23 Dec2011

It’s been a hectic past few days… so rather than missing the season entirely, I figured some quick snapshots of Christmas in the Marketman home would be better than nothing. :) So here’s the season in fast forward. Up top, the annual Christmas tree, with the usual theme of red balls and other ornaments, lots and lots of clear glass and crystal ornaments and a growing collection of Radko and other blown glass and handpainted baubles.

This year, the Teen added this beautiful crystal ice skate to our tree ornaments, a gift for mom and dad. It is stunning. And this annual addition of a special ornament is something we cherish and will look back fondly upon in the decades ahead. Almost always, the annual special ornament is in glass or crystal.

Our one snazzy holiday dinner before Christmas Eve was planned, food and flowers purchased and arranged just before the massive storm that hit in the South. We cut all further dinners and curtailed present giving for family after this event and donated instead to relief efforts in Mindanao.

Table arrangements were made up of large heads of purple hydrangeas, lots of red roses and a bit of statis. Two large low centerpieces anchored a table for 14. Cutlery and crystal was out in full force for a multi-course meal that included homemade gravlox and shrimp bisque to start…

The house is filled with candles and they provide a soft warm glow that is just so festive and warm at the same time. One of our favorite presents is a pine scented candle that provides a nice fragrance to the living area when the windows are closed. Otherwise, we have these balsam fir incense sticks we brought back from Canada and they also provide that log cabin/wood fire ambiance in the middle of a polluted city.

For the snazzy dinner we served a kobe tenderloin with a port and shallot sauce (featured this before), BettyQ’s mushroom pudding again, braised lamb shanks (also featured before) and some small potatoes.

We had a salad course, a cheese course and four home-made desserts, all featured on this blog before — creme brulee, lemon tart, chocolate tart and Sister’s fruitcake.

We cooked dinner, while the guests arranged the wine selection. First up, this SPECTACULAR magnum of Louis Roederer Brut, 1997. One sip and I headed straight to the bar to see it was… truly memorable and a real holiday treat! We also had other bottles of wonderful champagne, white wine and red wine.

Friends whose family own the vineyard, brought these two special bottles of Chateau Siran. Perfect with the beef.

A few hours before the dinner, the Teen, who surprised even me by earlier insisting on doing a small and “simple” gingerbread village this year, finished her creation. I always think that she has outgrown this, but even after 16 years, we can’t seem to get away from the gingerbread. :)

A church and three little homes, it is a Manny Villar type of village, assuming he built them in cold weather. :)

We also made lots of gingerbread cookies that were painstakingly decorated by everyone in the household, but if I had to show just one snapshot, of course I would pick this one of the pink pigs. Hahaha. It was another year of the lechon, after all. :) We also baked cookies, brownies and made pili nut brittle to keep replenishing the candy bar that has, we figure, already provided over 30,000 calories to fatten up friends and family…

I still haven’t posted snapshots from our wonderful and amazing Zubuchon office/crew Christmas party from a few weeks ago in Cebu. And I didn’t take a single snapshot of the Manila crew party that featured a “Minute to Win It” game segment, but I am sure you all get the picture… But I have one last post before we sit down to Christmas Eve dinner, and I hope all of you are in the final preparations for your family get-togethers, noche buena, final midnight mass or whatever you do to celebrate the holidays!



  1. Chinky says:

    A happy Christmas to you and the family, MM. Hope you keep the posts coming. You inspire me and a host of others not only to prepare and cook good food but to help others! All the best.

    Dec 23, 2011 | 7:10 pm


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  3. tonito says:


    Dec 23, 2011 | 7:26 pm

  4. kayni says:

    all i can say is WOW. everything looks so great and delicious.

    have a wonderful Christmas.

    Dec 23, 2011 | 10:11 pm

  5. Faust says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy Prosperous New Year to you and your family Market Man!

    Dec 23, 2011 | 10:21 pm

  6. Lannie says:

    A very Merry Christmas and Happy 2012 to you and your family MM! Although I’m ecstatic to be in Manila to be with my mom and brothers I must admit I got a little homesick for NL seeing your Christmas tree. In that part of the world, hubby and I buy the tallest Christmas tree that can fit our living room and decorate it with diffrent color motifs each occasion. The smell of fresh pine is all over our home and hot chocolate and ‘oliebol’ are never far behind :)

    Dec 23, 2011 | 10:21 pm

  7. millet says:

    our family has also decided to forego christmas gifts to each other and instead, b ought and sent relief supplies.

    i was just wondering this morning about your gingerbread house this year, MM, and here they are! wonderful dinner table, as always. and the glass and crystal are sooo lovely..i went gaga over rustan’s makati’s stunning christmas trees with the clear glass balls.

    wishing you, Mrs. MM, the Teen and the Crew, and all readers/groupies a very happy and peaceful christmas! joy to the world!

    Dec 23, 2011 | 10:25 pm

  8. rita says:

    gingerbread houses and gingerbread men are fun to make. it brings out the kid in everyone :) one of the many christmas goodies we look always forward to.

    Dec 23, 2011 | 11:04 pm

  9. Mari says:

    Maligayang Pasko sa inyong lahat!!!

    Dec 23, 2011 | 11:36 pm

  10. friedneurons says:

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Marketman!

