I actually kept to my words and didn't blog till after Christmas! *A self pat on my back!* (and now suffering withdrawal syndrome...) :p
Christmas has come and gone and what a eventful and joyful time it was..The Cantata on Friday Night went well.. we had a great time singing to the Lord and to the almost full-house guests who came. No major boo-boos although for some songs, the timing was a bit off but as someone commented, the overall spirit was good and we produced some great music and voices. Praise the Lord!
The last minute (as in last 1-2 week) practice saved the day when I sang solo for opening verse of O Holy Night. Although I felt certain parts I could not hold my breath long enoough but I did sing it with much expressions and emotions. Oh, I didn't forget to smile.. :) The shortcomings might have been covered up.. Errr...(shyly) to my surprise, had compliments by many people..
Am glad that quite a number of friends I invited actually turned up. Even dad came although he had to leave after O Holy Night as he had an engagement.
Me with Carol, KY, MY and one of her little ones
The two Nics ready to tug into the pancake
Well, Christmas eve was another busy busy day.. Had lunch with some friends - my belated birthday lunch - at Jushi, Plaza Damas. The food was pretty good but the service could do with some improvements. Although already stuffed, we adjourned to Paddington (forgot full name) to have pancakes for desserts as M.Y.'s two kids were looking forward to it.. Then I went off to do some last minute shopping for Christmas presents as well as bought some food.. yep, I was to prepare a simple Western dinner for dad and grandma. Mom had flown off to HK to see sis' family...
There was no rest in between..but cooking was fun, and not difficulty as I had help from our two maids. I acted like the head chef :p Was pleased that I succeeded making for the first time fresh potato and leek soup, with a little brocolli.. Although the process got quite messy, as I didn't know whether to blend the vege raw or cooked into puree but the end product was quite good and tasty! Even dad - a food critic - thought it was nice.
The Christmas dinner I created; gifts galore - no not gifts I receive but to give out!
Main course however was a little disappointing. Dad was in charge of getting the meat but the steaks (they were already marinated) weren't so fresh and my own marination would be much nicer. The lamb chops were quite nice though. We also had some prawns which were pretty fresh. So overall it was a satisfying and nutritious meal. Of course, there was red wine to `wash' it down..
Wanted to have an early night but wrapping present, reading blogs.. (yeah, i didn't blog but still read others') etc.. got me busy and by the time I got ready for bed it was 1am! I had to wake up 6:30am the next morning as the choir was to perform at both my church's service at both centres - Subang and Pantai.
Rise and shine at 6:35am! Have never woken up so early on Christmas morning in my life! wait! correction. I did wake up two years ago at 4:30am - to catch the early flight to Christmas Island with uncle and cousins. Although still craving for sleep initially, I was quite alert and in high spirit. It's Christmas Day! :)
Waiting to sing at Pantai on Christmas morning - CH, Zan, Lynn, me and May
Singing our hearts out during Christmas service
Haven't been to Subang centre for a while.. the congregations seemed a little aloof and `cold', compared to Pantai's. Because the stage was small, we were quite cramped, some even ouldn't see our conductor.. Overall, we did ok. But... when we returned to Pantai centre, somehow our spirit had a boost! We `warmed up' more by singing along with the congregation the worship songs - mostly familiar pieces - outside the auditorium. And then when it was our turn to sing...a miracle happened! Even with lesser members as some stayed back in Subang for service, we performed our best yet when we sang the three songs - O Little Town of Bethleham, Mary Did You Know and the triumphant O Come, All Ye Faithful. Our voices were unified and especially for the last song, it really built up to a poignant climax!
Some fellow choir members were craving for spicy stuff after being deprived of if to keep our throat `healthy' for singing, so we had Indian for lunch - at Flavours of India at Desa Sri Hartamas. It was quiet and looked like we booked up the whole restaurant!
On the way home I dropped by Bangsar Baru to the bank and also some last minute shopping again! By the time I reached home, I was tired and looking forward for a nap. But somehow my mind was still so active that I couldn't sleep! On one hand, I was in a happy and elated Christmas and year-end mood. But on the other hand, I felt kinda stressed that I still had a number of incompleted stories that I should hand in this week. Because if I procrastinate, workload will accumulate and when I return to work on Jan 3, the start of 2006 would be quite unbearable!
Yeah, I would have to use some precious time during my leave this week to finish those work.. sigh. It's not really the break that I had hope for.
Anyway, putting aside work, I had a wonderful and fun-filled evening at a friend's family Christmas dinner party just now. My Prime College friend Carol who is based in London is back for Christmas (her annual trip home these days) and again her family threw a Christmas dinner for relatives and close friends. The food was yummy - not the usual Christmas fare except a turkey but tasty local cuisine including Per-li (Carol's cousin)'s mother's famous Mee Siam! Which I took a few helpings!
Aunty Betty serving food to two boys from orphanage
Our `gang' gathering for a group picture
After dinner was casual chit chat and more food - desserts folllowed.. another of our gang who is also the prolific and famous food blogger Boo_licious (as she likes to remain anonymous) made a chiffon cake and gave us her award-winning cookies as Christmas presents. Oh, speaking of presents, there was again the annual massive Christmas pressies exchange between family members and friends.. (now u know why I needed to do last minute shopping! :p)
The gifts opening time provided us much fun and laughter. We were made to open our gifls by the hosts.. while there were many `wow, so nice.. thanks..' there were a couple of gasps and gigles.. yes, some pretty kinky stuff that I'll leave u to imagination. Then there were some quite hilarious ones - like my friend's granni gave her future grandson-inlaw shower gels! And not even in dispenser but in two economical bags full! Could that be some hints...!? ;)
Cousins and sis-in-law busy opening remaining gifts..
With the host and `semi-host'
As I drove home, the clock turned midnight and it was already boxing day.. Christmas has come and gone, just with a blink of the eyes. Next week this time.. it will be 2006!!
It's time to pray and think of my realistic resolutions for 2006. Am thinking of starting another blog - a spiritual one for the new year. But I vouch not to take up too much time in front of the PC.. Yes, that could be my first realistic resolutions.. at least more possible to accomplish than say losing 10 lbs!!
Errr.. I hope so.. (btw, its almost 4am when I completed this post!)