If anyone reading this is like me, the person might be enjoying his or her own time away from work (or in my case, away from my keyboard and textbooks) and is relishing in the pleasures of the holidays.
I know we are.
This is why, in lieu of a lengthy, drink-laden post, I’d rather keep this one short and just talk about what we’ve been up to (then go back to enjoying my break, haha):
One of my favourite Christmas traditions in the Philippines is the Noche Buena, where (ideally) we’d gather together as a family before (or after) Christmas mass, and just FEAST (preferably with karaoke). The fare varies from one family to another… My mamita would always have lumpia cooking (over Ray Conniff, Mantovani, Sinatra, or Alvin and the Chimpunks on vinyl – yes, she was the OG hispter), mama would cook crispy pata, and I just found out my adoptive family had lechon in Davao (hmp, envy).
Now, my nuclear family is small (me, Chad, Schrumpf the Yorkie, Rita the Golden Retriever, and Jollibee – yes, that’s her name – the stay-in housekeeper), so we couldn’t do the many things women in my family could with pork… We normally opt to have smaller meals. This year, coming off a high from our trip to Italy, I decided to make fresh Caesar Salad (something I learned from working in fine dining restaurants) and tomato cream pasta, paired with a gorgeous Chianti Classico* we bought from Rome.
We also carried over a tradition my brother and I had: A movie marathon over dinner. Chad’s not into horror movies (my brother and I have a sick sense of humour and do nightmare before Christmas marathons right before the clock struck midnight), so we’ve been watching It’s A Wonderful Life, Home Alone 1 and 2, Eloise at Christmastime, Charlie Brown’s Christmas, and the classics Die Hard 1 and 2.
Typically, by midnight, we would open presents. One of the biggest complaints I’ve gotten was that I’m a difficult person to give presents to, what with my seemingly singular interests (“Gail likes wine, but she might not like the wine we get her… Riedels are expensive…”), so some people play it safe and give me GCs instead (for which I’m grateful, honestly). So, come Boxing Day, I decided to go and try to spend my Rustan’s GCs.
That’s when I realised, man, these people might be right about my “singular interests”: I immediately made a beeline for the bar/china/glassware section of the store. That’s when I found this bracelet flask and decided that it would totally match the cocktail shaker I got from Macy’s years ago.
Bumming in the Tropics
While I’m grateful that Chad moved to his current company, I was slightly sad that we wouldn’t be able to spend December in Seoul this year (my Korean friends think I’m insane for loving their -10C weather, but hey… White Christmas with amazing food, man). So, lately, I’ve been chowing down on Korean food, watching a few kdramas, and drinking Korean coffee (because heck, I miss their coffee too). Also, because it’s hot here, I gravitated to their bottled iced coffee, including my favourite Maxim Espresso T.O.P. Master Latte.
How have you been spending the holidays? We’ll continue to enjoy our staycation and come back with something more substantial for 2019. See you next year, and thank you for staying with us in 2018! Happy holidays!
*Classico on an Italian wine label means that the wine came from the original area. For example, Chianti as a region has seen changes in its defined territory. A Chianti Classico means that it came from the original part of Chianti. Without a Classico, it would have come from an area that was not part of the original Chianti territory.