    Dec 23, 2011 | 11:45 pm

  11. gezel says:

    Merry Merry Christmas Marketman and Family, it will be a very quiet christmas here in UK, but all the same the Spirit lives on and praying for the best of what ever the new year will bring. Cheers mate…and to all A Blessed Christmas.

    Dec 23, 2011 | 11:53 pm

  12. Elizabeth says:

    It’s always a treat whenever I read your latest post, Mr MM. Lots of inspiring ideas and recipes, foodstuff to try. Looking forward to many more great years of Marketmanila.com! Merry Christmas!

    Dec 24, 2011 | 12:19 am

  13. joey says:

    Merry Christmas to you and the family MM! Wishing you a wonderful holidays and the best for 2012!

    Love the gingerbread lechons!!

    Dec 24, 2011 | 1:04 am

  14. Melit Villanueva says:

    Merry Christmas MM and to your family and crew! I love small potatoes and I will have marble potato salad in my Christmas Eve dinner…

    Dec 24, 2011 | 1:12 am

  15. talltrails says:

    The cookie pigs are so adorable. I’ll be making food for the gods tomorrow using your recipe. It has always been a favorite in gatherings.

    Dec 24, 2011 | 1:31 am

  16. Natie says:

    It’s heartwarming, MM. Amidst the sadness we should celebrate Christ’s birthday. He looks out for His people …always lovelyMM

    Dec 24, 2011 | 2:05 am

  17. Ronaldo Bagayans says:

    Maligayang Pasko at Masaganang Bagong Taon Mr. MM and Family!! God Bless!!

    Dec 24, 2011 | 2:08 am

  18. netoy says:

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, MM! I love those zubuchon cookies!!!

    Dec 24, 2011 | 2:08 am

  19. ayla says:

    Merry Christmas MM!

    Dec 24, 2011 | 2:44 am

  20. tisay says:

    Maayong Pasko Kaninyong Tanan!!!

    Dec 24, 2011 | 2:46 am

  21. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    Merry Christmas MM & family and to your crew..food look so yummy!! and the baked goods esp.the gingerbread from the Teen are awesome!!Her tree gift of Swarovski Crystal 2011 Winter Ornament is so lovely.. an heirloom indeed.Thanks for giving us a look of your family Christmas .Enjoy the Holidays!!!

    Dec 24, 2011 | 2:52 am

  22. cwid says:

    Love the floral arrangement. Love the gingerbread house – it’s a beautiful winter scene. Love the gingerbread pigs. Love everything!

    I did not realize that Christmas is almost here until you mentioned Christmas Eve dinner. I am so way behind in my baking.

    Here’s wishing you and your family a merry Christmas.

    A merry Christmas too to all the Vancouver eyeballers and special mention to the ever-generous Betty Q.

    And to all Market Manila readers, have a merry Market Manila Christmas!

    Dec 24, 2011 | 3:36 am

  23. cwid says:

    Oh, a P.S. My Christmas is not complete without reading your annual Christmas post. Thanks for creating a beautiful tradition.

    Dec 24, 2011 | 3:38 am

  24. sister says:

    Table looks magnificent, so festive, wish I could have been there for dinner. Working on my own Christmas dinner table and menu today. Merry Christmas to all marketmanila folks!

    Dec 24, 2011 | 4:12 am

  25. linda says:

    Have a wonderful Christmas MM and family and crew and to all MM readers!

    Dec 24, 2011 | 5:08 am

  26. bearhug0127 says:

    Malipayon nga Paskua kag Mahamungayaon nga Bag-ong Tuig sa imo MM, sa pamilya mo kag sa tanan.
    May we all welcome in our hearts Jesus Christ and receive His everlasting peace!

    Dec 24, 2011 | 5:09 am

  27. Rebecca says:

    Merry Christmas to the MM family, the Crew and the MM readers all over the world.

    CWID is right- your annual Christmas post has become a very dear part of the holiday season.

    Dec 24, 2011 | 6:27 am

  28. Lambchop says:

    The gingerbread tradition’s so precious!

    Dec 24, 2011 | 7:57 pm

  29. Betchay says:

    What an elegant tree! Happy Holidays!

    Dec 25, 2011 | 7:22 am

  30. Fards says:

    Merry Christmas MM and family. And to your crew. May you have a prosperous year ahead. Thank you so much for your blog. Looking forward to another year.

    Dec 25, 2011 | 7:41 am

  31. nina says:

    i love the pig cookie and the christmas tree candle holder;)

    Dec 26, 2011 | 4:12 am

  32. jack says:

    Merry Christmas to you MM and your family and to all the readers of this very informative and entertaining blog! :)

    Dec 27, 2011 | 8:00 am

  33. PITS, MANILA says:


    Dec 27, 2011 | 4:36 pm

  34. Nonoy says:

    I like the Christmas tree so much; so lovely; Happy New Year Marketman!:-)

    Dec 27, 2011 | 11:26 pm

  35. Meg says:

    Merry Christmas MM and family. Imagine a world without MM postings, can’t really survive a year without reading your blogs everyday MM. Thank so much for the year that was. We are all hopeful for the coming 2012. It will be very beautiful.

    Dec 31, 2011 | 1:54 am

  36. cebuana101 says:

    Pit Senyor Marketman!!!

    Jan 4, 2012 | 3:21 pm


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