glad I do now.  So much to be grateful for and to look forward to.  What are you thanking G for today?  Merry Christmas, everyone!   Have a blessed, Christ-filled one.  🙂

grateful slice:  Christmas entries, our loved ones and a heart full of Christmas love.

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