Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Memory of December: Blissful Holidays

Hello, Lovely Friends!
So glad I could get back again to writing on this blog! It's already January, but I want to chronicle all the amazing and wonderful things that happened in our family last December, so one day when I look back to all the ups and downs of the season, especially the off sides of things, I could say: "I sure felt like I was losing my mind, but afterall, we passed through with flying colors, and ended up better and stronger." --- At the end of days, all the daily trials and tribulations are just small fragments in a much bigger tapestry of life.
A Season of Decorating
Some would comment that it's tacky to set up the Christmas tree before December, but to me, it's not such a big a deal. My reason is actually quite simple: I want my family to enjoy those beautiful, sparkling, glittering, festive Christmas decorations, a little bit longer. Though our Christmas decor items are quite simple, didn't cost an arm and leg, and didn't take up too much space to store, it STILL took some energy and resources and thoughts and time to pick, choose, purchase, store and set up. So, my economical brain decides that it's OK to have the most enjoyment and merriment out of them every year. We set up the tree at the last week of November, and take everything down in the middle of January.
This year's theme is White Christmas, as Hubby's wish. Being a frugal mom, I opted to decorate with white lights instead of spending tons of money for Christmas tree ornaments, because the sparkling lights really bring forth bigger influence on the whole look than pricey ornaments. We bought the lights last January when they were on sale, and just used our old ornaments. I also threw all silver and chrome decorative items that we have, --- most of them I received as gifts - , with some white clothes of mine, coil in some white lights, and created a centerpiece that Hubby said was worthy of a department store's window! Yayy!!
Here in Indonesia, we don't have the traditions of giving out Christmas gifts, so I don't need to worry about that. I'm a big believer that entertaining, decorating, and family living should be simple enough for everyone to enjoy, instead of perfect-everything at the cost of fussy, stressful people!
A Season of Giving
I just have to share this gift that I sent to Hubby's ex secretary who just gave birth to a darling baby girl. The wrapping paper was adorable, and the present itself - a fleece baby blanket - is the most beautiful thing ever! So soft, and cuddly, and precious!
It was also another round of sending off some powdered milk (yep, here in Indonesia, we drink powdered milk, that's the norm) and other food supplies to two toddlers who are so poor, they have difficulty to have regular meals everyday, not to mention the lack of nutrition. Last year, Hubby and I managed to find four toddlers from very poor families who need help, and we send food supplies regularly once a month or so. For December, I decided to throw in some extra things: toys, books, and some snacks.

The children might send off their thanks to us (they have no idea who we are really, we sent them anonymously), but truthfully, we send them a prayer of thanks, as well. Because we receive just as much as they do in the form of joy and gratitude that we are the giver instead of in the position of having to receive food from others!
A Season of Celebration!
I am known among our friends as someone who appreciate any kind of art: painting, music, literature, anything. Thus, I enjoy any activities related to art appreciation: museum hopping, culture class, concerts, shows. They are like the nutrients of the soul, at least to me. Not only do I enjoy and appreciate it, I truly savor the moment of anticipation when the lights go out in a theater building, and the show is about to begin.
A family friend had been kind enough to extend two invitations every December to Christmas concert. The proceed from the concert will go to building schools to poor, rural areas in the undeveloped East Indonesia region. It was such a great concert, the performers were really really good, and we got platinum tickets! The only regret of the evening was that I didn't dress up for the occassion, while everybody else was donned in lovely cocktail attire. I should remember that for upcoming years! I usually avoid formal dressing at all cost, but I love dressing up occassionally, and this concert was one rare opportunity in my casual life to doll up!
My office held a year end party and I brought Michael along to join the festivities. Again, I am so fortunate to work in a family-friendly environment who supports mothers who work outside the home. Our childminder was ill, and when my coworkers heard of the news, they all urged me to bring Michael along, saying that he will find lots and lots of "pretty aunties" who will be more than willing to be his childminder throughout the day!

 Season of Love
Last December, my Mom and Dad celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary. They have been together for 54 years now, 6 years in courtship. Even up to now, Dad still occassionally send me a candid picture of Mom with his smart phone, saying, "Mom still looks beautiful, doesn't she!" I read many many articles that claimed, according to research, one could only be in the stage of being in love for a maximum of eighteen months. It has something to do with hormone or something. However, I've been a living witness, based on 38 years of observation, that true love enables one to stay in love for a lifetime! Thank you, Mom and Dad, for giving a living example how wonderful marriage could be.
The Saga Continues!
I am a big, big, BIG fan of Star Wars movies. The original versions painted a melancholy and romantic hues in my troubled tween years, where I would spend hours and hours watching the stars in the sky and dream of a galaxy far faraway. I have been fascinated with outerspace all my life, so naturally as a little girl, I was drawn to the series the first time I watched "Return of The Jedi". Yes, I started with the third installment instead of the first!
When Disney, who bought Lucas Film announced that they would release yet another Star Wars movie, I was quite disappointed. From the media, I know that George Lucas had written the original six stories waaaay before they were turned into movie. I believe that's why the stories were so original and beautiful. Same with Lord The Rings, whose all stories had been finished before it became world famous. In my personal opinion, sequels that were written after the original story had become famous lost its heart. As much as I like the first Harry Potter book, the newer installments - which were written after the Potter big bang - lost its charm, at least to me. It feels commercialized and eager to please. When a writer finished writing before everybody in the world has opinion about it, he or she could keep it in the most sincere, original form.
Still, I watched the movie. I feared that the newest movie will destroy all my childhood precious memory about Star Wars. Well.... It was a good movie, but still, I believe George Lucas should not make another Star Wars movie. But of course, Disney wants to make money, rite. Well, who can blame them.
 A Season of Rest & Gratitude
After a semester of hectic and busy work, Hubby and I decided that a mini honeymoon will not do any harm. My parents were kindly offer to watch over Michael, so we don't need to bring him along. Truthfully, we doubt that the place we would go will have any appeal to a three-year-old. Gili Meno, a remote island with no motors allowed - just walking and buggy pulled by horses - is a couple's paradise. There are nothing there but the ocean, the white sand, the blue sky, the sun, and the maginificent beauty of nature. There are no shops, no grocery stores, nothing. Basically you just stay at the hotel, lounging by the pool, eating at the restaurant's hotel, watching the sunrise while jogging by the beach, reading a book while sipping pina colada by the beach, having a massage, doing yoga, and perfecting the art of doing absolutely nothing.
Three days of pure bliss and relaxation.
Thank you, Lord, for such a bountiful year.
I'm linking up to these wonderful Ladies:








Hazel Moon said...

What a fun filled End of the old year and preparing for the new. Your decorations are lovely and I keep a very small artificial tree lit up all year just because it is so pretty and makes a good night light. Michael did enjoy his day at work and the pretty ladies did a good job caring for him. A lovely mini-honey moon get away was a perfect way to end the old year and welcome the new.
Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

Charlene@APinchofJoy said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday season. A mini honeymoon would be the perfect way to wrap it up! The pictures are beautiful!

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