The past few weeks had been very hectic and I hardly had internet time, except for short updates. Anyway, here’s a list of what I am thankful for this past two weeks:
The (almost) uninterrupted two weeks off from work – this is the longest time I had been on leave for the holidays ever. Thank you Lord for the time to cook and explore new recipes; to be creative and make handmade gifts; to entertain friends and family at home; to go out and meet old friends who are home for the holidays; to tidy up the house and decorate; to cuddle in bed and have movie marathons; to go to the salon for some “me time”; to finish all grocery shopping days before Christmas, therefore avoiding the last minute holiday rush; to have lots of play time with the doggies; to finish reading a book; to enjoy the gifts I got for Christmas.
Lunch with the Stills team – it still feels strange to not be part of marketing. And while I felt like an outsider (not being privy to the juicy stories), I didn’t feel out of place at all. It was a fun and light moment and I am thankful for the privilege to be part of that lunch.
Cleaning and decorating our house – Ariel and I enjoyed shopping for house stuff and it felt great to see our house clean and very “Christmassy”. It added to the cheery atmosphere and we all enjoyed relaxing in the living room. Thank you Lord for the blessings and resources that allowed us to make our house a comfortable dwelling place.
Thank you Lord that we are complete last Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. My parents are with us despite my dad getting sick. Thank you Lord for providing healing to my dad whose fever subsided just before they left for our house. He was also well enough to join our festivities on Christmas day. My brother and sister in law were also with us. Ariel’s parents joined us, as well as his sister, nephew, sis-in-law and her kids. Ariel’s brothers joined us through Skype. Thank God for modern technology that brings people together even when they are apart.
We had a fun Christmas Day celebration with my aunts, uncles and cousins. I am very happy that we are able to continue with the tradition of getting together even if all of us have our own families. I am thankful for the in-laws who chose to spend the day with the Angquicos. We had so much fun preparing the food, sharing the food, opening gifts and just hanging out together. I am thankful that my mom’s eldest sibling – Ninang Oying, and her husband – Ninong Ped, were able to join us despite their old age and physical limitations. I pray that we will be able to celebrate more Christmases with them. May the Lord grant them good health.
We also had fun at the Christmas party of Ariel’s office barkada. It was great catching up on friends I haven’t seen in a while ( I was on business trip during last year’s party). As always, the games were a riot. My throat was sore from laughing so hard. The food was great, too. We missed a couple of friends this year but it was still lots of fun.
I’m also happy to meet up with Leo and Adam (along with some Coke friends) who are in the country for the holidays. It was great catching up with them. It’s a huge blessing to build friendships at work that survive resignations and migration abroad.
I am also honored and thankful for the privilege of hosting this year’s SVCF Christmas gathering. It’s great to see old friends and how they are both different and the same as when I last saw them. We had a fun fellowship, lots of reminiscing, a riotous white elephant exchange gift, and endless chatting. It was also great to see our group grow in number through marriage and parenthood. Can’t wait for next year.
I also hosted a “secret” party. It was so much fun! We had a wonderful time eating, baking, chatting and playing with the babies. We were planning to have a photo shoot but it rained most of the day so we weren’t able to do it. We still had fun though. It was great seeing this set of friends. And thanks for the food, too! Everyone brought something – pata tim, macaroni-fruit salad, sapin-sapin, snacks and pastries. So yummy!
I’m also glad to see our Ninong Peter, Ninang Fe and their kids after several months of missing them. We enjoyed dinner and drinks at our place, and we had a wonderful time sharing new stories and reminiscing old ones.
Also, thank you Lord for all the gifts I received this Christmas. I also wish that we are able to bless others through our gifts.
I am also thankful for our simple New Year’s eve celebration with our family. We had a quiet dinner at home with my parents, brother and sis-in-law. Then we headed out to our garden, in our bahay kubo, for pancit and bbq just before mdinight.
Finally, I’d also like to thank the Lord for things that didn’t happen this past year:
We never lacked food to eat or clothes to wear (and if we did, it was because we gained weight!)
We didn’t have to sleep on the streets
Our house was not burned down, damaged by flood or any natural calamities, or robbed
We didn’t get sick and we were not hospitalized
We didn’t get into any accidents
We didn’t lose our jobs or lacked in finances
We didn’t get struck by lightning, drowned in a flood, get robbed or mugged in the streets
I’m sure my list should be a lot longer but these are the things on top of my head. For everything else, I thank the Lord from the bottom of my heart.

Happy new year everyone!

Written by Alby Laran

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