Do More with Less – Christmas 2015

 

rsz_1mbp_pinkCan one really do more with less? Time and again, you have all read about how this working mom is always on the lookout for building things that last for our family. Of course I have clued you in on our 2015 breakthroughs that do not need to break the bank. I have always emphasized that our greatest blessings are always the ones that need not be expensive.

Do more with less – Jesus is the Reason for the Season

It is so easy to stray away from the real reason for Christmas, it can sway you to commercialism overload and with most of the bonuses getting released in December, most people spend too much time planning for what to buy rather than planning for what to celebrate. Having kids calibrates me to check on everything we are doing for December, does it point us to a family value we have all agreed to have on our Christmas calendar or is it just another party to throw/host or a shopping spree to complete? Among our Christmas traditions this year included Banahaw Elementary Outreach, creating our own Christmas ornaments, Jesus birthday party with advent-related activities that my kids joined with their friends.

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Do More with Less – Give Personalized Gifts

With sales/bazaars/tiangges on almost every corner, sometimes we end up giving thoughtless gifts. Find time to involve your entire family in gift-giving and wrapping. For this year, we used our Christmas family picture as gift tags. You may also opt to go for simple wrappers like what we did with Manila paper, made special with yarn and our family picture.

Do More with Less – Host Purposeful Celebrations

We do not usually throw big parties as a family and so when we host a celebration, expect to see touches of love that speaks to everyone we know in a personal way. Christmas Breakfast with fellow couples from our spiritual family was made more meaningful with sharing encouragement from around the table, over food! Christmas dinner with all of our wedding inaanaks was also made special as each couple highlighted their marriage/life verse on our Bible at home. And of course, we will never forget our Sofia’s birthday celebration involving our friends and family to prepare and celebrate with us. The goal is to drive what needs to be celebrated at each time.

Even the Christmas tree and decorations do not need to break the bank. For this year, we used Christmas message cards we have received and repurposed them as colorful tree ornaments. This way we get to save the personalized messages we received while keeping them in time for next year’s tree. Also, don’t feel the need to decorate too much. Having four kids at home, it helps to just choose a spot or a nook to decorate, rather than to cram the house with too many Christmas decors.

However you want to celebrate, it is our prayer that your Christmas be filled with lasting memories that you can build with your family. Merry Christmas!

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This blog post is in support of the #DoMoreWithLess advocacy led by Electrolux Philippines.

Watch your Favorite Disney Stars LIVE in Disney On Ice

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You have read about our excitement to watch 2015 Disney on Ice. By now, I am sure you would have known why watching Disney on Ice has become part of our Christmas traditions. Of course, my kids have been rooting for different Disney characters each year. All the rave still go to the Frozen cast, Princesses Elsa and Anna. My boys have all the lines memorized for Kristoff and Olaf!

Kids are ecstatic when they realized that the touring show that enchanted audiences from across the globe is back with yet again another exciting run of Disney On Ice at the Big Dome.

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Starting December 25 until January 3, Disney On Ice presents Magical Ice Festival will feature magical moments from across the kingdom with a superstar lineup of Disney royalty.

See your favorite Disney characters from The Little Mermaid, Tangled, Beauty and the Beast, and for the first time ever – the Academy Award® winning and number one animated film of all time Frozen.

“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.

Expect a spectacular production filled with adventurous and comical segments shared by well-loved Disney princesses Ariel, Rapunzel, Belle, and never-before-seen characters Anna and Elsa!

“We are taking a fresh new spin on how we’re presenting the Disney stories. We are weaving together the four worlds of royal sisters Anna and Elsa, Ariel, Belle and Rapunzel as they each embark on their own epic journey,” says Producer Juliette Feld.

Sing and dance to popular Disney tunes with interactive and playful segments for kids to be led by Disney superstars Mickey and Minnie.

Also join Anna as she fearlessly sets off on an epic journey, together with Kristoff and reindeer Sven, to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in perpetual winter.

Dazzling costume designs, spectacular set elements, and jaw-dropping stunts are also what make this year’s show even more exhilarating.

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.

Produced by Feld Entertainment, Disney On Ice presents Magical Ice Festival features an astounding display of creativity and talent, with spellbinding Disney stories we have all come to enjoy and love! Buy your tickets early and visit TicketNet website or call 911-5555 for more details.

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Taking Gifting to the Next Level

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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.

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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).

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Christmas Traditions calendar, each bag contains a picture of a Christmas family activity we have agreed to do from December 1 to 24: e.g. watching Ayala lights and sounds show, Christmas family devotionals, Christmas game and crafts night, etc.
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Christmas tradition : Pajama nights served with bibingka and hot choco, enjoyed over watching a movie that kids have chosen to watch together at home.
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Christmas Traditions calendar, each bag contains a picture of a Christmas family activity we have agreed to do from December 1 to 24: e.g. watching Ayala lights and sounds show, Christmas family devotionals, Christmas game and crafts night, etc.
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Christmas tradition: family portrait taken yearly, which we also use as Christmas cards to go with the gifts from kids.

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.

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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.

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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.

Listen to this Author’s Podcast here

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