Christmas 2015 recap

Christmas Eve 2015 The Yuans


p style=”text-align: center;”>Last year there were a lot of photos of the scrumptious feast we ate over the two days of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This year it was all about these two little munchkins!Christmas Day morning 2015He loves her so much. We all do.
Christmas tree 2015So excited on Christmas morning to rip open all that wrapping paper!
Hannah's first Christmas happy 2015Warming up to the camera. Her smile is priceless.Christmas 2015 familyOur little family – 2015 ūüôā

10 Things We Love About Christmas

1) Solitude & reflection time – the nine days leading up to Christmas is where we attend the Filipino tradition of Simbang Gabi (Dawn Mass). In the early hours of the morning hundreds of us wake up to greet the new day and prepare for Christmas. This year with an active preschooler and newborn, I enjoyed the morning silence adorned with Christmas carols and hymns and of course a traditional Filipino breakfast for the masses! It was my me time and it was beautiful.

2) Driving around seeing houses decorated brightly with Christmas lights, or more so the look of sheer joy on Daniel’s face!

3) Christmas in the city – Melbourne really embraced Christmas this year and we loved it! It was like going on a big treasure hunt for Christmas lights and deocrations

4) Christmas tree and decorations around the home always make it feel so festive. I normally put up the tree in late October just before Daniel’s birthday so that we can enjoy the season much longer! This is nothing compared to the decorations that are up in September in the Philippines…now that’s a bit early. Over the past few years instead of collecting souvenirs from places we’ve been to, I’ve tried looking for Christmas decorations. So for example, when I went on a girls trip to the U.S.A I got some Christmas decorations from the different cities we went to! So even though the decorations don’t match, every year when we put them up we are reminded of all the wonderful places of the world.

5) Carols & music – When I hear the songs by Jackson 5 and Boney M, it always me reminds of Christmas as a little girl as mum used to always have her Christmas selection playing while we set up our tree. Hearing the more traditional Christmas carols, on the other hand, always reminds me of high school and singing in the choir. We sang “Joy To The World” in one of the choir competitions and blew everyone away, taking home the first place trophy. I loved singing in the small but elegant church in Williamstown with my high school friends. Music is bliss.

6) The uplifting mood – everyone always seems a lot merrier during this time of year and I always seem to end up conversing a lot more with strangers at the shops! I guess you could also choose to see what you want to see (I also so a bit of road rage in the carparks – calm down people!). I also love getting mail that isn’t a bill! Christmas cards with little notes to say “hi and thinking of you” are so thoughtful.

7) Santa – I hadn’t really paid much attention to Santa at the shopping centres, but this year it was different. It was sooooo cute seeing Daniel excitedly run up to every Santa he saw while we were out. He’d start chattering away in his little voice asking for a “Northern Nightmare monster truck and the school bus monster truck” hahahah! Poor Santas. Thanks for patiently listening to him and filling his stocking with them this year!

8) Time 0ff and being at home – Who doesn’t love a good holiday and time to relax whilst feasting on delicious home made treats. We love gingerbread men and this year I made my first trifle! It was also the first year I didn’t eat any Christmas ham…

9) Kris Kringle & presents – This year being three years old , Daniel was really aware and excited about all the presents – both getting them (especially all the monster trucks) and also handing them out. He made for a very happy little Santa at our family Christmas party handing everyone their presents! We also made sure we gathered up some nice toys and things to give to St Vinnie’s. I think next year we’ll also send a huge box of goodies to those in need in the Philippines.

10) Sharing a meal – Christmas Eve is always dinner with my family on my mum’s side, Christmas Day is lunch with the hubby’s side and Christmas Day dinner is with my grandma on my dad’s side. Daniel is so fortunate to have two great grandmothers to visit. It sounds a little hectic but there’s nothing like sharing a meal with those who are there for you no matter what.

What were some of the things you loved about Christmas this year?

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas this year and let’s ring in the New Year with joy and kindness.


32 things to see in Melbourne City this Christmas – 2015

Hot air ballooning Melbourne

Christmas time in Melbourne

From beautiful weddings to Christmas decorations, this weekend we could definitely tell that December was just around the corner. The city of Melbourne really brought it this weekend – the weather was just right and everywhere we turned there was something bright and cheery.

We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne over to attend a wedding of a dear family friend and ended up having an awesome adventure in the city as well! Daniel was so happy (except for the little time we spent in H&M trying to buy him some clothes, he was crying so loud wanting to get out of the store – must’ve been too crowded for him!).

