amelialourdes: (cmas ; gold)

Well, my day was wonderfully relaxing. Started the day with the annual Disney Parks Christmas Parade on ABC followed by viewings of Home Alone, a Disney movie, Babes In Toyland (live action 60s version), and the Santa Clause. I went straight from the Christmas movies to the fandom stuff starting with the Doctor Who Christmas special (ALL THE SOBBING), the Sherlock minisode (ALL OF THE SQUEEING), and finishing right now with Downton. I'm holding back my opinion until it's all over but I don't have strong opinions of S4, anyway.

Feel free to talk to me about the shows! Spoilers will be abound if you haven't seen them yet. I still have to get back to other comments and messages. My work schedule this week has been particularly wacky. It's been one day off and one day there and it's pretty tiring. All I want to do is stay home and have two days off in a row. Thankfully, I'll have that next week and I am looking forward to it.

As for gifts and greetings, I bought myself the complete Home Improvement DVD set on amazon today since they were all on sale. Joy! Can't wait to get them so I can watch them. But I still have my new Sherlock blu-rays to watch. So many things to watch! Not enough time! I already need another vacay, haha.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! What'd your hauls look like?

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Christmas lunch: baked potatoes, turkey, gravy, my mom's caldereta (Filipino dish), homemade spinach pies (first time I made them and they were delish), and hot apple cider enhanced by this mix I bought at the Biltmore on vacay this year in North Carolina. The cider was particularly good. Nom nom.

amelialourdes: (cmas ; white)

Family gathering is finished. Kids love their gifts. Adults loved their gifts. It was hectic and really, really hot but it was a lot of fun to gather for a little while. There was a family emergency in someone else's family so our gathering was cut short a little and everyone was sort of rushing to leave since they had to catch a flight to New York tomorrow. But, it was still nice to see everyone for a little while. Hope everyone has a fantastic day tomorrow and a great night tonight! Merry Christmas!

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My Uncle's tree tonight.

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My tree!
Too lazy to photoshop better lighting.

amelialourdes: (cmas ; decor)

Does everyone have something planned? I sure hope you do! For the past couple of years we've been in Vegas for the holidays enjoying a ridiculous amount of room service and gambling and shows but decided to skip that this year for a traditional Christmas gathering at my Uncle's house. And I can't wait for it!

As for Christmas Day plans? Sure, I have them. They're called -- the ABC Christmas Day Parade, Elf, Home Alone, and Home Alone 2, a new Doctor Who episode, The Muppets Christmas Carol, Babes In Toyland... okay, I won't have time for all of these but Christmas isn't over until New Year, damn it! I have movies upon movies to watch and a very minimal amount of days off this year.

Honestly, I can't even think right now. I just got through a whole lot of wrapping and I need to wake up early to leave work early to drive to hang out with everyone. Blog post from the house tomorrow!

amelialourdes: (cmas ; decor)

*throws hands up in the air* It's done! It's all done. Christmas cards are completed and ready to be mailed, Christmas gifts are bought and ready to be wrapped, extra Christmas things have been purchased (I got stocking stuffers for the first time in my adult life), and I am finished. The lights are on the tree and I'm about to do the ornaments. My Uncle's visiting for two weeks starting on Wednesday and there's still some cleaning to do. I'm helping out a little but I have something going on tomorrow (for tomorrow's entry), and Wednesday I won't be home (for Wednesday's entry). But... I'm done.

And it feels good. Like I said, I love giving during the holidays. It's just a time to be thought of and remembered and thinking about your loved ones and friends. I'm grateful I do have a hand cramp from writing those cards. It tells me I have people to send those cards to and that makes me pretty happy. I still have a million things to do but that's the gist of it for today's entry: gratitude. I'm grateful for friends to send cards to, people to give gifts to, and the job I have this year. I was recently laid off last year and I was aching to go during this time. I already knew I was laid off for two months and they wouldn't set us free. This time last year, I was preparing to leave and I didn't know what the future held. Well, I still can't predict the future but I know I have a roof over my head, money in the bank, gifts to give this holiday season (unlike last year), and people I love. It's been a good day.

amelialourdes: (cmas ; white)

photo (1)
Beautiful day today in Los Angeles.

