Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas! Let's open the gifts!

Scheduled Post: I'm away on vacation until January 4! See here for details.

There's a running joke in my family that the real Santa is me. At some point over the years, I became the one who went out to get the gifts for everyone as well as the one who cooked the turkey dinners almost exclusively. But the joke really started back in the mid-90s when I forged a letter from Santa to my brother who is the youngest in my family. One year he left a plate of cookies and a glass of milk on the mantle of the fireplace, wholeheartedly believing that Santa would visit. My mom was like, "WTF should we do?" because she never dreamed that an offspring of hers could be so gullible. I just happened to have been into calligraphy at the time (eyeroll at my teenage self) and sat down to fake a stylized letter from Santa. I left the letter (rolled up like a scroll, tied with a ribbon) by the cookies and milk, making sure to drain the glass by half and take visible bites out of the cookies. My dad, who was absolutely clueless about all of this (as usual), came by later when everyone was sleeping and devoured the entire cookies and milk offering. Even I was slightly mystified in the morning, and my brother became the most fervent believer of Santa's existence until we told him the truth a few years later. Now it's tradition to bring this up and laugh at him every single year. Good times!

This year I'm taking a break from the turkey roasting and letter forging, but of course I left presents for my loved ones. We'll just take a peek at the presents of the sort we're usually interested in: beauty products, what else?

For my cousin's daughter:

This is the middle schooler from whom I stole the EOS balm. Yes, this one! And as you can see, she's only getting one of the EOS balms due to my theft of the purple balm. But to compensate for the loss of the other two balms, I've added Cake Snow Woman Velveteen Hand Cream. I'm pretty sure she's not yet allowed to wear perfume or nail polish. And the girl is rather tomboyish still and not really into beauty products as far as I know. But I am here to transition her, whether she's ready or not!

For my youngest sister:

As mentioned, both of my sisters are rather low maintenance beautywise while I became the crazy hoarder. This sister prefers most of her moisturizers unscented, delights in cute things like the EOS balm and likes fresh, uplifting scents that are light and not cloying. I think the Fresh Sugar Rollerball Trio, Cake Unsweet Velveteen Hand Cream and an EOS lip balm make a good package for her.

For the sister I'm visiting:

She made me promise not to get her anything because apparently it's enough that I'm taking a trip to visit her  -- and I'm lugging a lot of stuff sent by her friends and the rest of our family -- but how can I not get her something personal and beauty-related?

Her hair isn't as curly as mine but it's also quite wavy for an East Asian. Her preferred product to tame the frizz and add shape to the waves is Aveda Phomollient Styling Foam. She emptied the original pump container before she left and told me not to throw out the bottle as Aveda sells refills. I don't know what the heck she's using in Manila's humid environment but I get the feeling she'll be glad that I got her a refill.

For my friends J & S who are hosting my stay in Singapore:

This is actually a rhetorical question since we consider white wine to be the equivalent of water and red is always the preferred choice. But I love this card and wish someone would get me a card like this!

For J in particular:

J and I like to exchange beauty gifts and she never veers from the classic and elegant. Before she moved to Singapore, she was interested in getting a red Chanel lipstick. I'm not sure whether she's obtained one since, so to be on the safe side, I'm getting her a Rouge Carat Le Vernis and Brilliant Extreme Glossimer in Nakkar.

For my mom who is impossible to please:

Chanel for everybody! She and my dad are getting a big joint gift from me, but I think she needs something extra that she can whip out in front of her friends and boast about. Unfortunately that's how her cronies roll even though my mom is the most low maintenance person ever when it comes to beauty products. (But to make up for it, she's extremely high maintenance in just about every other way!) Sorry, I didn't want to destroy the wrapping to take pictures but what's in the bag are Chanel Rouge Allure lipstick in #75 and Mat Lumiere Luminous Matte Powder Makeup. My mom is literally a powder foundation + brow pencil + lipstick woman. That's all she uses. She might as well use a really good one while she's at it. If I go Chanel, my mother definitely deserves to as well.

And something extra for everyone:

Ever since Ashley tweeted this picture, I've been obsessed with getting my hands on the LUSH Golden Wonder Bath Bombs. I picked up four and am doling them out to my sisters, Friend J and my sister's friend S who is hosting the Christmas dinner. I used to hate LUSH but now a new dangerous addiction has begun. THANK YOU, ASHLEY! *blame*

What did you get for Christmas? I hope "Santa" has been good to you!


  1. Nice presents girl. Oh Chanel! Everyone loves Chanel.

  2. These are such wonderful gifts! I hope you're enjoying your trip :)

  3. I love ALL of the gifts you chose. Your family and friends are very lucky duckies! The fresh trio really caught my eye (I'm really diggin' the rollerball trend a lot of the perfumes are catching on to!) - looks like I'll be making a stop at Sephora soon.