Melbourne public transportDaniel here excited to be catching a tram right outside our hotel!

It’s not often you can be a tourist in your own city and I think this festive season is the perfect time! There were so many things to do and see and lots of them free! Here are some of the things we saw last weekend –¬†it felt¬†like we were on a huge scavenger hunt looking for different Christmas items around the Melbourne!

1. Christmas Square in the City Square РSwanston StreetCity Square Christmas 2015

Just down the road from our hotel was the City Square.¬†A giant Christmas tree, daily visits from Santa and plenty more activities. A nice open area in the middle of the city for kids to let off some steam after being dragged around shopping! ūüôā
Melbourne City Square Christmas 2015
The magical Christmas forest on Swanston street’s City Square

2. Melbourne Town HallMelbourne Town Hall projectionsMelbourne Town HallThe majestic Melbourne Town Hall. When the sun goes down you can see amazing projections on its facade. We loved watching them last year! Рa must-see during this Christmas season from 9pm each night!

Also, starting today the great Gingerbread Village¬†display is back with new scenes added! A gold coin donation is all you need to get in and all proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.¬†Gingerbread Village 2015Photo courtesy of Gingerbread Village, EpicureCafe L'Incontro Swanston street Melbourne¬†We stopped by Cafe L’Incontro for some brekkie before continuing on to see more Christmas sights

3. Bourke Street Mall  
Bourke st Mall Melbourne
Bourke street Mall decorated with the season’s festive colors¬†and the long lines for the Myer windows.

These¬†colorful¬†Myer windows are now in their 60th season and this year showcases a tribute to the children’s book Little Dog and the Christmas Wish. The animated displays this year include some of Melbourne’s iconic sights such as Flinders Street station and the Block arcade. The detail in each scene is impeccable after requiring more than 17,000 hours of work.

You can view the windows from 7.30am-1am each day until January 6th 2016.

4. The Lego Christmas Tree in Fed Square

IMG_7697 IMG_7693

How amazing does this pixelated tree look! The Lego Christmas tree in Fed Square weighs 3.5 tonnes and took more than 1,200 hours to build! Look out for a few Aussie touches such as the cricket playing elf and the mischievous kookaburras!

You can even build your own Lego Christmas tree decorations to take home and other Christmas activities in Fed Square until December 27th 2015!

IMG_7695IMG_7696This Lego tree in Fed Square was just awesome!
IMG_7712It felt like there were Christmas decorations everywhere – brilliant!

5. Markit@Fed Square
Fed Square Markit

IMG_7714The Markit@Fed Square happened to be on this past weekend too Рit is held twice a year in May and November! Loads of gorgeous things designed and made by local artists. 

Don’t worry if you missed out on this November’s Markit! – The Big Design Market is on this week from the 4th until the 6th of December at the Royal Exhibition Building. Shop exquisite and unique gifts for you loved ones just in time for Christmas. Check out what we purchased at last year’s Big Design Market¬†– we bought a heap of cute jewelry from Aacute!

6. Good Food Month’s Night Noodle Market – Birrarung Marr

Watermelon cake and fried mushrooms from Wonderbao

It was final weekend of the Night Noodle Markets at Birrarung Marr just a short walk from Flinders Street Station behind Fed Square. The markets were just one of the events held in November as part of Good Food Month (we were also at the Brisbane¬†event¬†in August). This year there were 3 different sections that we found a bit hard to navigate as¬†we couldn’t get hold of any map to find the stalls we were looking for.

Luckily we walked over to the stalls just before the lines started to expand to intolerable lengths (an active three year old is not a very patient line-dweller!). We didn’t have to wait long at all and also easily found tables and chairs. My favourite out of all the things we ate was the Bombay Spider Crab taco. The hubby and I had been to Mr Miyagi for my birthday early this year and loved it so we just had to try their tacos at this year’s markets!

If you like the foodie festival type of atmosphere then you can find food, music and drinks at the weekly Night Market each Wednesday at the Queen Victoria Market from 5-10pm.

City of Melbourne council Christmas decorationsCity of Melbourne tourism map of Christmas decorations

When we arrived home on Sunday night look what we found in the mail! A Christmas Festival event guide from the City of Melbourne council. Complete with an illustrated map pointing out 32 locations of Christmas decorations this year! РI want to walk over the Mistletoe Kissing Bridge, meet you there!?

If you didn’t get yours in the mail you can find all the information here.

Merry Christmas everyone! Happy first of December!