Category: Christmas Time

Simbang Gabi (Philippine Christmas Tradition)

 

Binondo Church, Manila Philippines, Photo by JMorton

Simbang Gabi (Philippine Christmas Tradition)

Simband Gabi is a tradition of the Roman Catholics of the the Philippines. It is going to church to attend mass from midnight or early hours in the morning.

This mass at dawn is a nine-day devotional religious and cultural tradition which starts on 16 December and ending on the 24th of December.  These series of masses herald the coming of Christmas as well as a homage to the Virgin Mary.

After the mass, people are entised by the smell of freshly clay-oven baked bibingka  and puto bungbong, washed down by salabat (ginger tea).

Simbang gabi is still popularly practise to these days.

 

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

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Decor on Sale at John Lewis, Iphoto by JMorton

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Here comes Santa, photo by JMorton
It is December!
It is officially Christmas Season.
Give Love of Christmas.
It is the time to send Christmas cards to nearest and dearest, including to those often forgotten and overlooked relatives and acquaintances. 🙂
It is time to set up the Christmas Tree.
It is time to buy presents and gift, know your budget.
It is time to party.
It is the to visit the relatives.
And most important of all it is the time to celebrate a most spiritual Birthday of all.
Happy Birthday to our Lord, Jesus!

Christmas Songs, World’s Favourite

Christmas Arch, Photo by PH Morton

Christmas Songs, World’s Favourite

Apparently, below is a list of world’s favourite Christmas songs, is your personal choice on the list below? 🙂

