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Monthly Archives: December 2012

The year 2012 is coming to a close and as we reflect back on what has happened , all I can say is that it was a very interesting year indeed. We learned from it and then we all move on to the next year with hopes for a new beginning.

We try to get rid of all  the bad luck of this year by bringing out the firecrackers and other gadgets producing loud noises thus scaring away the bad luck and demons ,making way for the good vibes that we all will need in the new year of 2013.

In  the Chinese culture for example, round fruits like oranges are served. The round fruit shape is similar to a coin. Eating such fruits as well as wearing polka dotted clothes( take note: round shape design again) and having some coins in one’s pocket is the Chinese way of anticipating wealth in the coming new year or at least, not become penniless.

In some other cultures, one would clean their homes to get rid of the dirt and face the new year with a clean home. Others may pay off all their debts before the new year arrives. Both instances ensure that bad luck’s not brought along the new year. Others would greet the new year will a full stomach after a great feast to ensure that hunger will not greet them in the new year Others would make efforts to settle whatever differences they may have with each other so as not to bring this discord into the new year.

.In the Philippines,aside from firecrackers ,wearing polka-dotted clothes and eating round fruit , those with young kids are told to get their kids to  jump as high as they can at the stroke of midnight when the new year just arrived. Reason for this was to ensure that they’ll grow taller in the new year.

Like the big ball drop on Times Square in NYC, we will count down to the last second of 2012 and to the tune of Auld Lang Syne, greeting  2013 with a bang.

In our hearts, we’re glad to make it to this year’s end and thankful for  experiencing 2012’s life’s journey. Therefore, let’s celebrate this occasion in whatever way we think is memorable for us.

Let the party begin! Roll out the champagne!

Salut! Cheers!

Josie

Shopping for a good sale especially this Yuletide season is an annual event especially in today’s economy. The urge to get the great deal for your money can give one a thrill and the determination to get the coveted item by hook or by crook. Sometimes, one’s determined mindset in this situation can get us sometimes to behave somewhat irrationally to the detriment of other shoppers who happen to be in the same store as you.

I hear occasional  stories of unruly behavior during Black Friday sales because of the intense desire to get the best deal. Well, I feel that even during post-Christmas sales, such unpleasant  events can happen too since more price cuts on already sales items can bring out the  animal in us at times.

Case in point, I noticed while doing some post-Christmas shopping, that 1 customer was looking very angry and frustrated and vented out at the sales person when a desired item is already out of stock and no rainchecks are allowed as stated in their flyer. Shooting the messenger, in this case, the sales person is really uncalled for. Pushing and shoving a fellow shopper when getting a desired item, I noticed it too.

Folks, it’s not the end of the world if you can’t get the item you want. There’ll always be a sale in days to come. Exhibiting uncouth behavior will stay a long time in people’s memories more than the sale item itself. It’s not worth it.

In retrospect,there really should be some form of Yuletide shopping etiquette but is there really one at all?

Just my 2 cents on this matter.

Bonjour!

Josie

Yesterday was Boxing Day, mon ami. I was busy browsing over after-Christmas sales yesterday online. Dec. 26 on my neck of the woods would mean that the stores aren’t open unlike other parts of Canada.Where I live, Boxing Day shopping is delayed by 1 day,therefore, it happens today,Dec. 27.

Boxing Day is an annual holiday observed both in Canada and in the U.K. It falls on Dec. 26,the day after Christmas. In olden times, the masters of the house would box their gifts(“Christmas boxes”) and give it to the household help and tradesmen on Dec. 26 as part of celebrating the Yuletide season with them.

Nowadays, it means another excuse to go out shopping for more sales especially after Christmas and for the stores to further pad their year-end profits even more. Shopping of course will either be on-site or online these days.

Some will stock up for rock-bottom prices on Christmas cards,wrapping paper and decorations, clothes,shoes,etc.,even using whatever Christmas gift money or gift cards received to rake in the savings even more.

The stores offer such great prices so as to get rid of their old store stock so as to make room for their new store inventory for the coming new year.

Ah,yes! The shopping seems to never end but it is really  hard to ignore a good sale especially in today’s economy.

But as I has said before, don’t buy something just for the sake that it’s on sale. You’ll just experience buyer’s remorse out of it. Be sure that what you buy is what you really want or need. The sense of satisfaction that you get from making a good purchase for the best reasons  is priceless.

Happy shopping anyway,folks!

Josie

To all my readers,

Enjoy this special day with your loved ones and friends and reflect on the spirit and essence of this season, that is, the feelings of love , hope, goodwill and kinship.

