Remember when I wrote about yearly Christmas tradition that includes a visit to an elementary school for a Christmas gift-giving day? Banahaw Elementary School is a public school that has students in grades first through sixth in Norzagaray, Bulacan of Central Luzon (Region III). The school has 5 instructional rooms and 1 non-instructional rooms. Sadfully, none of the rooms has a dependable supply of electricity. With 138 students last year, class size is around 28 students. Lorie Floresca is principal of the school.
And so we joined a group of friends from church, Victory Nova, to bring the blessing of prayer and encouragement to students, teachers and their families.
As soon as the day started, kids lined up too excited to receive and SHARE. It was so overwhelming to observe kids rush to their moms, brothers, sisters to share what they have received on hand. There were countless people who willingly joined in and be part of this yearly outreach. Please know that your gift will go a long way to the hearts of the kids and their families who believe God for a better future.
Among the highlights included a puppet and kids’ show performed by excellent puppeteer Sam Fuentes. It was a joy to see smiles on kids’ and parents’ faces despite their difficulties in life. It was also heartwarming to see them celebrate Jesus’ birthday party as we all get reminded what Christmas should be about.
Christmas is about celebrating the real reason for the season, it is taking the time to thank God for Jesus, the ultimate message of Christmas. Also, it is about celebrating family, friendships and building memories that last. But most moms make the easy mistake of spending all time worrying about the minute details of parties, instead of involving family with preparation for our Christmas celebrations. For this working mom, Christmas is made easier with sweets-on-the-go type of gifts. I remember preparing teachers’ gifts with kids, it was a simple bag of chocolate cupcakes but made special with handwritten cards from my kids.
So to help moms-on-the-go like me to save time and quickly look at the best options for Christmas sweets to give away, I have listed below my best options : sweetest and yummiest treats that do not break the budget. Read on.
Mommy Chi’s Dreamcakes Mommy Chi is a stay-at-home mom who excels at baking right from her own kitchen. She has made quite a name for being the first stop for specialty fondant cakes. So whether it is a birthday, wedding, friends’ meet up or anything imaginable you are celebrating, you can go to Mommy Chi for options and she can help you plan it and bake them for you.
Mindy’s Kitchen Story Mindy is a wife and works full-time in the industry of Training and Development. She finds time to express her creativity in the kitchen and in her baking creations. She is on never-ending project of 51st dates with husband discovering new food destinations. She packages her cookies and cupcakes in creative cups and boxes, it is ready to be given as gifts anytime.
Mommy Jane’s Go Sweets Mommy Jane is not new to the limelight kitchen, with her son sharing the limelight on the Philippines’ franchise of Junior Masterchef. But she herself excels at baking and creating sweets masterpieces. Whether it is Christmas or not, you can see her with clients left and right who never tire of sampling her sweet creations.
Mimi’s Pastimallows Pastimallows are known to be available from the south, but no need to travel far to get the best-tasting pastimallows. Mimi has them fresh from her oven. She got her name from her cute and adorable granddaughter who instead of calling her lola, calls her Mimi. Baking masterpieces always made out of love.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The overflowing number of products out in the market makes it almost impossible for Filipinos today to decide what the best ones to buy are. Now that the Christmas season is fast approaching, every consumer is faced with a streamline of options from the latest electronics, stylish clothing, fast moving consumer goods, and even in demand sensational items.
Lazada, the Philippines’ One Stop Shopping and Selling Destination, knows the trendiest products out there to be enjoyed by consumers online. In a study conducted by Lazada, Bluetooth watches, GoPro action cameras, laptops, drones and smartphones ranked as the top products preferred by Filipinos to have this Christmas. Filipinos nowadays search for unique finds that are hot, sensational and at the same time worth the money. The infograph below illustrates the rest of the findings.
Lazada, with its nationwide delivery, makes these products accessible to Filipinos whether they’re in Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao. What makes shopping at Lazada even more advantageous is that you don’t have to experience the heavy road congestion going to the mall in order to purchase what you want. Also, you can buy products and have them delivered to your friends and loved ones wherever they are in the Philippines. And if you’re still thinking of which products are best to give to friends in other parts of the country, below are Lazada’s best-selling products per region.
