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It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

We went to Eastwood first to meet up with my Dad's brothers and their families for a pre-Christmas dinner. While there, I did some last minute shopping for my ever-growing list of god-children. I bought several Spiderman figures and a Barbie doll. I come from the generation that used to get G.I.Joes for about 60 pesos each and Transformers for about 200-250. Imagine my look of disbelief when a single Barbie doll came to 700 bucks! It being Christmas eve and the Barbie being the last one in stock, I hurriedly paid for my purchases and had them wrapped (Giftwrapping was free, so for that I count my blessings).

Afterwards, we headed for Ateneo for what has become our yearly Yuletide tradiiton. One that was almost cut short due to petty jealousy. For the past two years, my family and I have been attending Misa de Gallo at the Church of the Gesu and it was disheartening when the guard at the gate told us that there was to be no mass there this year. He did tell us though that there was a mass at the High School Chapel, so off we went.

It was better than expected. Aside from the wave of nostalgia, the HS chapel gave off a cozy and comforting feeling. It wasn't as crowded as Gesu was the past few years and its smallness and simplicity really made Christmas hit home for me.

It was REALLY beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Side note, we found out that the reason there was no mass at Gesu was because someone was complaining over at Dela Strada that their attendance had dropped and they were blaming the Gesu masses. Pettiness at Christmas time? From priests no less!

Anyway, we went home, enjoyed Noche Buena (Peking duck baby!) and I even got a call from my best friend Bill, who's stuck in NY. We talked for a few minutes and then that's when it started.

I started sneezing. It wasn't one of those "Achoo! Excuse me" sneezes. It was more of a rapid-fire, staccato-ish, non-stop sneezefest. Then the stomachache began. Then the puking. Then the end of Christmas and the beginning of my three day bout with food poisoning.

Over the course of the next few days, I lay in bed and cursed my fate with every upchuck. My betrothed friends Meah and Orvin came by to return/borrow DVDs and dropped off some jelly for me to eat (The best gift ever, seeing that I couldn't eat much of anything else). My other best bud Dan came to reclaim some of the DVDs that my brother and his friends borrowed. In my weakened state, I was able to fight him off and drive him away from my collection (use your DVD writer to benefit from my hard work in gathering these films? I think not). Then my inaanak came. The one who asked for the Barbie.

When she opened her gift and I saw her eyes open wide as saucers, it made it all worth it. This was a girl that was usually so talkative and makulit that you had to pay her to shut up. Here you go dearie, I think this will cover for a year. After she left, it was back to bed for me.

And there I stayed for three whole days.

At least I actually lost weight during the Holidays!

Here's to a Happier New Year! I've had my fill of explosions. Now, I just wanna see fireworks.

Signing off.