We’re thirteen hours ahead of Eastern time, so it’s Christmas morning here in Cebu. We attended the Christmas vigil Mass at Our Lady of the Rule in Lapu-Lapu City, followed by a family gathering at Oma’s parents’ house.
Oma’s mom, Amy, prepared a wonderful Filipino Christmas meal…she cooked all day long. We ate soon after returning from Mass.
We also enjoyed a visit from some local Christmas carolers, who go from house to house to sing for a few pesos. We only had a single group stop by, but I’m told that many times you’ll get a visit from a few groups of these carolers on Christmas eve.
At midnight all the neighbors went crazy shooting off fireworks and it was time for the children to open their presents. Gift exchange at Christmas is not emphasized in the Philippines, so the kids don’t get much. However, it’s a law that Poppy and Grandma must spoil them, so they each received 4 gifts from us. Both Liam and Amaya got an Angry Birds shirt (Liam is really good at this game), a foot-powered scooter, and an art kit containing crayons, colored pencils, markers and paint. Liam also scored a remote controlled car and Amaya got a doll set with a little stroller and some dress-up clothes.
They sure did enjoy opening these gifts…almost as much as MaryAnn (Yaya’s daughter) enjoyed helping Amaya open them. We also gave MaryAnn a bag full of toiletries from the hotels, some painting supplies and drawing paper, hair accessories and stationary. Christine also knotted a few strands of tinsel into her hair. Amy was so impressed with the tinsel that she says she plans to start a business selling this product to the hair salons. Christine will act as her US exporter. 🙂