It never fails. For some reason, the favorite party of nearly every Christmas season is the holiday crew party… I keep thinking that “this year we will keep it simple” or “a minimum of fuss and clean-up” but somehow it always turns out bigger than ever. With roughly 45 people last night, this was possibly the largest group of guests we have ever hosted in our home! If you are a long time follower of this blog, you would know how much stuff I probably put the crew through in a given year… between the market forays, odd ingredients, the photo sessions, the meal prep-work, the experimentation, the repeated experimentation, the cooking, the cleaning up, the tasting of good and bad, the healthy and unhealthy, the flowers, etc., there is SIMPLY NO WAY I would be able to maintain this blog without a supporting cast of experienced and loyal crew members. They are definitely, all part of the family. And so are their spouses, and kids who we have watched grow from toddlers to teens, some of them now nearly in college. Other siblings and their kids, crew of friends and family, etc. all get together for the holidays at Chez Marketman & Family… :)
This year, for the first time ever, Marketman, Mrs. MM and The Teen were the opening act with a spirited rendition of Darren Criss’s Teenage Dream from the television program GLEE. I have two left feet and am probably tone deaf, so this was more self-flagellation than anything else, but if we could embarrass ourselves in front of everyone, we figured the three “teams” or groups that followed would be emboldened to really “let loose”. And that they did. I am ashamed to say that if I were a judge, MM & Family would probably get a 3/10, while the next three groups definitely scored over 5 and above! :) Since I was dancing, no photos of us three performing (unless one of the crew took pictures and I get to borrow them later today). This photo above is of Team 1, a couple and their 3 kids having a go at it, complete with lighted Santa hats.
Team 2, the “girls team” practiced stealthily and in complete secrecy, and surprised the crowd with their chef uniforms and wild hair. Thinking they would mask their identities this way, some of them danced with more gusto than others. And the chocolate labrador decided to join them at one point, a bit of comic relief.
Team 3, clearly had been seriously practicing their dance steps. Led by two children of crew members, those are their parents in the back line, trying to keep up with the young ones, gyrating to the music like they were on a stage or something… :) They won the grand cash prize hands down. The other two teams tied for second place. We also had trivia style games complete with buzzers to hit before answering. Do you know what the capital of Biliran province is? Or how old Kris Aquino is? The height of Piolo Pascual? The average number of coconuts produced by a coconut tree in a year? Hahaha. Trust me, I ran out of questions sooner than planned, but made others up on the fly. It was good fun, and EVERY team that participated took home an appliance or similar goody.
Finally, for the immediate MM family crew members, they had other prizes and surprises — think outrageous undergarments, which in retrospect, was more embarrassing to PURCHASE rather than to award, and of course, I did the shopping. So, if any of you spotted Marketman in the intimate section of Landmark the other day, choosing between the pink, purple or red lace undergarments, rest assured they WERE NOT FOR ME. And just to be fair to both genders, I also got the most outrageously cut and colored men’s undergarments as well. Hahahaha. :)
I was so crazed that I forgot to take photos of the food. We cooked a lot less than we normally do… but managed a large paella a la Marketman, an arroz negro with lots of seafood, two baked lapu-lapu’s, ham, chicken macaroni salad, fruit salad and talong salad in-house. We ordered the rest of the food, including two Zubuchons flown in from Cebu. Pork barbecue on sticks, bangus with bacon, and kalderetang kambing from a vendor at Salcedo Market, ordered the largest bilao of pancit lucban from Buddy’s, and purchased budbud kabog and chocolate cakes. There was easily enough food for 100, which is done on purpose, so everyone would go home with several more meals worth of goodies.
But of course, what all the kids (young and old, 1 to 65) really look forward to at Christmas parties are the presents. Every single guest, including ones we didn’t plan on but accompanied other guests, ended up with at least 1 present. In the case of those who we work with daily, they went home with sacks that would rival Santa’s! I posted two photos of our Christmas tree “before” and “after” the festivities. The photo up top, filled with presents. And the last photo above, after everyone had gone home. :) What can I say, Marketman still believes in Santa. Seriously. And it will always be that way in our home. So from our family and wonderful crew in Manila and Cebu, we wish all of you and your families wherever you may be in the world, a wonderful Christmas and a Most Prosperous 2011!!!
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And this, late in from one of the crew’s cameras, a VERY RARE, actually NEVER BEFORE SEEN photo of Marketman, Mrs. MM & The Teen dancing to this song/video. You must play the GLEE video to fully appreciate how outrageous this must have seemed. :)