Our first time to celebrate Christmas time in the Philippines.
Our chance to start new Christmas traditions while enjoying the old.
What's new for the girls?
I told the girls that when we were young, we used to gather late afternoons with some friends to go house to house and sing carols. What amount we collect, we would divide it or most of the times, we would buy sweets and share them. IC is eager to give this a go; but MC is a little doubtful. We do practice alone, though.
I told the girls when we were young, we would have the chance to buy a new set of clothes, a pair of new shoes, and a bag because thats our attire for Christmas. Both girls love the idea, but since we just bought them new clothes; we didnt push this :
I told the girls that when we were young, we would attend the early morning mass that would start on December 15 until Christmas Eve. The local band's music would be acting as our wake-up call as they march in our streets an hour before the mass would start. Both girls are sceptical about waking up early; well, I am too :D
I told the girls that the reward for attending an early morning mass would be freshly baked bibingka and puto-bumbong (varieties of rice cakes). They became a little interested!
I told the girls that when we were young, we would usually go around the neighborhood during Christmas time, kiss the hands of our elders; and we would be rewarded not with gifts but with cash. That is the reason why we needed new bags for Christmas; to collect our cash. The girls cant imagine such things happening. IC is ready to go around with her bag; but MC scoffs on the idea.
I told the girls that when we were young, we would usually open the gifts on Christmas Day. Unlike our German tradition of opening presents on the Eve of Christmas. Of course, they voted to keep the German way as they cannot wait any longer :D
I told the girls that when we were young, we have kris kringle and exchange gifts instead of advents calendars. They are willing to try this (we did and they had fun!).
I told the girls that when we were young, our Christmas Eve food would always include ham and cheese; and the much awaited spaghetti aside from the usual rice cakes. They got excited about the spaghetti.
I told the girls that when we were young, there are always people coming in and out of our house during Christmas time. The same with all the houses in the Philippines. There would be food, gift-giving, money passing around... and almost all the relatives and friends that you havent seen for years would be giving an appearance.
I told the girls that when we were young, we always greet our elders with a kiss in the hand. Well, kissing on the cheeks is widely accepted now -- but I would have loved for them to get used to this tradition, too.
I told the girls that when we were young, our parents, relatives and friends would bring us to an almost daily Christmas parties. There we would received gifts, would be fed, would be joining games and receiving prizes, and winning raffles. They are eager to join; but was asking that parties be done near our house only :D
Oh, but we have enough time to learn and enjoy these 'new' old Christmas traditions. And we are ready to start new ones, too!