Inspite of all the commercialism around us this time of year, we still must remain focused on what matters most at this very moment, observing and celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Frankly, the spirit of Christmas should exist in our hearts and shared with others everyday of the year. Imagine how peaceful this world could be even more!

I wish you all a very  Merry Christmas !

Josie

One looks forward to Christmas every year because of past  Christmas memories. Of course, it’s what we do during this festive occasion that a Yuletide memory makes. Whether it’s the food or cheery music or even the company of family and friends, it’s our stamp on Christmas which makes it our very own.

Childhood Christmas memories especially are very joyful and we hope that future generations of children will enjoy them as much as we did which is why Christmas traditions are passed on through the years.

Christmas traditions include  Christmas customs,music,movies,TV programs and for the kids, the must-have Christmas Toy for that particular year. Christmas traditions, I think  is whatever activity or endeavor that one feels would make the Christmas season fulfilling and complete for himself, thus reinforcing the full spirit of Christmas.

Even if for some of us, our childhood years have already passed by,the spirit of Christmas still prevails, putting our perspective on focus… the friendship,kinship and goodwill to our family,friends and fellow men and being thankful for what life’s blessings we may have received as we celebrate the birth of Christ.

In observing all of this, Christmas memories are formed, passed on and will continue to exist for years to come. The Yuletide cycle goes on!

Josie

Have people become too sensitive when spoken to nowadays? With all this rash of being socially and politically correct being placed upon us, I feel that sometimes, it can get too far.

Just take the simple act of saying “Merry Christmas’ to someone. In recent years, I noticed that it was very hard to find greeting cards with the words”Merry Christmas” on them. Seasons Greetings and Happy Holidays on cards for sure are existing around.

Until some folks started a public outcry in my city about the absurdity of this over- the- top political correctness, that the words”Merry Christmas” is in vogue again.

Being too overly cautious that it would offend other folks of different cultures especially that of faith can get too far. I doubt very much that these folks will get too offended or sensitive about it. Personally, I would understand if such folks are more comfortable greeting me “Happy Holidays” if their faith so dictates but I would really get offended if a Christian is very uncomfortable greeting me “Merry Christmas”.

Let me elaborate this further. I once talked to this  lady whom I know is an active church-goer in the French  Roman Catholic Church in my neighborhood. Days before  Christmas Day, I bumped into her and greeted her “Merry Christmas’in  French  and  I was surprised that she was shocked and looked nervous  after hearing it. She then looked around as if afraid that someone might be present and then she faced me and with a smile said “Happy Holidays! in French. Let me tell you ,mon ami, I was equally shocked as well and I thought that I had seen a lot of crazy things in my life and this particular encounter will have to join them too. Tsk,tsk,tsk! At least Ebenezer Scrooge had an awakening after the visits of the 3 ghosts of past,present and future regarding the Christmas spirit. This lady particularly may need such visits too,IMO!

FYI BTW, Joyeux Noel in French is Merry Christmas and Joyeuses Fetes in French is Happy Holidays.

Saying Happy Holidays for me sounds too generic. To think that we describe this time of the year as the Christmas season to do Christmas shopping on Christmas sales and watch Christmas movies like A Christmas Carol. What about that poem which starts as “T’was the night before Christmas when all throught the house, not a creature was stirring,not even a mouse..”.

Imagine with the above sentences,substituting the word Christmas with the word holiday and then you’ll see how generic it can be.

The word holiday can mean any event that doesn’t mean Christmas like St. Patrick’s Day,Labor Day.etc.

If I’m comfortable greeting folks on their special days like Kwanzaa, Diwali,Eid-al-Fitr,Hanukkah,etc., then greeting with the words Merry Christmas should be no exception particulary between folks who do celebrate Christmas. Why single it out? What’s so embarassing about it? It’s like taking the Christ out of Christmas therefore, removing the essence and spirit of the season.

Just my 2 cents on this matter!

Josie

This time of year, most stores extend their shopping hours so that the public will have more time and not feel rushed when doing their Christmas shopping . It enables the harried shoppers to plan their shopping time at their own flexible pace and not feel that they hadn’t accomplished a lot in shopping for everybody  on their annual holiday gift list.

The stores benefit too from this since it gives the stores hope that a shopper will come back again and again to their store at their  own convenient time to buy more stuff. Good for the store’s bottom line,you know.

Take advantage of this,mon ami. It won’t last long. The next time that the store hours will be extended again is in  the  next Christmas shopping season.

Happy Shopping!

Josie