Holiday mode is in fourth gear at Marketmanila. After a two day hiatus as we were in the midst of holiday dinners and preparations the last few days and my sister has just left early this morning to go back to NY, I have a ton of posts that I need to write. If I can manage to write them all up I should have several posts every day until Christmasâ€¦so check in often! First up, the trimmingsâ€¦ I have to admit that I love everything local when it comes to Christmas – misa de gallo, kakanins, cool weather, get-togethers, and the month-long jolly spiritâ€¦ but I am a bit schizophrenic and have embraced many, many western traditions as well, after living over a third of my life in the U.S. and elsewhere and spending many a holiday on other shores. One of the things that we just have to have in the house during the holidays is candy canesâ€¦. Ever since I was 10 years old, we always seemed to have these small candy canes in the house at Christmasâ€¦
The color, smell, taste of candy canes is something that screams Christmas for me. I use them for dÃ©cor, I use them in gingerbread creations, sometimes crumbled in cookies, on our tree, centerpieces, wreaths, as last minute give-aways to visiting kids or just simply left out in bowls for anyone who wants some. In the past, our supplies were sent by relatives or we purchased them at the U.S. bases, or someone hand carried them from Hong Kong. Today, believe it or not, they are available just about everywhereâ€¦or at least at the major malls. These ones in the attractive boxes above were at Megamall and all SM branches near their toy section and they were an amazing PHP75 a box! No hassle sending them in from the Statesâ€¦ just buy them here. Bizarrely, they are made in China (what isnâ€™t these days) and they often have no flavor (peppermint oil is pricey), unlike the real McCoys, but they serve their purpose to add a touch of the holidays to our home. I stocked up the other day and got several boxes. Another western doodad we always have for the holidays are Christmas crackersâ€¦
An English tradition, I think, these wrapped up cylinders â€œpopâ€ when you pull them apart and they expose a little gift inside. They are meant for holiday parties and our daughter has always looked for them ever since she could pull them apart herself. Always in a nice holiday tartan, the crackers add a festive touch to a holiday table. My best tip here? Buy them the day after Christmas if you live in the U.S. or the U.K. and store them in your basement until the following year. That way you get the doodads but at 60-80% off retailâ€¦ just make sure the ones you buy donâ€™t have candy or perishables in themâ€¦ If you really want to go upscale, I understand members of the â€œupper crustâ€ resort to really luxurious crackers from say Asprey that have little silver trinkets insideâ€¦ In a pinch, you can make similar crackers here at home, but I am not sure how you get the firecracker pop mechanism to workâ€¦ These are the ultimate grown-up party favor, I suppose. Finally, every Christmas means putting up the treeâ€¦and we try to add a few ornaments every year. This year the added ornaments were a gift, six large blown glass ornaments of chefs or cooks such as the one in the photo hereâ€¦ Adds a nice touch to the Marketman Family Tree, donâ€™t you think?