Monday, December 21, 2015

2015 Advent Calendar Blog Hop - Day 21

Welcome, dear bloggers, to my first ever hop participation! Fresh from celebrating my first blogaversary this month, I decided to take the plunge (I actually planned to join one next year as part of my 2016 goals, but I’m just too excited to be part of Jo’s Advent Calendar fun, and I was given a 3-week head start, thanks Jo:)

We were asked how we celebrate Christmas Eve. When I was young, it was spent cooking the whole day. We grew up in a neighborhood where everyone knows everyone, parents worked in the same government office and kids went to almost the same schools. To me, I think each mom eagerly waited for this day to cook their special recipes. A close-to-midnight mass is held at our village chapel (this is a good time to sneak in those gifts for the little ones by whoever is left at home). After mass, we would gather around the table and eat, then open gifts (or vice versa, haha). It is not unfamiliar that you hear someone at your gate at this late hour, one by one, neighbors bringing a helping of their sumptuous cooking, it’s like a gift exchange of food, so you get to taste every neighbor’s feast! And that’s why you also have to cook a lot, lol.

Fast forward to the married me. Christmas eve was spent at the in-laws’ (New Year’s at my parents’). My father-in-law (rest his soul) was head of the kitchen while ladies did the groceries, decorations, gift shopping and wrapping. Christmas morning after hearing mass, relatives and neighbors start pouring in. Nieces, nephews, godchildren all come visit in one day, sometimes they come straight from the midnight mass. So many relatives on hubby’s side. I think he’s got 15 godchildren, while each his sisters have 25 something. It is customary in our culture to give presents to your godchildren (plus their siblings in tow, if you can) on Christmas day. So you better be done wrapping presents on the 24th.

Since migrating here in the US, Christmas is now spent much quieter. The 24th is marked with calls to our families back home where Christmas comes earlier by almost half a day. Depends too if it’s my off-day for the year. This year I’m on-call, so me and DH have to stay home eve and Christmas day, otherwise the 25th is spent with my sister and her family playing boardgames the entire morning because nobody wants to accept defeat (last year's game was Cranium).

Okay, after that newbie's long story, let me make up for it with Christmas stitchy goodies (you can click on the design title to see my finish post):
from Cross Country Stitching Magazine
Finished March 2015
This is part of the magazine's Christmas Houses series. I plan to stitch "Peace" next year (I don't have the 2 other issues - Hope and Faith). I used beads instead of french knots on the wreath. 
from Wit and Wisdom by Joan Elliott
Finished February 2015
These were actually meant to be ornaments, but I'm still reluctant to try. I just recently started framing :) I'm bringing this one to work today.
by Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
Finished August 2015
Part of the birthday haul, I'm guilty of making a lot of color changes to suit the glittery fabric. Despite all the frogging, I enjoyed this cute and charming design tremendously:) 
Reindeer Games
by Country Cottage Needleworks
Finished December 2015
A result of impeccable timing, I just finished all that twinkling snow last week! I replaced the white with gold for the trimming on the tree, Light Effects for the silvery snowflakes and white snow, I didn't bother stitching the border.
I'm still in the mood for Christmas stitching, I started a small one which will be a secret for now. 
I hope you enjoyed your hop today and please continue to do so, Jo of Serendipitous Stitching has organized a team of wonderful stitchers and crafters to bring us these presents everyday. Have a blessed Christmas everyone:)  

Thanks for visiting. Happy Stitching!


  1. Nice to read about your Christmas tradition and loved seeing your stitched projects:)

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your Christmas traditions, and seeing your lovely Christmas projects. Well done! Have s hapoy Christmas - and I hope you don't get called in to work.

  3. Congrats everything looks great! Your stitching is lovely and your finishing looks amazing! Your Christmas sounds fun thanks for sharing :) Have a great Christmas!

  4. Thanks for taking part in the Advent Calendar Blog Hop for the very first time! I hope you will be a regular for all my blog hops next year.
    I loved all your Christmas stitching so I made a little collage for the Calendar post to include all four. The Black sampler is just stunning, the colours really pop.
    Your childhood Christmas Eves sound very busy and great fun, as do your newly-wed celebrations with all those children!
    I am sure things are a little less hectic now but just as much fun with your sister's family.

  5. What a wonderful collection of Christmas stitching! Love them all. The "Houses of Love" is so bright and eye-catching! I enjoyed reading about you traditions as well. Merry Christmas!

  6. So great to see all your lovely Christmas pieces that you finished. They are all very special and of different styles. And very interesting to read about your Christmas Eve traditions when you were a child. Very nice blog hop post.

  7. Loved reading all about you. What country did you come from?
    Your stitching makes your home look fantastic!
    Reindeer Games looks great all framed up!

  8. What a lovely post!
    Great to read about how you spend your Christmas.
    Fantastic stitching as always.

  9. So glad to see you joined in the blog hop. I've always enjoyed Jo's blog hops. Hope to see you join in future ones too. Love all your finishes! Your framing is just gorgeous. Loved hearing your traditions. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

  10. Congrats on all of the beautiful finishes.


  11. What beautiful stitching! I enjoyed watching you stitch Reindeer Games so it was nice to see it framed just in time!
    Your traditions sound very busy! I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.

  12. A lovely post and beautiful stitching. I liked reading about your Christmas Eves past and present.Merry Christmas

  13. You have so much beautiful Christmas stitching. Like you, I frame most of my stitching. Finishing is a bit of a pain to me. I like the stitching.

  14. Loved your story of family traditions!
    Fabulous stitching!

  15. Beautiful family traditions when you were growing up! I bet you miss it; I know I would! All of your stitching is gorgeous and it is hard to decide which one is my favorite. You do fantastic framing also. Merry Christmas to you and your DH!

  16. Beautiful stitching and I enjoyed reading about your Christmas traditions. Wishing you a Merry Christmas.

  17. Merry Xmas greetings from us! Love following all your stitching adventures:))

  18. What beautiful stitching! Happy Christmas

  19. I just LOVE reindeer games- I'd love to stitch it some time! As usual I love the way you have changed the chart to suit you:) I'm really looking forward to following your stitching next year

  20. Sounds like a wonderful place to grow up, what great memories! All of your stitching is lovely, I especially like the Reindeer Games.
    Happy New Year!