Sunday, December 30, 2007

our CHRISTmas merriment

the past holiday was filled with all sorts of revelry from left to right. the 24th December was action-packed - yours truly was busy keeping the apartment clutter-free, while our kitchen brimmed with enthusiastic cooks. bessie Beth made her famous pork ribs recipe, while hubby tinkered with the oven to create a delightful and tasty carrot cake for our dessert later that evening. this was our Christmas menu, which we served to our friends who came over:

Potato Marbles with home-made Garlic Dip
Garlic Butter Shrimps
Buttered mixed vegetables
Lumpiang Shanghai (courtesy of Ryan’s “ates” at work)

Main Course:
Rib eye steak
Baked Carbonara
Pork ribs ala Beth

Carrot cake

we also served some sparkling juice and flavored wine to go with our meal. our friends didn’t seem to mind the food we dished up ‘coz they couldn’t stop complimenting the steak and the freshly baked carrot cake that hubby prepared. they said the pasta was excellent, too, and that totally made all the efforts i did pay off (ehem…thank you!). after our meal, we handed out presents to our guests and had a few photo ops. thereafter, we watched “Stardust” till 3:00 am with a bag of chips at hand along with a big bottle of cola.

it was a lovely Christmas eve dinner with friends in our modest home. we commemorated Jesus Christ’s birthday in our own little way, and despite being away from our families, we got by through seeing friends and offering a place to celebrate. we didn’t have a grand feast, but it was a memorable Christmas eve for Ryan & i…our very first Christmas as hubby and wife in our own home. not only was it memorable, it was also filled with surprises. during the preparations, i think around 5:00-ish, delivery guys from Al Futtaim came to our doorstep to hand over our new automatic washing machine. our “kuya”, who’s away on holiday in Manila, arranged to send our present on the day of the Christmas eve. remember i have long wanted a new one, but couldn’t because i have to get rid of the old one first? well, there it was…installed a few hours before midnight. yippee!

come 25th December, we woke up to a bright Christmas morning and excitedly opened our presents. hubby got me a dandy pair of diamond earrings while i gifted him with an Omega Speedmaster chrono watch. what great gifts we got from one another! sweet!

Ryan & his time keeper

Gracie & her new sparklers

a little after 10:00 am, we eagerly prepared for the day’s schedule. we dropped off Beth to work and went to see our friend Hazel at her parents’ house. we distributed the gifts to her and her little toddler Klyde, and afterwards, went to meet Ryan’s colleagues at the Christmas lunch held at their boss’s place in Um Suqeim. it was an opportunity for me to meet his co-workers who were all surprised to see him with the “wife”. since we arrived, hubby was teased incessantly! :D

the atmosphere of the villa was very welcoming. everyone was just coolly sitting in the yard, each with a glass of wine on hand, chatting away and cheerfully greeting newcomers as they turn up. i love their place primarily because of the spacious area they have where their dogs could just run around and play. i think they have 5 pet dogs who were all so cute and endearing. while having lunch, they were coyly watching us, and at one point, i could not resist feeding them with ham. (tsk, tsk…bad girl!)

we left the gathering just before dusk in time to see my cousins down in Sheikh Zayed Road. all of us Diolazo cousins were not able to make it home this Christmas, so we decided to get together to celebrate. unfortunately, Arnie couldn’t join us that night. in any case, all 3 of us – Vox, Sarj, and myself, plus our respective hubbies Mark & Ryan, and our dear friend Beth – proceeded with our Christmas dinner plans and had the traditional exchange gift-giving ritual. it was a riot while we were trying to draw the lucky names of our recipients…and to think there were only 6 of us present!

Sarj’s pad was filled with rowdy noise as we rolled with laughter from our antics, and gleefully posed for pictures next to the Christmas tree. just a few weeks before Christmas, i was feeling miserable for not celebrating this festive season with our families back home. now that i realize how wonderful it can still be even in the absence of the familiar sights and smell of the Pinoy pasko. i guess as long as the true meaning of Christmas is in your heart, you’ll never feel lonely. and as long as you are Filipino by heart, you will know and cherish what Christmas is all about even if you’re thousands of miles away from home.

note: for more pictures, please visit here.

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