Dec 28, 2007

Christmas At Home

Christmas Morning at the Maycocks (Wow, I just noticed we've got quite a profusion of tropical beauty right outside our window!)

For Thanksgiving, as you know, we pull out all the stops. But when Christmas rolls around, the perfect celebration for Babs and I is a low-key one. Some of you will remember how hectic last year's Christmas Day was, with the multiple social engagements throughout the day and the inconvenient power outage. Well, this year we had the Christmas we love--up late on Christmas Eve, getting up late on Christmas morning and snacking on beefstick, cheese & tricuits (our traditional Christmas morning breakfast for several years now), opening stockings full of each other's favorite candies, bottled drinks, and magazines for leisure browsing later in the day, and then opening gifts together. While Thanksgiving is all about dressing the house up to the nines, Christmas is all about a comfortable disorder--crumpled wrapping paper and new gifts that stay on the living room floor all throughout Christmas day (and sometimes the next day too!). We stay in our pajamas until late in the afternoon, curled up on the couches reading our Christmas day "guilty pleasures"--Glamour or People for Babs and Esquire or GQ for me--and napping when the mood strikes.

When we're in the mood for some "real" food, around mid-afternoon we make up a few Christmas dinner favorites--a green bean casserole and another Maycock tradition, Holiday Chicken (vegetarian Tender Bits battered and deep fried, marinated in a cranberry and Russian dressing sauce and baked in the oven). We leave the complete, multiple-entree and side dish with dessert feasting for Thanksgiving. On Christmas, we eat whatever we feel like eating.

We call up the folks back on the Mainland and chat for awhile. We miss them, of course, but Babs and I have been sharing Christmas, just the two of us, for a long time now. We're used to it.

Finally, as the sun disappears at the end of another Christmas day, we finally leave the house for the church Christmas party, feeling rested, relaxed, and grateful for another quiet Christmas at home.

I hope your Christmas was as special to you, as our was to us! Happy Holidays everyone!

Me 'n Babs: Christmas Eve, 2007

I have to admit, Babs and I are pretty big on tradition when it comes to Christmas--the foods we eat, the music we listen to, and our little seasonal rituals, among them Christmas Eve at the Paez's. If I recall our first Christmas Eve with Carol Paez and her clan would have been six years ago, and we've been there for every Christmas Eve ever since. As always, it was leisurely, fun, and memorable, just like any holiday gathering with some of your dearest friends in the world should be.

Carol and Babs, Christmas Eve, 2007

Keisha Paez, home from college, with her fella.

This Paez, I refer to as "The Photographer"--he takes some really great pictures.

Some of the Paezes and guests play with sparklers on the porch of the Paez house.

Carol is big on games and it seems like every year she's got a brand new one for us to play. I can't remember the name of this one but it's basically like charades but you have to use the props that come with the game to get people to guess different words or phrases related to a given topic. It was a LOT of fun. Here one of the guests handles the props as she tries to get her team to guess. . .well, something.

Christmas morning mess at the Maycocks

On the phone with Mom on Christmas Day

Frying up the holiday "chicken"

Veronyka with a bunch of church kids at the annual church Christmas party. I believe the kids are supposed to be red-nosed reindeer.

These unexpected guests showed up at the Christmas party at the church, perhaps looking for their owners, the Piersons, who are gone on vacation. That's Tasi with Babs on the left and below are Tasi and Jelli.

The day after Christmas, Babs and I had a tasty Mexican lunch at Tijuanas with two former students, Aya, who is in Saipan for a week visiting friends (she's living in Hawaii now where she's in her junior year in the social work program at Hawaii Pacific Univeristy) and her former classmate, Myla who is working here on Saipan. From L to R, above, Aya, Myla, Babs, Me and Derek (Myla's boyfriend).

Babs and Aya

New Teachers! We've started a special winter school for ESL students visiting from Korea. Students will come and go for the next three months to study English while on vacation from their regular schools in Korea. Due to the large number of students this year, our winter students will be meeting at the church instead of our campus and will be taught by teachers hired specially for the winter school. Here are the first two, Antonee and Girlie. They arrived last Sabbath afternoon and began teaching the day after Christmas. From what I hear, they're doing a great job.

Kettle Brand Chips. The best chips ever!

So Babs and I were in the grocery store the other day and I saw these chips sitting on an endcap. The flavors looked interesting, the packaging was very eco-cool and organic-y, and I made an impulse buy, snatching up a bag of Black Pepper and Sea Salt flavored chips. Babs and I finished an entire bag in the time it takes to drive from the grocery store back to our house (less than 10 minutes!). I normally don't care one way or the other for potato chips, but these are GOOOOD! I bought Babs a bag of Sea Salt & Vinegar for her stocking, she bought the same for me, and I picked up an extra bag of Tuscan Three Cheese as well. We haven't opened these bags yet. . .we're planning to take them with us to the Mandi next week, but you can rest assured that once they're opened, they won't last long.

So look for Kettle Brand chips at your local grocer--I'm willing to bet you'll agree with me that they are the best chips ever! (They should pay me for advertising their product, don't you think?)


Mai said...

Sounds like you are having a lovely Christmas vacation! I enjoyed looking at all the pictures that you put up - it made me miss all the people and places in Saipan!

Beverly said...

Yay! New teachers! Happy that you guys are enjoying quiet time together. You guys deserve given that your schedule seems pretty hectic! I missed your cookie treats this year=( Oh, and i love black pepper kettle popcorn. Happy holidays maycocks!

Whimsy Peddler said...

Sean! I miss you! So much is happening at home, it will be fun to run and jump back into the swing of things. I am in love with the people and places we've probably guessed I would be. It is a blessing to be here! I went to Laus...are you proud? Anyway, your Christmas sounds like the perfect combo of laid back meets tradition. Maybe I'll try that next year.

Peace out Friend! See you!

the Purpose said...

When you described your Christmas morning, I smiled. It sounded like the perfect Christmas morning for Sean and Barb. I'm glad you had such a great day. You deserve it and many, many more.