At that time Elena’s mom was still alive even though she was bedridden from strokes and Alzheimer’s.
When I arrived there was already a lot of family here and by Christmas day the house was full with 23 people. Linda who is Elena’s sister-in-law with 2 of her 3 kids Jun Jun and Nadem. Then there was Junior, Elena’s brother with his wife Lettie, 2 of their daughters Joy and Genevieve and their Son Juaren.
On Christmas Eve Elena’s Brother Bhong arrived with his wife Tita and their daughter Edna.
The children of Elena’s Sister Nene were already living here since they go to University of Mindanao for nursing. They are the ones I refer to as “The Girls” in other posts. There is Merliza (21), Mona (20) and Riza (17). They have 2 older brothers, Amar (25) who lives o his own here in Davao and Peter (23) who works as a Seaman.
So on last years Christmas with family and a few close family friends, Janis who is Amar’s girlfriend and Cecil who is Peter’s we had 23 people in a small 2 bedroom house.
This year it was just Elena, me, the 3 girls, Amar and Janis.
I had noticed the Tom Cruise movie “Lions for Lamb” was playing at the malls so I asked if everyone would like to go see in on Christmas day. We went to our favorite mall, Giasano Mall. Once there we notice all the movies are Tagalog movies, so we let the girls go and Elena, Amar and Janic decided to come home. One the way I stopped at a reasturant to get a pizza. Then we watched a DVD movie.
Once the girls got home we all went to Palace Buffet by Victoria Mall. It is an inexpensive restaurant but had nice choices and good tasting foods. After dinner we came home to open presents. They were all for me since I gave everyone money for Christmas a few days early so they could go shopping at the malls big Midnight Sale.
So, without family coming out of the woodwork like last year, we still had a nice Christmas with family.