Binondo Church, Manila Philippines, Photo by JMorton
Simbang Gabi (Philippine Christmas Tradition)
Puto Bungbong, Photo by Bless Mercado
Bibingka, Photo by Bless Mercado
Simband Gabi is a tradition of the Roman Catholics of the the Philippines. It is going to church to attend mass from midnight or early hours in the morning.
This mass at dawn is a nine-day devotional religious and cultural tradition which starts on 16 December and ending on the 24th of December. These series of masses herald the coming of Christmas as well as a homage to the Virgin Mary.
After the mass, people are entised by the smell of freshly clay-oven baked bibingka and puto bungbong, washed down by salabat (ginger tea).
Simbang gabi is still popularly practise to these days.
Decor on Sale at John Lewis, Iphoto by JMorton
It is December!
It is officially Christmas Season.
Give Love of Christmas.
It is the time to send Christmas cards to nearest and dearest, including to those often forgotten and overlooked relatives and acquaintances. 🙂
It is time to set up the Christmas Tree.
It is time to buy presents and gift, know your budget.
It is time to party.
It is the to visit the relatives.
And most important of all it is the time to celebrate a most spiritual Birthday of all.
Happy Birthday to our Lord, Jesus!
Christmas Arch, Photo by PH Morton
Christmas Songs, World’s Favourite
Apparently, below is a list of world’s favourite Christmas songs, is your personal choice on the list below? 🙂
50 Best Christmas songs (according to PRS for Music) in full (position, artist, year, writer)
- Fairytale of New York, The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl, 1987 Jem Finer, Shane MacGowan
- All I Want For Christmas Is You, Mariah Carey 1994 Mariah Carey, Walter Afanasieff
- Do They Know It’s Christmas? Band Aid 1984, Bob Geldof, Midge Ure
- Last Christmas, Wham! 1984 George Michael
- Santa Claus is Coming to Town Harry Reser 1934 John Fredrick Coots, Haven Gillespie
- Do You Hear What I Hear? Bing Crosby 1962 Noel Regney, Gloria Shayne
- Happy Christmas (War Is Over), John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir 1971 John Lennon, Yoko Ono
- Wonderful Christmastime, Paul McCartney 1979, Paul McCartney
- I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday, Wizzard 1973 Roy Wood
- Merry Xmas Everybody, Slade 1973, Noddy Holder, Jim Lea
- Merry Christmas Everyone, Shakin’ Stevens 1985, Bob Heatlie
- Sleigh Ride, Leroy Anderson, 1950, Leroy Anderson
- Stay Another Day, East 17, 1994 Tony Mortimer
- Driving Home For Christmas, Chris Rea, 1988, Chris Rea
- Rockin Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee, 1958, Johnny Marks
- Step Into Christmas, Elton John, 1973 Elton John, Bernie Taupin
- 2000 Miles, The Pretenders, 1983 Chrissie Hynde
- I’m Gonna Be Warm This Winter, Connie Francis / Gabriella Cilmi 1962 / 2008 Hank Hunter, Mark Barkan
- Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), Darlene Love 1963 Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, Phil Spector
- Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!, Vaughn Monroe / Dean Martin / Smokey Robinson & The Miracles 1945 / 1959 / 1963 Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne
- Stop The Calvary, Jona Lewie, 1980, Jona Lewie
- Frosty The Snowman, Gene Autry & The Cass Country Boys / Perry Como / Johnny Mathis / Kimberley Locke 1950 / 1957 / 2003 / 2007 Walter “Jack” Rollins, Steve Nelson
- White Christmas, Bing Crosby, 1942, Irving Berlin
- I Believe In Father Christmas, Greg Lake / Toyah Wilcox / Elaine Paige 1975 / 1982 / 1986 Greg Lake / Peter Sinfield
- Christmas Lights, Coldplay, 2010, Guy Berryman, Johnny Buckland, Will Champion, Chris Martin
- Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire), The Nat King Cole Trio, 1946 Mel Tormé, Bob Wells
- Thank God It’s Christmas, Queen, 1984 Brain May, Roger Taylor
- It’s The Most Wonderful Time of Year, Andy Williams 1963 Edward Pola, George Wyle
- Santa Baby, Eartha Kitt, 1953, Joahn Javits, Phillip Springer