50 Best Christmas songs (according to PRS for Music) in full (position, artist, year, writer)

  1. Fairytale of New York, The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl, 1987 Jem Finer, Shane MacGowan
  2. All I Want For Christmas Is You, Mariah Carey 1994 Mariah Carey, Walter Afanasieff
  3. Do They Know It’s Christmas? Band Aid 1984, Bob Geldof, Midge Ure
  4. Last Christmas, Wham! 1984 George Michael
  5. Santa Claus is Coming to Town Harry Reser 1934 John Fredrick Coots, Haven Gillespie
  6. Do You Hear What I Hear? Bing Crosby 1962 Noel Regney, Gloria Shayne
  7. Happy Christmas (War Is Over), John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir 1971 John Lennon, Yoko Ono
  8. Wonderful Christmastime, Paul McCartney 1979, Paul McCartney
  9. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday, Wizzard 1973 Roy Wood
  10. Merry Xmas Everybody, Slade 1973, Noddy Holder, Jim Lea
  11. Merry Christmas Everyone, Shakin’ Stevens 1985, Bob Heatlie
  12. Sleigh Ride, Leroy Anderson, 1950, Leroy Anderson
  13. Stay Another Day, East 17, 1994 Tony Mortimer
  14. Driving Home For Christmas, Chris Rea, 1988, Chris Rea
  15. Rockin Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee, 1958, Johnny Marks
  16. Step Into Christmas, Elton John, 1973 Elton John, Bernie Taupin
  17. 2000 Miles, The Pretenders, 1983 Chrissie Hynde
  18. I’m Gonna Be Warm This Winter, Connie Francis / Gabriella Cilmi 1962 / 2008 Hank Hunter, Mark Barkan
  19. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), Darlene Love 1963 Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, Phil Spector
  20. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!, Vaughn Monroe / Dean Martin / Smokey Robinson & The Miracles 1945 / 1959 / 1963 Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne
  21. Stop The Calvary, Jona Lewie, 1980, Jona Lewie
  22. Frosty The Snowman, Gene Autry & The Cass Country Boys / Perry Como / Johnny Mathis / Kimberley Locke 1950 / 1957 / 2003 / 2007 Walter “Jack” Rollins, Steve Nelson
  23. White Christmas, Bing Crosby, 1942, Irving Berlin
  24. I Believe In Father Christmas, Greg Lake / Toyah Wilcox / Elaine Paige 1975 / 1982 / 1986 Greg Lake / Peter Sinfield
  25. Christmas Lights, Coldplay, 2010, Guy Berryman, Johnny Buckland, Will Champion, Chris Martin
  26. Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire), The Nat King Cole Trio, 1946 Mel Tormé, Bob Wells
  27. Thank God It’s Christmas, Queen, 1984 Brain May, Roger Taylor
  28. It’s The Most Wonderful Time of Year, Andy Williams 1963 Edward Pola, George Wyle
  29. Santa Baby, Eartha Kitt, 1953, Joahn Javits, Phillip Springer
  30. Christmas Wrapping, The Waitresses, 1981, Chris Butler
  31. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Frank Sinatra, 1957, Ralph Blanew, Hugh Martin
  32. Please Come Home For Christmas, Charles Brown, The Eagles, Jon Bon Jovi 1961 / 1978 / 1995 Charles Brown, Gene Redd
  33. Spaceman Came Travelling, Chris de Burgh, 1976, Chris de Burgh
  34. A Winter’s Tale, David Essex, 1982, Mike Batt / Tim Rice
  35. Lonely This Christmas, MUD, 1974 Nicky Chinn, Mike Chapman
  36. Cold December, Night Michael Bublé 2011 Michael Bublé, Alan Chang, Bob Rock
  37. Mistletoe And Wine, Cliff Richard, 1988, Jeremy Paul, Leslie Stewart, Keith Strachan
  38. Merry Christmas, Bryan Adams, 2011, Bryan Adams
  39. Christmas Time – Don’t Let The Bells End, The Darkness 2003 Justin Hawkins, Dan Hawkins, Frankie Poullain, Ed Graham
  40. Mary’s Boy Child – Oh My Lord, Boney M, 1978 Jester Hairston, Frank Farian, Fred Jay, Lorin
  41. Power Of Love, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, 1984 Peter Gill, Holly Johnson, Mark O’Toole
  42. Blue Christmas, Elvis Presley, 1957, Billy Hayes, Jay W. Johnson
  43. When A Child Is Born (Soleado) Johnny Mathis 1976 Ciro Dammiccom, Fred Jay
  44. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, Gene Autry 1949 Johnny Marks
  45. Winter Wonderland, Perry Como, 1934, Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith
  46. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Jimmy Boyd, 1952, Tommie Connor
  47. Mary’s Boy Child, Harry Belafonte, 1957, Jester Hairston
  48. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, Perry Como & The Fontana Sisters 1951 Meredith Wilson
  49. The Little Drummer Boy, Harry Simeone Chorale 1958 Harry Simeone, K. K. Davis, Henry Onorati
  50. We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Additional favourite (Mine):

Kissing Bow – Romantic Christmas


Kissing Bow – Romantic Christmas

Let’s make Christmas that extra more fun and I dare say romantic as well.  Forget mistletoe, let’s have a kissing bow.

Making one will bring out the artistic side in you.

Add anything you want like apples, grapes, garland of ivy, tinsels, etc.  You are only constraint by your imagination.  Hold these together with a wire coat hanger.

Blue Peter’s John Noakes with the Advent Crown

If you are familiar with Children BBC’s Blue Peter, then a kissing bow should be a doddle.

Making a kissing bow is pretty similar with building and creating the  Advent Crown.

Another thing to add to this kissing bow to highlight it are lights.  Thank goodness you can have a fire-proof battery operated Christmas lights now widely available in the market for a pound or two.

Christmas’ Forgotten List

Christmas Decor
Photo by JMorton

The item that would really worry me that I forgot to buy for Christmas is the battery. I remember one Christmas when I bought all these beautiful remote controlled toys for my son.

On Christmas morning, he can’t play with them because of the missing batteries. I saw how bravely he was trying to hide his disappointment but it did break my heart.

Now I always ensure that we have batteries for Christmas.

The next item is the tin foil, the aluminium wrap, to cover the turkey. Stress….

