It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas…


Our fresh tree from the Pacific Northwest arrived the other day. It is gorgeous. At $75 for an 8-foot tree, it is cheaper than buying one on the streets of New York. Of course it isn’t a blue spruce, but it is fantastic nonetheless. We ordered it over a month ago, but my contacts at S&R say that there are a few that aren’t pre-ordered and you can buy them at S&R branches until supplies last. But hurry, they are flying out the doors. The combination of Thanksgiving, tree arrival, hectic work plans for the next few weeks means we have to be incredibly organized this year. And if you have followed this blog for several years, you know that Christmas is a huge deal in the MM household…


First out of the boxes in storage were these three snow globes, part of The Teen’s collection, and she took these first three photographs seen here. No matter how old I get, I still can’t resist turning these globes over every time I pass near them.


As much as we love a traditional pinoy Christmas with handmade paper lanterns, all the kakanins, early morning mass, etc., I am also completely in love with the western version and all its trimmings, so we do both!


The fresh tree is mostly for authentic fragrance, as it will last 3 weeks at most before its needles fall off. If you are buying fresh, make sure you saw an inch off the bottom, then soak in lots of water with flower food or plant preservative. We will be decorating the artificial one which is much larger and won’t die before the three Kings mosey on by…


There were a few items on sale at S&R this morning, and I am SO HAPPY I didn’t buy these chocolate foil wrapped santas earlier. They were marked down to just PHP99.95 and that is a steal. I bought a dozen. Perfect for kids who just drop by and for whom you don’t have a goody. When I was small, I guarded my foil wrapped santa as though it were precious stones… I would nibble on a small body part (say an arm) and savor this incredibly memorable Christmas treat. It isn’t as rare to find them these days, but I personally have a soft spot for foil wrapped chocolate figures during the holidays…


Markdowns were also wisely taken early and these candy canes were just PHP99 as well. Another steal.


Yesterday I also managed to head clear across town to the manila Seedling Bank in Quezon City and got several poinsettia trees wholesale at my suki King Louis farms. These huge “trees” are a single large poinsettia plant with dozens of blooms. They will last several weeks. Large size (pang mall, they said) at PHP900 each. Probably retail for twice that amount in Makati. I bought them in classic Christmas red.


For a table arrangement, I bought six small pink poinsettias (PHP100 a pot, a steal!) and placed them in a rectangular basket. They too will last through Christmas.


Besides the 1,500 lights that will go on the tree, we have laid out roughly 500-600 individual ornaments, mostly made of glass. The whole household will be trimming the tree this evening to the sounds of Christmas carols in the background. This is one evening that we ALL look forward to, and it is the stuff of family memories. And yes, we do trim the tree ourselves, with the help of staff to fill it all out. The teen is chief decorator, and what she says, goes. No hired designers to do our tree. This is a home-made affair. And yes, there are folks in this neck of the woods that literally have someone do their entire tree, sometimes have it delivered totally done. How lame is that??? :(


This year we will have mirrored, silver and gold balls…


…gorgeous ornate glass ornaments that we purchased in Paris and handcarried back several years ago…


…paired with, for the first time, multi-colored glass ornaments made right here in Manila…


…with clear glass reindeer and lots of glass or crystal icicles of all types that will hang at the tips of branches, as though the tree were outdoors in freezing weather…


…and multicolored glass ornaments will share the limelight with prized Radko hand-blown and hand-painted glass ornaments so that the tree will be pleasing to the eye even during the day when the lights aren’t turned on.


And don’t forget the Christmas sweets, amongst the most classic of all are these starlight mints that are in a green bowl at the entrance to the house, so that anyone who comes or goes can pick some up to enjoy and make the rest of their day merry… Yup, it sure is beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here…


36 Responses

  1. Can’t wait to see the trees all decked in their full glory! I love glass ornaments, so pretty and delicate. Not possible with my mangling cat who literally gets inside the tree and among the branches.

  2. wow, at a loss for words! i take your word for it—big deal talaga ang christmas for MM & family! ang ganda ng mga ornaments and you are such a careful packer.ako i tend to buy new stuff yearly kasi nababasag or na de dent, etc…so eager to see your spruced-up tree tomorrow!

  3. I can already tell that your home is going to have one beautifully-decorated tree. Obviously, there won’t be any little children running around there at baka mabasag ang mga ornaments!

    Decorating the house for Christmas is truly a big part of my happiest childhood memories and I am glad to be involving my 2 little kids in this memorable tradition. Just like you, I don’t get these families that hire decorators to do their whole house. What’s up with that? Either they are too busy to bother with it or they are insecure about their decorating abilities? Bato-bato sa langit, ang tamaan huwag magalit ;)

  4. I love the glass ornaments. They have a very lovely vintage feel. They remind me of the one’s that used to hang on the tree in my grandfather’s house.

  5. Very nice ornaments, MM!!!! I was wondering, where you live…besides the interior of the house decorated with boughs ofholly, garlands, candles, etc. …do people in your area also decorate their front lawn and roof tops with reindeers, Santa, Snowmen, and a gazillion lights?

  6. Lovely decors. I am sure it will be fun. I just trimmed mine amidst christmas carols that my 2 girls sang when they were little. It took me a week..I am sure yours will be an even bigger production

  7. Seeing those mints reminded me of my late grandfather… He would always hand me a mint or two during the holidays on the condition that for each time he would give me a candy, the price would be a kiss on either cheek…

    Thanks for reminding me through your post, MM!