I woke up pretty late after staying up really late last night. I haven't stayed up that late in a long time and I have no idea why. After all the crying and unexpected annoyance of yesterday, I'd have thought I'd go to bed early but that wasn't the case. So, it was close to lunch by the time I woke up and my mom and I decided to go out. We were going to get our tree anyway. We had a really nice lunch, a really nice talk, and a bit of shopping. I crossed a couple more people off my list and I'll send their gifts tomorrow. I'm still working on Christmas cards. I hope I can get those out tomorrow, too.

The tree we picked this year is beautiful. It's the perfect shape, the perfect size, the perfect height. We haven't decorated it yet. I was planning on getting started tonight but I still have the cards to do. I'll post a photo when the tree's decorated and there's something underneath. I solved my little (non) problem about Christmas gifts from my mother. I ordered a few things from amazon and that's that. I'm definitely happy. Gift taken care of! I think I have a small gift for her for Christmas and then I'm probably gonna go all out for her birthday -- present, card, food, the works. I got her a laptop bundle from Best Buy. She's always wanted one and it was so cheap! You get a laptop, mouse, case, and flash drive all for $329 + tax. Crazy, right? My first laptop cost $1,000 and it had 6 GB in it. And the only laptops I buy now are Macs so those are $2,000 but for a basic laptop with the bells and whistles, $329's a great price.

My mom and I are pretty quick about getting a tree every year. We usually see one, make sure it's a nice height, size, cut, and then that's it. Two years in a row now we've picked the first tree we saw, had it wrapped up and tried to the roof of my car in less than half an hour.

One of my favorite Christmas memories is this time we had a Toyota station wagon. We picked a really large tree and we put it inside the car, put the seats down so it would fit. I know this was illegal as hell but we didn't live too far from where we picked the tree. Me and my dad laid down on either side of the tree and held on to it while my mom drove us home. We smiled and laughed the whole way home, holding on to the branches to make sure the tree wouldn't fall out. I mean, I couldn't do anything about it if it fell. I think I was 5 or 6 years old at the time but it was fun, doing something dangerous, all of us happy.

Happiness comes in other ways now. Like today when I was driving the tree home and I drove my mom past a studio we live near. Then *N Sync's "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" started playing on the radio. I blasted the song at full volume and sang the rest of the way home. Always good to form new happy memories.

amelialourdes: (cmas ; white)



I remember Christmas used to be a tough time. I have nothing to complain about and I'm not comparing or thinking about the Christmas experience of others but I used to have great Christmases. My family used to come over and we'd celebrate all Christmas Eve and well into Christmas Day. Me, my mom, and my cousins used to sleep next to the tree with the fireplace lit on blankets on the floor or on the couches. Just because. We'd wake up in the morning and open up our presents, watch the parade on ABC. It all ended when I was 7, of course. Christmases were never really the same after that. I think we tried our best to make it like it used to be. Family still came over sometimes but when my dad left, it was like reality came crashing down and I knew things were never the same.

I was 10 when I spent my first Christmas Eve almost completely alone. I was at my Uncle's house and my Aunt and Uncle must've been downstairs. I was in my cousin's room, working on a research paper I had due when I came back from Christmas break. My mom had left to be with a friend and my dad dropped me off early so he could drive to Tennessee to marry his second wife. My mom didn't know my dad was leaving me early and she felt so guilty when she came back. But, I didn't fault her. She didn't know. I just remember this crushing and overwhelming sadness. It's really such a shock to the system when things alter so drastically -- having family over, a big house with lots of laughter and food -- to an empty house and silence.

Things changed again after I was 16. My dad stopped spending Christmases and major holidays with me. I got phone calls, sometimes. Things are still the same. A phone call every major holiday. The one Christmas I tried to make things feel right for myself was just a couple of years ago. I tried to take a photo with both of my parents in it. My grandmother was there and immediately called us all out on it, saying it was "bad luck" to be in a photo together. At 26 years old, I don't think I should've been meant to feel like what I was doing was wrong. I wanted a photo of me and my parents together. I can't remember the last picture we have as a family. They're my parents.

Things are a little better, I think. I don't feel disappointed at Christmas anymore. I take it for what it is and I'm happy spending time with my family when I have it. I think I know not to be disappointed during the holidays. Things change and things can't be the way they were. It was a happier time but there'll be happy times to come and sad times to come. Have to take them as they come and the day is what you make of it.

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amelialourdes

May 2016

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