Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Highlights of Christmas 2010

A collection of pictures to highlight our Christmas:


A few days before Christmas I baked and decorated sugar cookies - a fun treat for the kiddies, and for Santa!


On Christmas Eve, we attended mass and watched my nephew and niece in the Christmas pageant. I took a picture of the nativity in the church.


On Christmas Day, we visited my husband's family; then we headed over to my brother's house for dinner. Here's the sweet table - a delicious array of cakes, cookies, fruits and goodies.



And every year, Santa makes a special appearance - J.P gets a hug from the big man in red.

O Tannenbaum....it was another happy and magical Christmas with family and friends. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Wishes

The kids are home for the holidays, and already the mayhem has begun.

"Mommy, just f0ur more days!"

It's no surprise that little ones are counting down the days.

"Can I open my gifts now?"

"No! What would you open on Christmas day?"

I settle for one gift on Christmas eve, and my little boy gushes in delight. I'm trying to play down the big day; trying to teach them that it's not all about receiving presents. Why do we celebrate? What is the true meaning of Christmas?

And to my amazement, the boys answer it's the day when Jesus was born; and the season of giving.

At the annual family gathering a few weeks ago, my brother asked me, "What does Christmas mean to you?"

I was taken aback since he had a video camera in front of my face, and I replied, "Family. Good times, and baking!"

As he slowly moved around the room, asking the same question to each person, everyone acknowleged family.

So with that in mind, I'd like to wish all of you many blessings, love, peace and joy this holiday season. And may the spirit of Christmas fill your hearts, and homes.

Monday, December 13, 2010

12 Days Till Christmas

It's mid-December, and we've already had our annual family Christmas get-together. Every year, we see our relatives from my mother's side, and celebrate the holidays. It's a wonderful evening filled with prayers, food, music and laughter. I don't see my dear cousins that often so spending time with them is special. I always look forward to watching the kids' talent show each time - the little ones perform the hula, dance, sing carols or showcase their yo-yo skills.

Moreover, it's also a time when Mr. O takes his vacation. We attended J.P's Christmas school concert last week; another enjoyable occasion. Once again, J.P was excited and exclaimed he didn't want us to miss this joyous event! Somehow the days leading up to Christmas is so much worthwhile when Mr. O is home.

And the festive season isn't complete without the holiday baking. The homemade muffins and cookies didn't last the weekend. How many batches will I have to make next time?!

So, with 12 days till Christmas, there is still lots to do! I have yet to finish my shopping! Not to mention the gift wrapping, and the Christmas cards I have to write.

I guess it's that time of year. Am I feeling stressed? Let's just say I'm taking it all in stride.

'Tis the season to be jolly.

No?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Distractions

I haven't picked up my book in weeks.

But luckily, my boys are reading their books.

You see, we banned computer use in our home. It was a tough decision but I think it was the best thing we could do for our kids right now. We felt that the computer was more of a distraction than a benefit to them. On weekends, the boys would fight over schedules - who would play first and for how long. And then it was the computer games. Some were age appropriate but others we didn't approve at all.

It was crazy!

At first, the computer ban was given a cold reception. Yes, there were meltdowns. Awkward and restless moments. And then, one last plea.

But in truth, it's not as bad as they thought it would be. They're still wired - they have their Wii and Nintendo. I'm just glad the boys no longer play on the computer - there's more social interaction at home; imaginative play with Lego, and other toys. And more visits to the public library!

Last Sunday, I was able to do some Christmas shopping with the kids in tow! All they needed was something to keep them busy; a little distraction. Amid the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers, Mr. O and the boys sat on a bench reading their books!

Unbelievable!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Day Trip

Last Saturday, we kicked off the holiday season by taking the boys, along with their cousins to watch Beauty and The Beast. It was their first live theatre experience, and the kids were very excited! We headed downtown, arriving at the Eaton Centre; slowly making our way past crowded shops and up the escalator to see this magnificent Christmas tree - a Swarovski crystal tree. Oh, how the ornaments shimmered and sparkled in the sunlight!

Across the mall, we went to the beautiful Elgin Theatre. It was a matinee show - a lively, entertaining and funny production of Beauty and The Beast. My boys were in awe of the music, the performers, the setting and of course, the elegant theatre itself! The kids enjoyed it so much, I think it will be something we'll do every year!

After the show, we did more sightseeing. We headed over to the Hudson Bay store, and admired the Christmas display windows. Here are a few shots I took with my Blackberry:

I even told my kids that grandma used to take me here when I was a little girl. I must say it brought back so many wonderful memories.


We ventured to see the Old and new City Hall, where once again another huge Christmas tree was decorated. The annual Calvacade of Lights were to take place that evening but we decided to stay warm and have dinner at a Chinese restaurant. Perhaps, when the kids are older we'll take part in that event but for now, we'll enjoy our little day trip in the city.