Have yourself a merry little Christmas

One of my guilty pleasures is listening to Christmas songs. A specific one is the song “Have yourself a merry little Christmas”, on repeat, in so many versions.

Before Spotify, I had six different versions of that same song in my playlist, although I can’t remember exactly which ones anymore. I had them on repeat so many times.

This time with Spotify, I created a playlist with almost 50 different versions from different artists, and no two are the same. Each one, albeit the same song, will have a different feel to it. It is a different experience each time.

I do have a few favourites, by:

Kenny G

Michael Buble

Frank Sinatra

Kermit the Frog

The Pretenders

James Taylor

The Carpenters

Feel free to listen to the playlist I have created on Spotify here.

Merry Christmas!

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Between home and home

A very strange feeling this is. I’ve been away from home for more than three weeks, and I mean from my current residence in Sydney. I’m coming home soon, but I’m also leaving home in the process, and I mean our family home in Manila where I grew up in and lived until less than two years ago. I am excited to get back to my place and start the rest of the year, but at the same time feel that little bit of sadness as I again leave my original home and not know when I’m coming back next.

This trip has been a great opportunity to reconnect with people who have played significant roles in my life, both in the past and at present. I also rekindled my entrepreneurial passion and will be revealing my new business venture soon. I truly savored being able to celebrate Christmas and New Year back home like years past. Met up with my truest friends (who were in town) over coffee, breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or anything in between and shared so many stories that we have missed from each other. Spent time bonding with my sister and my cousins.

I somehow feel part of this world once again. But in reality, I am not. My current life now revolves in Sydney, and this is really just a break, a holiday from it all. Back to real life for me soonest. I’m not complaining though, cos my real life is also amazing. It’s just hard to reconcile that one cannot live two different realities at the same time.

See you next time Manila. ♥

Christmas came early this year

There are just so many things that should excite me in the coming days. There’s the Coldplay concert next week, the family trip pre-Christmas, and most of all, spending Christmas and New Year back home. There are even more exciting things coming early next year – Adele, travels, and so much more. But somehow I feel like I’m not as excited as I should be for all those other things.

Perhaps it’s because of the health-scare I’ve had in the second half of this year. It’s quite unsettling to be face-to-face with that big word – cancer. I had a solitary thyroid nodule which was suspicious on tests. They couldn’t determine from initial tests if it was benign or malignant, and a lot of parameters were pointing to a risk for malignancy. The only way they could find out is to take out the entire lobe and do a biopsy of the entire mass.

Hence, I headed for surgery mid-November. I’m super thankful to my mom who came over to help me out pre- and post-operation. And my brother who has always been great support. I was lucky that I got myself a good private health insurance earlier this year. I am also very happy that I have good doctors and an amazing surgeon.

Christmas came early for me this year, as two weeks after my surgery, my surgeon gives me the great news that my nodule was benign! It’s the best news for me all year. Thank God.

Let me savor this moment to realise how truly blessed I am.

 

Post script:
Being the inquisitive geek that I am, I have been reading and I continue to read about my entire thyroid nodule saga. So beyond what my doctors were telling me up front, I was also researching and reading relevant references in my own time, because I wanted to know what it was all about. My surgeon just confirmed with me the findings of the biopsy, and I am also reading more about it. I might do another post later on with the more medical side-story.

Love and Christmas Time

You may think at first that I am writing about the importance of having a “lovelife” at Christmastime. On the contrary, IT IS NOT ABOUT LOVE LIFE. I want to write about LOVE itself, because Christmas is all about love

It has been a pretty interesting season for me this year. There was no countdown to December 25th, no office parties, no ham nor food bundle from the office. My 13th month salary has been consumed long before the holiday season kicked in (but for a good reason though). I did not get to decorate the Christmas tree this year. I was not wishing for or expecting any fancy gifts. In a way, I was so busy slaving away at work, and did not even notice Christmas fast approaching. 

And today, Christmas eve.

I am actually not anticipating anything this year. I stopped waiting the moment my brother arrived from abroad just four days ago. Once he arrived, our family was complete. Christmas is already here. 

In a way, this year is all about going back to the essentials, the true meaning of Christmas. It’s all about love – love of family, of friends, of new and past colleagues, of the innocent, and even love for humanity as a whole. It’s about sharing. It’s about reaching out.

I do not have a love life, this Christmas, and perhaps the last ten thousand Christmases (or maybe I’m exaggerating). That being said, I feel wonderful to be able to appreciate the true joy and happiness from God’s love, about which this entire holiday is all about. And instead of still asking God to bless me more, I pray that I may be a blessing to others, God’s simple gift in one way or another.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!  

‘Tis the season (to be jolly)

This past weekend officially marks the start of the Christmas season of 2012 for me. For some, Christmas season starts as early as the -ber months come in (yes, as early as Christmas in September). In the Catholic church, preparation for Christmas starts with Advent, the four Sundays before Christmas days, and that comes next weekend. For our family, it usually starts when December comes in, but this time around it’s just a week earlier. There’s some gathering tonight, I guess, and the house had to be ready with its Christmas vibe.

Ergo, we decorated the house the past two days. Dad bought some nice parols (fancy local Christmas lanterns) from Pampanga and hung them outside the house. The belen (miniature nativity scene) is already set on top of the piano in the living room. Two Christmas trees are now up and fully decorated inside the house, one of them I decorated myself. And, in keeping up with my personal “tradition”, I set the Christmas music up loud while I was working on the Christmas tree, to properly set the mood.

Christmas season also brings with it some of my favorite things, including the super-special family secret recipe fruit salad, which we traditionally only prepare and eat during this season. I finally had the reason to prepare a batch of it again. The first batch of fruit salad for this year’s Christmas season! Yum. The guests will have the pleasure of eating it later. I’ll have the license to make a few more batches of it from now until New Year.

And, the chilly evening and early morning breeze is back. Sets the mood pretty well for the season.

Come to think of it, there’s just 30 days before Christmas Day. This year is perhaps my poorest Christmas in terms of actual personal finances (I’m already financially challenged even before the season started). After years, I still have no love-life this Christmas. But no matter what, I know that Christmases would always be beautiful, and I am always blessed to have loving family and friends.

It’s all good…

It’s a wonderful week. My bestfriend just gave birth to her first baby, a healthy baby girl. A close friend and his wife are now pregnant with their first child. My first week at my new work just started. Seems like it’s a beautiful week of new beginnings, indeed. Perhaps it’s a good sign. The universe is telling me that there’s that beautiful future waiting ahead, and maybe I’m already headed in the right direction.

And, Christmas is just around the corner. I could already feel the cool evening breeze while I was walking home. It’s just 38 days to go.

2012 is my year. I have claimed this perhaps for the last 5 years of my life. Although I know it’s an impossibility to have 12/12/12 as my wedding day (12 is my favorite number, but there’s no one to marry yet), and things have not been all bright and shiny this year, I still claim 2012 to be my year. I still got around 44 days to go to make it count.

Dear universe, please keep conspiring. I think we’re getting there, where we ought to be.