STORY: Christmas Rush

The day before Christmas was jam packed from morning until night. Let me share how my day (and night) went down.

I woke up early this day (Woah! Yes you heard that right). Jose told me that he'd pick me up at around 8am since he wanted to pass by his lolo at Manila Memorial before we get started with our Christmas shopping. While getting ready, my grandmother Nene was also up preparing herself some coffee. She lives in Paranque and decided to spend Christmas eve with us so she was dropped off at our house the other day. Anyways, after I took my bath she asked me where I was going. When I told her it was to Manila Memorial she asked if we could drop her off at her house in Paranaque so she could get her insulin. Since I figured it wasn't far off from Jose and I's destination, we could drive her there easy. After a few minutes, Jose knocked on our door and next thing you know, we were on the highway on our way to Paranaque.

We dropped Nene off at the house before we went to Manila Memorial. We told her we would come back for her and drop her back home at Manila. 

Jose bought some flowers for his Lolo in Dangwa by the way. We placed it right in front of his tomb as we both sat in the grass. It was a beautiful sunny day so to make the most of the beautiful weather, I asked Jose to take photos of me. Thank God he agreed to do so today (since he usually gets irritated when I nag him about taking photos which is pretty ironic since he keeps buying cameras! If he ain't going to take photos what will all those expensive cameras be for? He should be thanking me then. His money didn't go to total waste because of me. Hihi)

Rest in peace, Lolo. To this day I feel weird calling his lolo, lolo. I have always called his lolo, lolo ni Jose. But this day, I asked Jose if its okay that I call his grandfather- Lolo and he said it was okay. 
The flowers Jose bought.
From this point, please forgive me for being vain and posting all my photos. There is just so much of them what am I supposed to do with it? Haha. :)

No make up yet. I was way too early to get all prettified.
My hair was going out of control again so its my scrunchie to the rescue!
I asked Jose to catch my hair moving in the photo... and he achieved it after a few takes.

Playing with the focus of his camera
My boy lollipop finally agreed to smile for a solo photo! :)
Its cool how this shot doesn't even have our faces yet is so us all the same.
We stayed at Manila Memorial for about 30 minutes then headed back to pick up Nene. We bought breakfast for Nene at a Jollibee drive thru on the way. We were able to drop her off at Manila at about 1030 am (which means we were way behind schedule already!)

We headed off to SM North Edsa to get started on our Christmas Shopping. Every year I insist that we buy gifts for both our families but Jose resists every time. In my family, Christmas just isn't Christmas without the gifts. It doesn't matter if its a simple key chain or something expensive, what matters is that you make the people in your life know that they are worth finding a present for. Actually, my mom instilled this attitude in me for all occasions. I never go to a birthday or a wedding empty handed. I always, always must give a gift. Its one of the few selfless acts I do in my life and I don't plan to lose that habit ever.

Anyways, every year after I get Jose to agree with my yearly habit, we start shopping. We usually start around November, buying stuff little by little (this year, we bought ALL the presents on the 24th! I was just way too busy with thesis to get started early!) We would then hide all the stuff in Jose's bedroom (since no one really goes there!) and wait until Christmas eve to wrap them all. For Jose's family, we would pile all the gifts on their dinner table and leave the house. We'd just let his family members see the gifts then open it when they do. For my family, we do our own ritual of handing everyone their gifts one by one with matching picture.

So, back to the shopping. We would usually share the bill 50-50 on all the items we buy for our families then just place both our names on the cards (which we personally print every year with a different design). But this year, I was running real low on budget. The only money I've saved up was for Jose's gift which made me really worry how we were going to survive this year's shopping. Of course Jose was willing to pay for everything but that wouldn't feel right. Thank God Jose was able to snag some gift certificates which we used to buy all the gifts for our siblings plus his niece (which is the newest and cutest addition to our list). That way I didn't feel bad since I didn't burden Jose with a lot to pay for. With my strict budgeting and determination to go through every aisle, we only went P300.00 over the gift certificates! Amazing, huh? :) But of course my 3 hour speed shopping was not without a lot of complaints from Jose. When I would find difficulty looking for a gift for someone (from his family) he'd suggest that I shouldn't buy a gift for that person anymore since they (his family) don't give gifts to each other anyway. I would get pissed with his remark then he'd get pissed at me. Then we'd just both be pissed. Good thing he said sorry so I was able to go back to the shopping. 

Before we headed home, we bought some KFC snack boxes for take out plus a bucket of fries. We gobbled on the food on our way home. Its safe to assume that we were dead tired and hungry from all the shopping (and did I mention that the mall was jam packed with fellow last minute shoppers?)

As soon as we got to Jose's house, I started wrapping the gifts. It was already 4pm and I had to be home by 630pm since my family and I were attending mass together. Of course, Jose was no help since he doesn't know how to wrap presents. He did print the cards and cut them out though. Plus he took this picture of me wrapping (which I asked him to do).

The presents, all wrapped up!
Jose testing the camera before he put it on timer.
Every year we take a picture with all the gifts we bought...
... but this year, we had two new additions to our annual portrait.
Hello Tracy & Sam! Sorry for squishing you guys! Haha. :)
These dogs have been part of our relationship and we love them both so much.
Fail shot!
Gifts for Jose's family on their dining table (where we always leave the gifts!)
Gifts for my family! The Zara paper bag is for me from Jose and the Collezione bag is for Jose from me.
Since this has been a very long post, I decided to cut it into two. Read Part 2 here.

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