Then running out of gravy granules, that is total disaster. I like my roast swimming in gravy.

Christmas’ Forgotten List

Below is the top 10 forgotten items.  Hope this will be a reminder to make Christmas painless and extra special.

Top 10 forgotten Christmas items:

1.    Batteries
2.    Sellotape
3.    Crackers
4.    Gift tags
5.    Cranberry sauce
6.    Wrapping paper
7.    Pigs in blankets
8.    Napkins
9.    Beer
10.  Gravy

Please let us know your forgotten item or items and we will add it to our list.

The Birth of Christ

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Gerard van Honthorst, 1622

The Birth of Christ

There is so much materialism now attached to Christmas that we are overlooking what we should truly celebrate.

Christmas is the birth of Christ, the saviour of all.  It is time to give Him thanks and praise, also remembering him by showing love and kindness to all mankind.

It is lovely to receive presents and giving is its own reward.

As quoted on a board in Islington underground on 23 December 2016, Christmas is not about the presents under the Christmas tree but the people around it.

HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

Let it snow, let it snow and snow

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Let it snow, let it snow and snow, photo by PH Morton

Let it snow, let it snow and snow

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Let it snow, let it snow and snow, photo by PH Morton

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Let it snow, let it snow and snow, photo by PH Morton


I saw my adorable grandson today. I went to watch him in his school pantomime. They did a very traditional version of the nativity play, which really gladden my heart.

More and more now, schools here in the UK have succumbed to the onslaught of political correctness and therefore do not want to offend other faiths except the Christian religion! They have been vociferously removing Christ from Christmas.  Anyway that is another blog in itself.

While walking from school, Nathan mentioned to me that he wishes snow for Christmas. He wants to make snow balls and have a real good fun fight in the garden. He also wanted to build a smowman and even offered his own scarf for the snowman to use (he is such a kind boy – so proud of him).

There is always a small chance that it would snow of course as the weather is getting colder and colder.

(By the way my heart goes to those people who were victims of the flood in Cumbria and nearby areas. It breaks my heart to see their homes which have been prepared for Christmas. All their furnitures and decorations were lost and ruined in the flood. It is only right that the Government helps them in anyway they can. It was underhanded of the UK Government to have cut the funds for floods, when it has been occuring more often in many places.)

Hopefully we do have a snowy Christmas this year.

Merry Christmas!

Twelve Days of Christmas

It seems there is precedence to giving and receiving excessive amount of gifts and presents during the Christmas season as defined by my childhood favourite Christmas carol/rhyme, The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Partridges: 1 × 12 = 12

Doves: 2 × 11 = 22

Hens 3 × 10 = 30

Calling birds: 4 × 9 = 36

Golden rings: 5 × 8 = 40

Geese: 6 × 7 = 42

Swans: 7 × 6 = 42

Maids: 8 × 5 = 40

Ladies: 9 × 4 = 36

Lords: 10 × 3 = 30

Pipers: 11 × 2 = 22

Drummers: 12 × 1 = 12

Total = 364

The receiver would be responsible for many geese, swans and has to fork out for cows to keep the maids in employment.

She has to move out of her small flat into a mansion with many rooms, where she can escape when the  cocophony of drums and pipes gets too much as well as the house party she has to throw for the raving ladies.

What can the ‘true love’ be thinking?!!! 🙂

Twelve Days of Christmas, art from www.forbes.com

Twelve Days of Christnas, art from www.forbes.com


Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
A Partridge in a Pear Tree2

On the second day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the third day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the fourth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the fifth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the sixth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the seventh day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the eighth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the ninth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Nine Ladies Dancing
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the tenth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Ten Lords a Leaping
Nine Ladies Dancing
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the eleventh day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Eleven Pipers Piping
Ten Lords a Leaping
Nine Ladies Dancing
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the twelfth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
12 Drummers Drumming
Eleven Pipers Piping
Ten Lords a Leaping
Nine Ladies Dancing
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

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