Carolina: Cruising Past 70: WOW: Preparing for the Holidays in Florida

Sunday, December 4, 2011

WOW: Preparing for the Holidays in Florida

our Christmas Star, made of Philippine capiz shells, hanging from our RV dashboard

a fifth wheel spreads Christmas joy at the Resort...
In the Philippines preparations for the Christmas season starts as soon as the months turn into …ber (September through December). But America waits for the completion of another important holiday, Thanksgiving. So now that we are settled in Florida where we will be for another 4 months, I can no longer contain my excitement. My children, sons-in-law, and grandkids are coming on New Year’s Eve! So I have been maximizing what’s left of my brain power (if ever there was any to start with!) and Bill’s wallet to come up with décor fit for an RV, special holiday meals, and longed-for gifts!!! It was Thanksgiving 2009 when we last had a holiday reunion in Mazatlan, Mexico!
a motor home lights up the campground!
another brightly lit motor home at the resort
Décor fit for an RV
There is not a lot of space so my tree is a little one and it now houses our Christmas ornaments from our initial travels, before we shifted to refrigerator magnets. Those Christmas stockings for the surprise stuffers from Mr. and Mrs. Santa are also up!  Little poinsettia plants are adding lots of reds and greens. Then a bit of the Philippines hangs as a bright Christmas star (it is made from Philippine capiz shells). A holly wreath filled with Christmas lights completes our dashboard counter top.

Unlike many of the RVs in this Orlando Thousand Trails Resort, this year all of our decor is inside because we spend Christmas at a Vacation Internationale condo in Tampa from Dec. 20-26. There will be no need to take down big décor outside the RV when we move it for storage and reinstall them for the family when they come for New Year..

another fifth wheel gives it all out for the campground...
Special Holiday Meals
From Seattle will come Trisha and Deejay and their children, Yeye and Kenji (Krishna is not able to join us because of work and school). Claudine and Arnold and their children Ashton, Andre, and Enzo will be flying in from Calgary, Alberta. They will all be staying at the Maingate Lakeside Resort Hotel some 6 miles from the campground. Sadly, April will not be able to fly from Manila this year because she is spending her first Christmas with a new beau.

That makes 11 mouths to feed and the RV kitchen is quite small (please see )!!! So for New Year’s Day brunch I will serve a combo of homemade American breakfast of biscuits and sausage gravy and an authentic Filipino breakfast of longganisa, garlic rice and fried eggs plus the left-overs from the New Year’s Eve Party of Christmas ham, queso de bola, and ambrosia. As per Filipino tradition, I should also have 9 different kinds of round fruits for lots of good luck in the coming year (I will cheat a little and just have 9 different kinds of oranges-this is after all, orange country)! Then a standing rib roast and lots of roasted vegetables will grace our table for New Year’s Day dinner!

Christmas Gifts
Since Christmas gifts are placed under the tree, our gifts should all be pretty small (great for the budget, too!)! Kidding aside, we have asked Trisha and Claudine what each child wants. So, as requested, Bill and I will treat all of the kids to the newest theme park in Orlando, Legoland, while their parents do some R&R on their own! Anyway they already have welcome gifts of beige boots, hot wheels set, dinosaur T shirt, and remote control cars that we have collected from our various trips.

Unfortunately, Bill’s children and grandkids will not be able to join us (Suzanne and family in Denver, Colorado, Jim and family in Boise, Idaho, and Cristine and husband in Anchorage, Alaska).  We have been searching on line for items on their wish lists for direct shipment. We are also sending the little items we’ve purchased over the past months as we remembered things they like while we were touring. We hope to watch them open their gifts via SKYPE so that we can share a bit of electric Christmas joy!
our complete Christmas dashboard from the inside...

we now come home to this at night!
But now that the plans are all set, we gleefully transition into the execution phase and spend some real dollars...then come home to a brightly lit M'A!!! Costco and Florida’s awesome flea markets and outlet malls…here we come!!!