- Christmas Wrapping, The Waitresses, 1981, Chris Butler
- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Frank Sinatra, 1957, Ralph Blanew, Hugh Martin
- Please Come Home For Christmas, Charles Brown, The Eagles, Jon Bon Jovi 1961 / 1978 / 1995 Charles Brown, Gene Redd
- Spaceman Came Travelling, Chris de Burgh, 1976, Chris de Burgh
- A Winter’s Tale, David Essex, 1982, Mike Batt / Tim Rice
- Lonely This Christmas, MUD, 1974 Nicky Chinn, Mike Chapman
- Cold December, Night Michael Bublé 2011 Michael Bublé, Alan Chang, Bob Rock
- Mistletoe And Wine, Cliff Richard, 1988, Jeremy Paul, Leslie Stewart, Keith Strachan
- Merry Christmas, Bryan Adams, 2011, Bryan Adams
- Christmas Time – Don’t Let The Bells End, The Darkness 2003 Justin Hawkins, Dan Hawkins, Frankie Poullain, Ed Graham
- Mary’s Boy Child – Oh My Lord, Boney M, 1978 Jester Hairston, Frank Farian, Fred Jay, Lorin
- Power Of Love, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, 1984 Peter Gill, Holly Johnson, Mark O’Toole
- Blue Christmas, Elvis Presley, 1957, Billy Hayes, Jay W. Johnson
- When A Child Is Born (Soleado) Johnny Mathis 1976 Ciro Dammiccom, Fred Jay
- Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, Gene Autry 1949 Johnny Marks
- Winter Wonderland, Perry Como, 1934, Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith
- I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Jimmy Boyd, 1952, Tommie Connor
- Mary’s Boy Child, Harry Belafonte, 1957, Jester Hairston
- It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, Perry Como & The Fontana Sisters 1951 Meredith Wilson
- The Little Drummer Boy, Harry Simeone Chorale 1958 Harry Simeone, K. K. Davis, Henry Onorati
- We Wish You A Merry Christmas
Additional favourite (Mine):
Kissing Bow – Romantic Christmas
Let’s make Christmas that extra more fun and I dare say romantic as well. Forget mistletoe, let’s have a kissing bow.
Making one will bring out the artistic side in you.
Add anything you want like apples, grapes, garland of ivy, tinsels, etc. You are only constraint by your imagination. Hold these together with a wire coat hanger.
Blue Peter’s John Noakes with the Advent Crown
If you are familiar with Children BBC’s Blue Peter, then a kissing bow should be a doddle.
Making a kissing bow is pretty similar with building and creating the Advent Crown.
Another thing to add to this kissing bow to highlight it are lights. Thank goodness you can have a fire-proof battery operated Christmas lights now widely available in the market for a pound or two.
Photo by JMorton
The item that would really worry me that I forgot to buy for Christmas is the battery. I remember one Christmas when I bought all these beautiful remote controlled toys for my son.
On Christmas morning, he can’t play with them because of the missing batteries. I saw how bravely he was trying to hide his disappointment but it did break my heart.
Now I always ensure that we have batteries for Christmas.
The next item is the tin foil, the aluminium wrap, to cover the turkey. Stress….
Then running out of gravy granules, that is total disaster. I like my roast swimming in gravy.
Christmas’ Forgotten List
Below is the top 10 forgotten items. Hope this will be a reminder to make Christmas painless and extra special.
Top 10 forgotten Christmas items:
4. Gift tags
5. Cranberry sauce
6. Wrapping paper
7. Pigs in blankets
Please let us know your forgotten item or items and we will add it to our list.
Ascension day is 40 days after Jesus’ resurrection. He ascends into heaven.
Jesus with a crown of thorns, photo by PH Morton
Good Friday: Crown of Thorns
According to Gospels, a woven crown of thorns was forcibly placed on Jesus head prior to his crucifixion. The crown was a weapon to torture Jesus as well as to mock him. The crown was in reference to Jesus being the King of the Jews.
The above wooden sculpture was on display at the Victoria and Albert museum. It is carved from oak, made around ca. 1500-1520 by an unknown artist. This wooden sculpture is big so it is probably a standalone rather than an alter-piece.