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!


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.



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!


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 !


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!


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!


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!


As if one would have already felt shopped-out in preparation for Christmas, here comes the retailers with an offer which is very hard to refuse—FREE SHIPPING.  When shopping online, getting a great bargain would appear to be magnified when you can get an item with less hassle and which would arrive at your doorstep or mailbox without any additional delivery/shipping costs. This would be helpful too if you’re sending the gift directly to the recipient’s address. Considering the price of gasoline nowadays and especially if one doesn’t have a car, this free shipping option is too good not to be ignored.

Finally, do not buy something just for the sake of free shipping. I mean by buying any item that you don’t really need or want at all isn’t worth it even if it comes with a free shipping incentive. It’ll just be a waste of money and you’ll just have a dose of buyer’s remorse, mon ami.

In light of this, it has been an annual U.S. event every December 17 which is almost 1 week before Christmas. Retailers look at this as an opportunity to boost their yearly revenue by enticing more online ordering, also adding extra perks like no minimum required purchase as well as online discount coupon codes as the case may be.

By the way, Canada already had its Free Shipping Day just this past December 12.

Happy shopping!


Yesterday morning (12-14-2012), at 9: 40 am EST, a little past the start of a typical school day,multiple gunshots had been fired at the Sandy Hook  Elementary School in Newtown,Connecticut( some 12 miles east from Danbury) where kids ranging from kindergarten to Grade 4 level are stationed with a school population of 700. Newtown is a relatively small town with a population of 27,000 with 1 reported murder for the past decade except for yesterday.

Multiple conflicting reports later surfaced and upon subsequent news conferences by police revealed 1 dead gunman ,a 20y/o named Adam Lanza who also allegedly shot his own mother Nancy Lanza,a Sandy Hook volunteer kindergarten teacher at the family home in Newtown earlier after a reported dispute before arriving at the school. He reportedly wore a bulletproof vest,black military gear  and carrying a Glock,Sig Sauer handgun and a Bushmaster .223-caliber assault rifle. He began targeting his mother’s kindergarten class after which he shot himself to death. Subsequent gun registry reports unearthed by the Connecticut police stated that his mother legally owned all the weapons.Peter Lanza, Nancy Lanza’s ex-husband and father of their 2 sons had remarried and reportedly  living in Stamford,about half an hour’s drive from Newtown. He was being questioned by authorities as we speak but isn’t considered a suspect.

1 other brother Ryan,24 y/o reportedly was being questioned  in Hoboken,New Jersey but not considered as a suspect either. He claimed that Adam’s autistic and has a personality disorder and had last saw him in 2010.


So far, 26 were murdered: 20 were children(ages 5 y/o at least)wherein 18 died on-site and 2 other kids died at the hospital and 6 were adults(including the suspect’s mother, the suspect himself, principal and school psychologist).

This is still an ongoing story and for sure, a clearer view on all these events will eventually surface but it’s very clear that the suspect was very mentally disturbed to the point of doing something so evil that even very young,innocent kids become victims in a supposedly safe setting as a school which was considered as a second home, entrusted to by their parents, in hopes of getting a good education. That they’re scapegoats of his reported dispute with his mother is so pathetic and senseless.

13 years after the mass shooting in  Columbine High School in Littleton,Colorado, this event in Connecticut, I believe is the 2nd worst school shooting in the U.S.,the worst being the one at Virginia Tech which happened on April 16,2007 wherein 33 people,including the gunman had died.

It’s so heartbreaking to even imagine how those deceased”s families especially the parents of the affected kids are going through right now, knowing that their deceased loved ones will no longer be home for this coming Christmas. As for those who survived the shooting, it’ll be a long and continuous emotional recovery and healing.

I had done a blog just this past 12-12-12 regarding the Oregon shopping mall mass shootout and a need for a wakeup call for gun reform.

Does it now take the murder of innocent schoolkids to finally push politicians to work on it instead of dwelling on petty politics? Decisive mental health service implementation in my opinion is a must also.

Take into consideration why I say this is because we have a woman who owned 3 high-powered guns and living in a very safe town and I really want to know why? Add to the risk is having a mentally disturbed son with physical access to those guns which unfortunately was carried out by him and I also want to know what his motives were and why?

My thoughts and prayers to the families of the deceased. No words will ever bring back the deceased  but they should  know that we feel their pain.


It used to be that one can get everything their heart’s desire by going through a thick sales catalogue like the Sears Wish Book for example. Nowadays in this high-tech era when everything can be found within seconds by tapping on the computer keyboard, virtual online stores are the norm nowadays.

Examples would be Amazon, Home Shopping Network,LL Bean,Lands’ End, QVC,The Shopping Channel(only in Canada), the well-known dept stores like Walmart,Sears,Saks,Neiman Marcus,JC Penney,etc. which have also on-site or physical stores .

For the avid collector or someone who just wants to acquire that rare or hard-to-find item  whether it’s a missing copy of a book in a book series of a certain author ,CD or DVD series for example, the virtual online store I think that one should try is or I swear that you can find almost everything when you go to Amazon for that virtual search ranging from kitchen,bedding,fashion,electronics,book,music to fashion accessories. And their prices are much lower than what other retailers are offering. Shipping costs are relatively much lower as well and an incentive of free shipping is there if one pays for any order(s) with a minimum purchase price of $25(excluding sales tax).

After confirming, paying  and completing your  online order by the click of a mouse, one just waits for it to arrive to you either via the postman or courier driver.

Online shopping is really here to stay and why shouldn’t it? It doesn’t really guarantee that if you go into a store branch that the item you want is really there.It’ll be a waste of your time,money and gas if that really happened. It probably is only available through their main warehouse which in turn would mean going online to hunt it down.

Just my 2 cents’ worth on this subject.

Happy shopping!