55% of Filipinos spend most of their time browsing and researching for products which could potentially catch their interest. In this case, where the consumer doesn’t have anything specific in mind, browsing through categories could help with their purchase decision. Finding the best product within the category list is essential in choosing the right Christmas gift. In a comparative research of Lazada, we found out that for both Google and Lazada, the top-searched categories are Mobiles & Tablets and Computers & Laptops. Below are the top categories per platform.
Filipinos have truly engaged themselves in the wireless world. Lifting data from Google, 65% of Filipinos are actually online shoppers. Filipinos have wide access to the internet with 5 out of 10 being online daily. They usually course their online activity through mobile (the highest), followed by computer and tablet. Lazada has an available platform for each of these means to access the internet and the online shopping community. Filipinos start researching for ideal Christmas presents online as early as July and reaches its peak by November. Moreover, Filipinos consider these top three attributes whenever they shop: (1) value for money, (2) price, and (3) quality – all of which are trademarks of what Lazada has to offer to every consumer
Filipinos are truly one of the trendiest shoppers. With all the best products and deals in store for them, it is a matter of choosing the best product to give this Christmas. The Filipino Christmas online shopper is not only the best giver but also awaits to receive the best gifts s/he could get during this most wonderful time of the year.
Lazada is Philippines’ largest online shopping mall and is pioneering e-commerce by providing a fast, convenient and secure online shopping experience combined with an extensive product offering in categories ranging from mobiles & tablets and consumer electronics to household goods, toys, fashion and sports equipment. Lazada is continuously striving to offer its customers the best possible shopping experience with multiple payment methods including cash on delivery, extensive warranty commitments and free returns. Lazada mobile applications for Android, iPhone and iPad provide additional convenience to its consumers’ allowing them to shop anywhere, anytime.
I have written in the past about our family Christmas traditions and by now you would have known that we do yearly family activities that include watching Disney on Ice Christmas with the kids and their cousins. Pretty soon, it is going to be Christmas season, and we are all excited to continue to build lasting memories as we all anticipate the return of an all time Filipino favorite – the annual staging of Disney On Ice at the Big Dome.
There is much to look forward to in this year’s show. Aside from world-class skaters who make up its talented ensemble, this year’s Disney On Ice will be extra special because with Disney on Ice presents Magical Ice Festival featuring Disney’s Academy Award® winning and number one animated feature film of all time Frozen, along with three Disney royal adventures! Last year, the Big Dome was filled with small kids’ voices as they watch Disney characters on ice while singing along with all familiar Disney music from Cinderella, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and of course, their top favorite Tangled!
It has also been a joy to sit with kids and engage with them while watching, highlighting the values one can get from Disney movies. Just like any other animated movies (including non-animated kids’ movies), this working mom believes and puts a premium on having the right conversations right after each movie experience. This allows me to drive and emphasize the valuable parts of the movie while having an opportunity to correct wrong behaviours observed on movies. It was a joy to encourage my daughter, Sofia to be as exuberant, joyful and optimistic like Cinderella on her saddest day. It was also an encouragement to see Princess Tiana who believed she can be the best she can be by achieving her dreams of owning her own restaurant. It was a display of faith and a display of excellent labor, values that we want our kids to take home.
“This year’s Disney On Ice is truly magical with Disney properties that are packed with heart and personality. We have princesses that are exuberant and strong-willed, but we’ve also expanded the roles of spirited supporting characters, so that they’re more prominent in the show,” says Producer Nicole Feld.
My kids got more excited to know that for the first time on ice, they will see their favorite Disney stars Anna and Elsa, together with hilarious snowman Olaf, rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven in a magical winter adventure. My kids learned the importance of family with the tear-jerking scenes from “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” We all know that the true and unconditional love that saved Anna came from Elsa and not from Hans. And of course, who could have missed Olaf dreaming of enjoying summer? Just like Olaf, my kids can continue to believe God for bigger things and dream big, as big as impossible Olaf in summer!
