all i want for christmas

When I was a little girl, Christmas mornings were always the highlight of my year, the time when all of us kids will open our presents. I believed in Santa Claus and held on to that belief for as long as I could, even if I secretly knew that it was only my parents and grandparents who kept putting presents under our Christmas tree. Santa was just my excuse to make a Christmast list.

And my Christmas lists were loooong. I would write anything from an autographed photo of Romnick and Jennifer, who were my favorite couple in those days (Dae, I'm with you for a That's revival!), to something as far-fetched as spending a week in Switzerland so I could see Heidi and her grandfather's cottage. Heidi is a character from a children's book written by Johanna Spyri. I was obsessed with this book for awhile and the idea of running wild and free in those Alpine meadows seemed like heaven to me. Yeah, I've always been this geeky and delusional even as a kid, haha.

So anyways, because its Christmas and it's gonna be my birthday soon, I thought it would be fun to make another one of those lists. This of course was inspired by Irish and Dae who also posted their wish lists in the blogosphere. I will try to keep it within the bounds of reality, but a little magical thinking wouldn't hurt right? Here's my grown-up Christmas list:
  1. I really want to write and speak Spanish! And if I could read Lorca and Neruda in its orginal form (meaning Espanyol), I'd be the happiest girl in the world. Seriously. But in order to do that, I have to start somewhere. So I got those audio CDs from the Pimsleur Language Series last month and since I'm already done with Lessons 1-8, I'm hoping to start with Conversational Spanish next year. These CDs, in my opinion, are even better than actual classes because you can do them at your own pace, whenever and wherever.
  2. A Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi. The best camera in the world, even if I don't really know anything about cameras. Or if this is too much to ask, I will also accept cash donations for my camera fund :P
  3. Amanda Castleman's travel writing classes.
  4. Clothes, accessories or home decors from Anthropologie. I am in love with this shop and I could stay here for hours, eventhough I could never buy anything here without feeling guilty about it. The cost of this cute little top, for example, is enough to feed a family of five in the Philippines. But its good for window-shopping at least.
  5. Home fragrance oils and tea lights from The Body Shop.
  6. Those little treasures from Planetweavers or Magnetic Poetry.
  7. As for the non-material things, I really want a consistent, 8 hours of sleep per day. I am so tired of walking around sleep-deprived all the time, so help me God. And as always, peace of mind and good health for me and my loved ones.

See, I'm a pretty easy to please. Or you could always buy me a McSweeney's subscription, and I will love you forever! *wink, wink*

but the truth is...

I would have given all of those up, and many times over, if I could have this:

Chistmas in the Philippines
Art by Ala Paredes

For where else can one have simbang gabi, budbud and tsokolate, kids singing the same carols over and over again, stars everywhere, real and unaffected laughter, and the warmth and chaos of being with the people you love the most?

In the Philippines, where everyone always finds a reason to celebrate and be with each other, there's never been a happier season than Christmas.


  1. I want Christmas in the Philippines too! AND New Year's. The smell of fireworks always makes me happy coz it reminds me of holidays at home.


  2. yes, definitely new year's too! just the thought of it makes me very nostalgic. and this winter dosn't help at all. its too cold here! grrrrr...

    anyway chris, hope u have a happy christmas with ur loved ones. i'll be in NJ soon. magkita na jud mi ni bang and her man. hehe.

  3. irresistible irishDecember 18, 2006

    simbang gabi! how i miss doing that! did you know that i completed those nine 4:30 a.m. masses for 14 straight years? i did! if i had the chance, i'd go 14 or so years until the day i die...i had to stop because i came here...
    hmmm... a christmas in the philippines again, i think that will be the best gift ever... whenever that is =(

  4. wow, 14 straight years! saludo ako sa 'yo kapatid! i only completed those nine mornings once, the year before i came here. and to this day, that remains one of the most meaningful experiences in my life. haaaay, i miss home...

    see u in new york 'rish!