  8. Looks like it’s gonna be an awesome-looking tree! I live in a condo now, with limited space, so I go to either Target (if I’m timely and lucky) or Smith & Hawken (if I’m not) and only get a 2- or 3-foot tree each year that I place on a table top. Always a real tree, never plastic. I love the smell too much to give it up. I like the blown glass and painted glass ornaments, too. It’s just kind of annoying how fragile they are. lol

  9. Wow, what an exciting night for the MM household :) As kids we’d all get excited as well when it’s time to trim the tree, usually on December1. Im just a teeny-weeny *sad* that you only have one kid — sorry but Im kinda wishing you and Mrs. MM have more! Parents like you should have a lot of kids, dont you think? The more happy kids in the world, the better :)

  10. Fresh Christmas trees remind me of our Christmases when I was young…abroad and when we used to live in Baguio. Fresh pinetree scent will fill the air plus crackling in the chimney…….Mmmmmmmm…Christmas is always to me… wonderful matter our circumstance that particular year. Hats off MM. You really have a grandiose Christmas celeb!!!!
    Christmas is always exciting especially because it celebrates the birthday of our Almighty!!!


  11. you have a beautiful Christmas tree! Kaya lang, matagal ka na na nawala sa NYC, Xmas trees in the sidewalks of NYC are not $75, they are so much cheaper now! Average 25 – 50 dollars na lang, mas mura kung sa Home Depot or supermarkets, The last last time I paid $75 was when my daughters and I picked our own tree from the farm and had it cut down, there goes that tradition!
    So my sister was here last October from MNL and we drove through the New York Thruway and she saw some plots of land that was planted with nothing but evergreens, (pines, spruce etc etc) and she loved it, and I told her that those were Christmas Tree Farms, I’d say that maybe that would be a good way to be a gentleman tree farmer.

  12. We just finished decorating our tree–like you, we do it ourselves. It try to have a theme but my two boys just put all the trimmings anywhere and everywhere. The tree can never look so organized as they love to put their handmade decorations which were school projects way back when they were in nursery school!!! Am sure you’re tree will be beautiful.

  13. my oh my look at all those christmas ornaments, decors, goodies all laid out in the table and ready to be put in the tree and around the household! countdown is on, by the way MM how’s your gingerhouse this year going?

  14. OMG I am so happy I check your blog everyday. It’s cold here up north and sad to say I am yet too busy to buy a christmas tree. I need to get one soon though. I like the ideas you have and the pictures, atleast hindi ako mahihirapan mag-conceptualize gagawin sa ever green christmas tree. thank you market manila for hosting this blog.

    btw, I am thinking of buying the santa claus chocolates as well meron kaya dito sa toronto? =)

  15. hi MM! i also bought potted pointsettias from king louis farm for our office decoration…where did you buy the native baskets you used for your poinsettia?….and also the mint candies? btw, i love all your Christmas tree trimmings!

  16. Hi MM, thank you for this post. I was not feeling so good but as soon as i saw the title and the cute little bear i started smiling and still am. Your enthusiasm and excitement shines through and it’s the best anti-depressant anyone can get :)

  17. The poinsettias you got is really a steal! Here in OZ a small pot would cost you around PHP250-300. The ornaments are gorgeous! We’re also planning to trim our Christmas tree today, but we can’t have those glass ornaments since the kiddies plays with it. I’m also looking forward to the gingerhouse you have this year….

  18. another year away from my family again… i miss my decors which I have collected all these years..

    lovely glass baubles… will look forward to the gingerhouse. I think i will make one here for the boat…

  19. you’re right… it is lame to pay somebody else to decorate the tree. where’s the memories of tradition in that? it’s just not the same!

  20. sha, I hope it isn’t too humid on a huge yacht for the gingerbread! QueenB et al, this year, the teen is making her own gingerbread house if she gets to it… chinkee, I have never been referred to as a “drug” before… :) evel, native baskets from local markets or balikbayan handicrafts. mint candies from Metro, Market!Market! zarina, good grief, they must definitely have chocolate santas in Toronto… openonymous, you must be referring to small trees, my sister still buys hers at the flower market and a 9-foot blue spruce is easily over a hundred bucks…

  21. It is my fondest dream to have a tree all decked out in glass and crystal, but with a large cat in the house… really it would be just a hypertension trigger.

    This particular cat thinks all the balls and sparkly things are calling out to him and teasing him. He actually climbs up the main trunk and topples the entire thing!

  22. Ooooh, Christmas decor. I love your decorations, I’m sure they’ll look fabulous on the tree. We too do the same in our family, in that we play Christmas carols in the background while trimming the tree!

    Carols will still played in the background during tree-trimming, but this is the first Christmas that I am decorating my own tree, not my family’s. It’s my husband’s and my first Christmas as a married couple, and owning our own tree is absolutely thrilling!

    This post was great; I feel so inspired now to do some “add ons.” :)

  23. I read somewhere that pine needles can be boiled for tea… I wonder what the tea will taste like…

  24. Wow, I love your tree and the ornament collection! I also can’t wait for your gingerbread. I have an urge to make my own but simple lang. If I don’t have time, I’ll probably just use those gingerbread house kits I saw at Gourdo’s and Shopwise :-)

  25. Love your decors! Gorgeous finds! Like the Christmas Style your household has…S & R really has a lot of good stuff in them. I’m much more ecstatic to buy our first tree and decorate it as well…will scout for one soonest…



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