Saturday, 22 December 2012

How to Have a Not-So-DIY Christmas

My fond Christmas memories of childhood are centered on the women in the family who created such  simple happy traditions.  My (working) mom would put up our tree herself and wrap presents on weekends while playing carols for us on the cassette.    My titas would outdo themselves each year creating games, programs, and perfect gifts.

And then there was always that one Tita who did things her way.  

What my Tita Leni lacked in organization, she made up for in jolly Christmas spirit.  She gave her gifts on the New Year, because she was never done by Christmas.  Her Santa gift for her kids' stockings was... cash.  Soon all her gifts became cash, and she wouldn't even be bothered with envelopes.  She distributed them as people prepared to go home.  

Throughout it all, Tita Leni still had the most child-like Christmas joy.
I understand her so perfectly now.
Being a corporate citizen but hands-on mom and wife is always hardest at Christmas, when 'workload' at home doubles up.  This year, the timing of an important work project and my forced home purge could not have been worse, and I simply couldn't focus much on the holiday preps.

And so very distinctly, Christmas has evolved from my single, organized days...  When I would scour bazaars for the perfect gifts to match each person on my list, and wrap each one as a work-of-art with a well-thought handwritten message.
The way it was.  Highly legit DIY.
(photos courtesy of 1, 2, 3)
I always had at least three of these giant bins in my gift stash closet

The way it is today:

The extent of my gifts: personal care consumables.
Only four boxes!  Pretty much everyone on my list has something in there (except kids)

And these were all ordered from my computer via company sales.
and Deal Grocer for the big gifts for family

And finally... wrapped in the easiest wrapper ever.
Pretty and reusable sandwich bags from Ikea (Mobler)
Why yes, I did bring my wrapping to a team meeting at the office. 
Instead of handwritten notes?  Online-generated labels for my mom-in-law's famous achara gifts
Enlisting help setting up and stringing lights on our lovely real pine tree
I have also purged the gift closet for good.  For good, I vow!  No more storing insane amounts of gifts that I never have time to organize and wrap.  

As for my Christmas spirit, it's harder this year but I'll never ever lose it entirely:

When I work while everyone is asleep, I stay in the living room to smell the tree and soak in the twinkly lights
Thanks to Awesome Guy's resourcefulness (a.k.a. electrician), I was still able to indulge in my twinkly lightlove.
Santa still came.   Gift stash to thank.
"Look, it's my mom and dad!" : Best of all, Ladybug Girl happily showing us off during her school program. 
And so while sometimes I feel like I barely squeaked through the holiday this year, I feel proud to be doing a Tita Leni: making Christmas happy, no matter the compromises along the way.

Tita Leni is in the hospital right now, but she is still ever so child-like and jolly.  Get well for Christmas, Nanang Leni.  I love you!

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