Reunions, Christmas edition (and some side stories)

This is always the event of the year for me and my family.

Every year, my relatives from my mother’s side gather together for one big Christmas party. And when I say big, I mean big. As in we almost can’t fit in our house now (which is always the party venue).

The event was made bigger by the presence of the matriarch, my grandma, who came from Canada and is staying over at my parent’s house (she’s been here since my wedding month). 34 members (not counting the 2 families who are in Cebu and Canada) of the Varquez family are packed in one small bungalow. My cousin calls us the “Corleones,” haha!

I always look forward to our Christmas parties every year. Aside from the usual gift giving, my uncle introduced a game last year called White Elephant. It’s the “exchange gift with a twist” where you can steal someone else’s gift if you didn’t like what you got. That was one of the fun parts of the day.

But of course, what’s more enjoyable was the company of relatives who know how to have fun. A pre-requisite of being part of the family was to “perform” in front of all your uncles, aunts, and cousins. You can either sing, dance, or recite a poem (even a prayer you learned in school) and you get to have a “prize.” I remember when we were kids, we really made sure to prepare for stuff like this, thinking that it’s a contest and we get to have a reward after the performances. Heck, during the 80’s, it was already a big deal to get a 5-peso bill from each of your aunts and uncles just for dancing to JJ Fad…

Of course, that era is long gone, and the torch has been passed to my grandma’s great grandchildren. But just the same, we grandkids still make sure we get into the fun of things. 🙂

These are just some of the things that truly make me happy. I hope this tradition lasts until I have my own great grandchildren.

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I just had an observation during the Christmas party: people seem to be excited over me being pregnant.

Not that I’m complaining, it’s just that I haven’t seen my relatives this excited about it. Asking me how many months, am I craving for anything, or them touching my belly. Even my grandma and mom were too concerned that they got me first in line in the buffet table.

I guess it’s just weird that I’m suddenly in the center of attention, which doesn’t happen everyday.

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During the Christmas party at home, I also had a chance to notice two of my nephews who are already 2-year olds.

The first one, who celebrated his birthday about 4-5 months ago, was able to converse with my sister in Filipino. And believe me, it was not just a simple yes/no conversation. She was like interviewing him for 30 minutes, and he would answer in complete sentences (clinking his glass with hers and saying “Cheers!” on intervals). He even knew to keep the candies in his pockets (with a little grin painted on his face as he was doing it).

The other boy, who became 2 years old just last month, is still in the “baby talk” stage. The audible words we heard from him are “Aaah!” “Goo!” and “Gaa!” He still cannot express himself in exact words, and you can’t call his attention just by saying his name. But he can do high-fives and imitate what you do.

This disparity caused a bit of alarm to my sister, who is a Psychology graduate. She said that the second kid should be taken to a doctor to see if his development is just delayed, or there is something “wrong.”

I’m still not sure about this, I would need to research on this stuff. But at least this early, we know that hubby and I should be engaged in our baby’s learning process at the onset. And we won’t be doing the “baby talk” with him.

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This may be my last blog post for the year. I have a feeling I won’t have any Internet access over the Holidays. So from me to you, Happy Holidays and let’s hope next year won’t be as bad as we think it will be. See you on 2009 and have a Merry Christmas! 😀

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