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday and a safe trip! :)

  4. Well... I can't talk myself out of this one. I'm guilty. I take full responsibility for introducing you to Golden Wonder! Did you love it though? DID YOU!!?!

  5. You play Santa perfectly Liz. Merry Christmas to you and yours! xoxo

  6. Lovely gifts! LOL, I'm the one who has been convincing my mom to go "high end" with her makeup, too, and now she won't give up her Chanel lipsticks...they're moving to Korea for a few years for dad's job and she's stocking up!!! LOL. She's like "give me Nordstrom gift cards, I need to buy more makeup before I leave! It will be so expensive over there." Hahaha. Oh, mum.

  7. @Girlie Blogger - It's hard to go wrong with Chanel.

    @Dovey - It has been nothing short of amazing so far! Thanks and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

    @Lindsay - It's about time that the travel-friendly perfumes became more common, right? I can never finish a bottle so the little sizes are a perfect way to try out a perfume also before you get tired of it, if you're a perfume butterfly like I am. I hope Santa has been good to you too, Lindsay! :)

    @Ashley - It actually didn't fit in my suitcase once I bubble-wrapped it. Those suckers are huge! Fortunately I haven't seen a nice bath tub yet so it's better that I left it at home. The more for me now, muhahahaha!

    @Vita - Thank you and you as well, Vita!

    @Larie - I think Chanel classifies as an infectious disease, lol. I haven't heard a peep from my mom as to whether she liked the gifts or not. It could be that she'd rather have the $$$ spent on it instead. Lucky your mom! She's saving some to spend on Korean brands though, right?!?

  8. "Chanel for everybody!" A woman after my own heart.

    Haha, I love all the presents. YOU DONE GOOD.

    I used to hate Lush, too, but when you finally take a good look at all the things they offer, you can hone down things of actual use (not just pretty things, lol). One of my favourite shampoos is from Lush, and it smells wonderful (citrusy and fresh, not super strong and herbal). :)

    Hope you had a WONDERFUL Christmas, Liz!

  9. A (belated) Merry Christmas to you as well, Liz....hope it was a good one; I'm betting it was a lot warmer than ours, lol! Lovely gifts and it looks like you put in quite a bit of effort to tailor them to each recipient - that's wonderful! PS: you can never go wrong with Chanel - ANYTHING!!! Look forward to "seeing" you when you return!!

  10. You make an awesome Santa Liz!! These gifts are perfect. I always go to Chanel Nail Polishes if I can't think of a Christmas gift, especially for my mum who never really wants anything. Also the good thing about getting Chanel is that I can 'borrow' them from my mum whenever I want! haha

  11. You are hysterical girl, absolutely hysterical. That's my favorite Santa story yet. We were never told there was a Santa I don't have those sort of stories. And for the first time this year I wasn't giving too many presents, there's too much present politics going on in the world. A former friend of mine and her best friend didn't used to do it. At first I thought it was a little bit odd, but now I kind of think that it's a good idea.

  12. xmas presents!!! soooo prettty :DD i totally bought golden wonder because of you & ashley too -_-" but i had 2 buy it online cuz they were sold out in store T.T and i'm trying to transition my mom into high end makeup but she still isn't convinced xD must try harder >_< and you seem like an amazing gift giver ;D hope you got great gifts as well! :))

  13. Wow, your family is getting some great loot, especially your Mom - she's one lucky lady!! I also try to give cosmetic type products often for gifts because it's kind of my thing. It usually seems well received :) Good work!

  14. @Denise - Hope you also had a great holidays, Denise!!! I actually went into a Lush at Singapore but the selection didn't seem as good as the one at the Eaton Centre. I told my friend J about the jelly shampoo thingy you like and she was fascinated. :)

    @Eugenia - Thank you and I hope you had a wonderful holidays as well, my friend! Thanks for noticing the tailoring. I like to think that I'm a good gift-giver. ;> I thought of you while browsing in Jimmy Choo! ;)

    @Stacey - I don't know why I didn't think of Chanel before this year. My mom finally got back to me on the gifts and said it was too extravagant but that she had already started using them so they can't be returned, lol!

    @D - I think old school Asians didn't do the Santa thing much. My mom tried with me but I realized Santa's handwriting looked exactly like mom's so it didn't really work. Present politics - LOL! I used to give little things to a whole bunch of people but really cut down in the recent years. I've also learned not to expect anything from people out of obligation, which is very freeing.

    @Isabella - Yay, Golden Wonder for everyone! :) Moms can't argue when you just shove it into their laps. Talking never gets anywhere! Hope you had an amazing Xmas!

    @Toya - I was trying to stay away from cosmetics gift-giving but it got too difficult, LOL. My mom can be difficult but she deserves nice things. :)


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