Audiences will also enjoy comical segments with captivating stories of princesses Ariel, Rapunzel and Belle in a new twist of fairytale fun featuring Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Tangled, and Beauty and the Beast.
“By pulling together moments from classic Disney stories to the newest feature film sensation Frozen and combining them with elements of comedy and music, we developed a truly unique way to re-tell each fairytale,” says Producer Juliette Feld.
Excited to see the dazzling costume designs, spectacular set elements, and jaw-dropping stunts are also what make this year’s show even more exhilarating. Previous shows were a big hit with my kids with a singing Sebastian, Wendy and Peter Pan flying, and the countless Tangled floating lanterns! It gave me chills to hear all the kids singing “I see the Light” when the lanterns came out.
In Beauty and the Beast’s “Be Our Guest,” the theatrical elements of the glitzy napkins and silverware costumes will astound audiences. “The costumes are designed to emphasize the overwhelming amount of table décor that appears in the movie. The napkins unfold to increase their size and the forks tower over the heads of the performers. This is a big moment for Belle; the costumes need to reflect that,” says Costume Designer Cynthia Nordstrom.
Moreover, lighting plays a crucial role in giving the overall production a truly magical feel. “The colors really pull you into the different worlds of the princesses, but it’s how the lights are arranged that command your attention when the characters are performing their acts. For example, when the Daughters of Triton are introduced, the lighting individually highlights each of them. Your eyes follow the spotlights,” says Lighting Designer Sam Doty.
Experience Magical Ice Festival at the Big Dome from December 25 to January 3 and don’t miss the chance to see your favorite Disney stars LIVE! Buy your tickets via TicketNet online or call 911-5555 for more details.
I am sure that for all my mom readers, having kids at home means Christmas starts earlier than usual. In fact, as we speak, we already have the Christmas tree set up and had our first Christmas activity with kids, an afternoon spent completing craft with styro, paint and glitters.
So yearly, my family and I complete these Christmas traditions that not only allow us to celebrate the reason for the season, Jesus, but also allow us to build traditions that display our family culture/values and the things that we are passionate about. Among the things that we do yearly as a family include: a Jesus birthday party, watching Disney on Ice, Christmas pajama nights with bibingka and hot choco, and putting up our Christmas calendar of family activities (Dec1 to 24).
Also, we are excited to fill up our Faith Jar, where all of us put in what we are believing God for, for the coming months or for the coming year. It is a great activity to build prayerful lives with our kids and allows them to see a God who answers prayers. For this Christmas, what tops my prayer list is for us to be able to celebrate the year’s blessings. For one, I would like to get my husband the perfect staycation for December, yep, he has been planning for us to be on one without the kids. I love my four kids to death, and me and my husband has become creative as it gets pretty challenging to carve couple-time away with four kids. While my boys plan to get the latest Lego toys this year, while my daughter is praying for a pink bike.
Last year, it was also a year to give back as I joined some of my friends visit a public elementary school for a Christmas gift-giving activity. I am praying to be able to do the same this year. There are just so many ways to give back this Christmas, I know of a family who would drive around on Christmas eve to give away Christmas bags to homeless families on the streets. Some join Christmas outreach activities with the entire family. If you do not have the time to spare, you can always give back with SM’s Give a Bear of Joy Today.
For more updates about this year’s “Merry SM Christmas” campaign, visit SM’s official Christmas microsite and follow its official social media accounts at SM Supermalls Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; and get an insider access to all the fun happenings at SM Supermalls nationwide through Viber. Shoppers can actively share their holiday merriments inside the SM Supermalls by posting their photos on social media and adding the hashtag #MerrySMChristmas2015.”
However you plan to celebrate your Christmas season with your family, please keep in mind that the most meaningful celebrations you can do are the ones that include the ones who are dearest to you. Plan ahead and let me know what your Christmas plans are.