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  • girl christmas treeWith Christmas just a few days away, it’s the time to ponder upon all the good things God has blessed us with – and to resolve to become a better person for the coming New Year!

    Personally, Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of the year. As someone who grew up overseas, Christmas was usually the time when we would come home to the Philippines and be reunited with other family members – a time for grand family reunions on both sides of the family (in Malolos, and in Naga); shopping at SM (things are MUCH cheaper here than in Brunei); and fun family bonding. 

    On the years when we couldn’t go home to the Philippines, my older sister and brother would join us in Brunei for the holidays. We’d celebrate Christmas Mass together; attend Christmas parties; and have our own family bonding activities. Sometimes we’d go on fun road trips to other places, like nearby Miri in Sarawak, East Malaysia.


    Growing up, the “staple” holiday traditions that were “instilled” in me almost always involved the three F’s: faith-related activities; family bonding activities / reunions; and Filipino food!

    When I got married, I knew that my husband and I would have holiday traditions of our own – some passed on from our respective families, and others, traditions that we’d establish on our own.

    Based on our past six Christmases spent together as a young family, here are our favorite holiday traditions:


    1. The Advent Wreath
    This is a tradition that we started when our eldest was three years old, while we were still in Timor. We used this Advent Wreath craft idea from Catholicmom.com. Now that our youngest is two and a half, we let her join in this year’s wreath-making too. (For more information about how the Advent Wreath is used, click here.)


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