Monday, January 10, 2011

2010 Christmas Season and onwards to 2011

I know..I know.. Christmas 2010 is over! But all the same, we can celebrate Christmas today and everyday, as Jesus Christ is always with us and within us, yes?

Christmas decor inside the Church of St Francis of Assisi, Cheras
Christmas decor inside God's dwelling, Church of St Francis of Assisi in Cheras

Before I ramble on,

Wishing You And Your Loved Ones
All The Very Best For The New Year 2011
And God's Abundant Blessings Always!

2011 New Year greeting card

The above was one of the lovely floral displays seen decorating our Church of St Francis of Assisi in Cheras, creatively arranged by Sarah Nathan for the Christmas week. Flower arrangement were mostly done by her and assisted by Pertha, her sister Daisy and I who worked as a team under her leadership on 23rd December. Being passionate about gardening, flowers and plants, I'm extremely happy to have joined the Flower-arrangement ministry since last year and be able to contribute in a very small way towards our Catholic community here.

December 25, 2010 :
My beloved John and I love to start off the Christmas day by attending the 9.30 am Mass Celebration. So, together with his lovable mum who has been staying with us since October 20 2010 and Dorothy, a close friend who stayed overnight, we 'trotted' joyfully to St Francis of Assisi Church. As usual one can always feel the spirit and mood of the festive season all around on this very auspicious day. But, more intense is the feeling of awe, solemnity, peace and thankfulness whenever I'm inside God's house, assured of our Heavenly Father's unconditional love and mercy that far surpasses my unworthiness and sinfulness.

Consciously aware that JESUS CHRIST IS THE REASON FOR THE MASS CELEBRATION AND CHRISTMAS SEASON, I'm filled too with much love and gratitude for our Savior's birth, whose passion, death and resurrection reconciled us with God through the forgiveness of our sins.
1 John 4:9-10
In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him.
In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.
Fr. Andrew Manikam, the Assistant Parish Priest, was the Mass celebrant that refreshing Christmas morning. There's always good news in his well-prepared homily that we can treasure. He spoke at large about the angel's announcement of the good news of the Savior's birth (Luke 2:8-15) to the shepherds, regarded the lowliest in society during those times. And provoked us to ponder what Christmas means especially to the single parent, lonely, aged, sickly and the unfortunate lot. He exhorted us to bring home 3 truths that can be obtained from the angel's annoucement:
  1. You are precious to God. (Every person, irrespective of status, is important to Him).
  2. Your life matters to Him. (He cares for you and will save you).
  3. He will always be with you. (God has a name, Emmanuel, which means, GOD IS WITH US. He's with us, within us and around us).
A little later after Mass, the 4 of us proceeded to Benteng Coffee House at Quality Hotel in Kuala Lumpur (Tel.: 603-2693 9233) to enjoy a hearty Christmas buffet brunch from 12.00 - 3.00 pm. The spread was fantastic which included roasted turkey, satay, noodles and pasta, various meaty dishes, seafood, dim sum, veggies, rojak, cakes, pastries and many more as displayed in the photo collages below! Yummy...yum!

Christmas brunch food-fare at Benteng Coffee House, Quality Hotel in KLChristmas brunch food-fare at Benteng Coffee House, Quality Hotel in KL

Christmas brunch food-fare at Benteng Coffee House, Quality Hotel in KLChristmas brunch food-fare at Benteng Coffee House, Quality Hotel in KL

So much to eat yet cost us only RM92 for 4 pax after senior citizen discount of 50% - how wonderful! Too full that we forgo dinner that night. Hehe, like buying 2 in saved again and best thing was kitchen closed for the whole day! Not really though as I had to make some preparations later in the night for next day's dinner.

December 26, 2010
Guess who came for dinner? None other than my beloved sons and their family, plus my sister and niece and Kellie's cousin, May! Menu included the following:
  1. Chicken Satay (100 sticks @ 50 sen each)
  2. Yong Tow Foo (60 pieces @ 80 sen each)
  3. Pizza (1 large + 1 regular pan crust pizza that came free with 2 crunchy crust of the ordered sizes @ RM54.40 inclusive of tax and delivery - special Christmas promotion for online ordering from Pizza Hut
  4. Steamed Pumpkin Cake (recipe here if interested)
  5. Fried Hokkien Mee
  6. Black Glutinous Rice Dessert (Bubur Pulut Hitam)
  7. Seedless Black Grapes
Hehe...I'm sure you've guessed that the first three were bought while the rest were prepared by me, with John's help of course! With the ready-cooked orders and some home-cooked ones, plus disposable plates, cups and cutlery, John and I weren't at all exhausted as we cheerfully welcomed our family for the Christmas get-together, celebrated in the comfort of our home.

Food collage: lovely dishes for 2010 Christmas family get-together
Food collage: lovely dishes that were enjoyed by us for Christmas family get-together

Food was aplenty for the 13 of us! As expected, so much excess food too as John and I are never good at estimating the amount. Nevertheless, food was not wasted as our sons and my sis were delighted to have the extras packed for them to relish again next day, with some left-overs for ourselves too!

Collage of my family members and others
Left picture: My beloved family members + invited guests: May, Carol & Sharon on the right,
a pity though that my mother-in-law was excluded as she had retired to bed much earlier on.
Right picture: My darling grand-daughters - Dylea and the twins, Renice and Renee

My darling John and I always cherish such wonderful bonding times with family members and are most thankful and grateful to God for all His abundant blessings, both great and small, showered upon us and our family, endlessly.

We praise and thank you, O God! We trust that You will continue to fill our days with your joy, peace and love!
Jeremiah 29:11-12
Yes, I know what plans I have in mind for you, Yahweh declares, plans for peace, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
When you call to me and come and pray to me, I shall listen to you.

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