Grateful for Family Time

During the festive season, I am always grateful for the chance to spend time with my family. This year the togetherness began on Christmas Eve with dinner. The tree was up, the shopping had been completed, the menus planned, and the time had been set aside by all members of our unit.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Our Christmas Tree. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

Dinner was a leisurely affair with no gaps in the conversation. After dinner, it is our tradition to begin the series that we will watch together during this time of the year. This year, we were determined to finish watching The Legend of Korra. After clearing dinner, the five of us sat in our places on the sofa and began watching. As a family, we continued to watch the anime on Christmas Day as well as on Boxing Day.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Watching The Legend of Korra. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

Christmas morning was spent, en famille, around the Christmas tree. Together we opened the gifts that we had found for one another. The skies were grey but inside our living room, joy abounded. What I remember of that Christmas morning is laughter and a sense of togetherness.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
The aftermath. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

The sense of togetherness continued throughout Christmas Day and into the next day. Boxing Day saw us get up early and go shopping for items on our list: laptop, microwave, printer, winter boots, winter jackets. By 10am we were home eating breakfast. After our tummies had been filled, we settled on the sofa to continue watching Korra’s story.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Restuarant Lanterns. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

On 27 December, my family and I celebrated my birthday. We ate a buffet lunch at a local restaurant and enjoyed the treat of eating out together. Afterwards we walked home and felt for the first time the nip of Winter. Brrr! we did not linger outside and arranged ourselves on the sofa with a cup of tea in our hands to finish the anime series.

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On 28 December, my family accompanied me to watch the latest episode in the the Star Wars saga. It is not often that we all go to the cinema together and it was fun to do. I enjoyed the movie and cannot wait for the next episode to come out!

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
A Festive Meal. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

My husband, children and I spent four complete days together: we ate at the table, we chatted, we watched a series together, we went out as a family. This week I am grateful for the opportunity to do this; and the willingness of all family members to spend their time with one another.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Processed with Rookie© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(Join me and share something that you have been grateful for in the past week. Link up with my post and feel free to use the badge my daughter created. )

I enjoy reading what others are grateful for – the posts make me think of other things I am happy to have in my life. Please remember to send me a pingback so that I know you have participated.

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Grateful for Christmas Party

During the past year my husband has worked for a large company. Last month we received the invitation to their Christmas party – a dinner on a boat – to celebrate the festive season. I was pleased to receive the invitation and agreed immediately to accompany my husband. What a treat it was to go out and experience a place we had not been to before.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Dinner tables. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

When we entered the steamboat, we were greeted with a pleasant sight. I liked the casual and yet festive settings of the place where we were going to eat.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
A Sparkling Christmas tree. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

I loved the Christmas tree that dominated the one corner of the space. The lights on the tree sparkled and added to the simple, and yet effective, way the dining room had been decorated. The red baubles on the tree matched the colour of the table settings. When we chose a seat, I made sure that I could see the tree from my seat. My photo, unfortunately, is not a very good one – though my close-up of the tree’s ornaments did turn out a little better.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Close-up of Christmas tree. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

I sat next to the window so that while we were chatting and eating I could look out through the window at the lights of the city.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
View from a window. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

I loved the Christmas tree as well that dominated the one corner of the space. While I was taking pictures, my husband could not resist taking one of me. 🙂 I enjoyed the evening. We ate a simple buffet, chatted, and did a little dancing. Even though we had met because of dancing, my husband and I had not gone out to dance for 17 years. It felt good to move our dancing feet and dig deep down into our memories for the steps that we had learnt such a long time ago. This week I am grateful for the different dinner experience that I had on Saturday; as well as the chance to dance again with my husband.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Last week Lavender Ladi was grateful for the snow effect on WordPress.

Processed with Rookie© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(Join me and share something that you have been grateful for in the past week. Link up with my post and feel free to use the badge my daughter created. )

I enjoy reading what others are grateful for – the posts make me think of other things I am happy to have in my life. Please remember to send me a pingback so that I know you have participated.

The Festive Season

December has begun and, with it, the countdown to Christmas. Children are opening advent calendars and people are buying gifts. I see Christmas decorations in shop windows and on people’s lawns. Talk is about the holidays: who you will be with and how you will celebrate.

I enjoy this month as I admire decorations and listen to Christmas carols. I do not enjoy the shopping, though, and do my best to avoid the crowds. My gifts are bought early on; and food is stored in the freezer. I find it ironic that people push and are impatient in stores at a time when a joyful event is being celebrated. Children do not see the true spirit of Christmas when they see their adults pushing others and shouting with impatience.

This month I choose to focus on the joyful aspect of the season and on why we celebrate Christmas. I enjoy singing the carols and our home is filled with the sounds of our favourites. I look kforward to the family time I will have over the Christmas period: a time during which we isolate ourselves from others and celebrate being together. The festive season is my favourite time of the year. It is a time I look forward to every year.

Five-Minute-Friday-badgeWhat do you enjoy about the festive season?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt: season)

A Pleasant Sight

Yesterday while walking to my annual appointment with my doctor, I passed a pleasant garden decoration. The Christmas decoration is simple and yet effective. I loved how they use the tree that is already in their garden and decorate it with Christmas baubles.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Christmas decoration in a Garden. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

I am sure that many more people this weekend will put up their decorations. I look forward to seeing them as it does add to the festive feeling of this month.

Have you seen any garden Christmas decorations?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

Grateful for Christmas Tree

For the first time in the history of my involvement with the school I work at, we have a Christmas tree. The tree resides in the office and is a freshly cut pine tree. I inhale the scent as I walk into the space and I cannot help but smile. This is my first experience of a freshly cut Christmas tree – and I am enjoying the experience.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
A Christmas tree. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

The tree is being decorated with penguin ornaments – made by the children or bought at a store. The sight is a pleasure to behold and one that will increase both the Christmas spirit and the school spirit.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Penguin ornaments. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

Even the ceiling of the office has been decorated to encourage the festive spirit in the school.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Ceiling decorations. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

This week I am grateful for an adminstration that is celebrating the tradition of many of the staff and students at our school.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Last week Lavender Ladi was grateful for soft magic.

Processed with Rookie© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(Join me and share something that you have been grateful for in the past week. Link up with my post and feel free to use the badge my daughter created. )

I enjoy reading what others are grateful for – the posts make me think of other things I am happy to have in my life. Please remember to send me a pingback so that I know you have participated.

Holiday Shopping

Yesterday after lunch, my husband and I decided to go get a few things from the mall downtown before doing some shopping for fresh produce. It had been a while since I had gone to this shopping center before Christmas. I recall the shopping I had done there the first few festive seasons we were in Toronto: the floors had been packed wall to wall with humanity and the hum of voices had felt overwhelming.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Christmas Shoppers. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

As I looked around yesterday, I noticed that there were not as many people shopping this year. The halls were filled with people – but not as I had previously experienced. I noticed too that people carried less parcels in their hands than one would expect.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Christmas Decorations at Eaton Center. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

The number of shoppers and the amount of shopping bags that people are carrying bring home to me, once again, that people are spending less money. Sales and promotions abound before Christmas day and yet many shoppers do not take advantage. My one hope is that with less disposable income, shoppers will return to the true intention of Christmas. The day should not be about giving expensive gifts, or receiving many gaily wrapped presents. Instead it should be about giving something small to loved ones in celebration of the birth of Christ.

I need venture out only a few times more into the throng of shoppers before Christmas. The supermarkets I expect to be busy as people stock up on fresh produce and the makings for a Christmas lunch or dinner. And the other stores? I will have to see.

photo (24)Have you noticed that there are less shoppers in malls this year?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014