An Epperson Christmas

jenni Family 23 Comments

I believe that traditions are the foundation of strong family bonds. They do not have to be complex, time-consuming, or expensive in order to be special.

Family rituals build powerful interpersonal connections and strengthen the bonds you have between each other, creating a stronger sense of belonging to the family.

Tom and I try to foster a collective sense of identity for our family. Since both our families live abroad, we created our own Epperson traditions by doing the same activities every year as a family. We come together as a group with our own unique identity: “We are a family that rocks the holidays!” Haha!

An Epperson Christmas is simple, fun, stress-free but special, just how the holidays should be.

Like what I said, holidays are stress-free at Maison Epperson:

Dads make the best pillows! Tom and Dylan watching a Christmas film. Very, very light relaxation lang. I am glad I captured this moment on the camera! Priceless!

I redecorated Maison Epperson for the holidays. This year’s theme is Winter Wonderland. Nothing extravagant, I just moved some artwork around and changed our throw pillows and curtains.

I’m constantly changing the look of Maison Epperson. I believe that when it comes to family traditions, it is rooted from doing family activities over and over but when it comes to our space, it should constantly evolve depending on our needs and mood.

I like redecorating our home. It’s a fun and creative process for me. Moving things around in our home and changing accessories create an inspiring space. It doesn’t take much but the positive impact on my family is great.

One of the things that make our holidays special too is the table setting for Christmas Eve dinner. Playing “plato-platuhan” is a tradition that I inherited from my mom and my grandmother. They were big on collecting beautiful china but, unlike them, I use ours everyday.

The sets of holiday plates I have are special because I only bust them out during the holiday season.

Make simple meals special by using holiday plates!

I hope to pass on some of my tableware collection to my daughter Aryanna. For now, she helps me set the table. I believe that the best way to teach our kids is through experience, like setting up the table and observing proper table manners.

For Christmas Eve dinner, we used the Spode Christmas Tree collection. It took me 5-6 years to build this set and it’s almost complete!

My mantra when it comes to building a collection is “slowly and beautifully”. The fun is always in the hunt!

Tom gave me roses for Christmas. I used them as our centerpiece.

The mint julep cups are my favorite vase! They are perfect for the dining table as they do not overpower my beautiful plates.

Our family is half American so we cook turkey for Christmas instead of lechon. Besides, the only part I like in a lechon is the crispy skin. No one in my family likes it too so turkey it is!

Tom cooks a perfect turkey every time. He also does it effortlessly. According to him, the secret is cooking with love and using a good meat thermometer. Pak!

When there’s turkey, there’s mash!

I made this mashed potato soufflé to go with our turkey. I only cook this once a year because this dish is dangerous — it has all the bad ingredients that makes it so good: heavy cream, whole milk, butter, cream cheese, sour cream, salt, and more butter! Haha!


Tom made Italian sausage stuffing with celery, onion, chestnuts, Italian bread and fresh sage. The rice is for our helpers and the veggies are just display to make us feel good, but no one eats them. Haha!

Like what I wrote, we make simple, satisfying and stress-free Christmas Eve dinner:

Tom and I love to cook but the less time we spend in the kitchen, the more time we can hangout as a family.

Meet the Eppersons!

Christmas Eve dinner with the family includes our extended family, our helpers. We all share a meal, say a prayer and make a Christmas wish.

From left: Aryanna, Tom, yaya Gina, and “The Liza 2000”

Tom made pumpkin pie for dessert and the rest of us attacked this gingerbread house!

All day, all night movie watching.

After seeing all our favorite Christmas films, we decided to watch a non-Christmas movie: ‘Paris When it Sizzles’

Ever since Aryanna was a kid, we would camp out in our living room and wait for Santa. Up to now, she still awaits the arrival of Santa, especially that she has a more personal relationship with him. It’s more fun now as we are passing on the Santa Stakeout tradition to Dylan.

Our Marshmallow Palace in the living room

The kids left out milk and cookies for Santa. Next year, we’ll leave out reindeer food (whatever that is) too.

Lighting a peppermint-scented candle sets the mood for the holidays.

Ready for lights out! Santa’s coming to town!

Christmas morning is the most anticipated day of the year!

Ever since we moved to a smaller place, we all agreed to give each other less but more meaningful gifts. That way we avoid clutter and we think of more creative and special gifts for everyone.

Christmas Day madness at Maison Epperson

On Santa’s ‘Nice’ List: The Eppersons

Christmas brunch!

We skip the traditional Noche Buena for a hefty Christmas brunch for health reasons. Ayaw ng empatso! Haha!

Christmas morning brunch set-up:

Gilt-y pleasure: Plato-platuhan!

According to Coco Chanel, “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.” So we dine using gold and eat in pajamas! LOL

Christmas Day at Maison Epperson is all about the three P’s: pajamas, presents and plato-platuhan!

We were so hungry that I forgot to take photos of our food! Ugh. Anyway, we had store-bought honey-glazed ham, breakfast sausages, homemade buttermilk pancakes, eggs, fresh OJ, brewed coffee, and steamed rice.

From Maison Epperson to your home, Merry Christmas!!!

The key to my son’s heart is a few Matchbox cars, Thomas the Train and a lot of playtime!

A new family obsession:

FujiFilm Instax Mini

(Photo taken using Instagram)

The Eppersons have always been a fan of analog photography. The FujiFilm Instax is a fun addition to our growing analog camera collection.

The family is working on a project using Aryanna’s new Instax. Once we’re done, I’ll blog about it.

(Photo taken using Instagram)

May your days be merry and bright!

Comments 23

  1. hi ms jenni! you are an inspiration, now i want to build a platu-platuhan collection also. hihi.

    a blessed 2013 to you and your family!

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  2. Happy Holidays to the Epperson family!!!

    Hi Ms Jenni, what camera are you using for this blog entry? I wanted to buy something compact but with the SLR quality but dunno which one.

    *crossing my legs* in the hope to get an answer from you.


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  3. Hello to the Eppersons!! I salute your family for being so down to earth. You treat your house helpers as part of your family. I hate seeing them in scrubs uniform. I always have soft spot for them. My mom used to say that we are privileged to have people serving us. Treat them as part of your family and they will treat you as such. May God continue to bless your family in abundance.

  4. Miss Jenni, just the usual remarks, YOU ARE SO AWESOME! Despite all your work, busy schedule, momma duties, and being le wifey. I really wonder how you manage EVERYTHING! You are one of my pegs! Thank you for letting us see almost everything about you and your family & work too. You are so nice! Wishing you & the rest of the Epperson, well!Happy Holidaze!

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  5. Hi Ms. Jenni,

    I really like to read your blogs everyday…it really inspired me a lot especially about your family and your home decors. Your platu-platuhan also interest me.

    Wishing you a prosperous 2013.

    best regards,

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  6. Best blog entry ever. I love how you celebrate the holidays with your family – warm, comfy and stylish but not fussy. I especially love how you include your extended family in celebrating the holidays. We do the same with our extended family. They are precious to us. Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year. All the best in 2013.

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  7. Hi jenni. For some reason or another, this post made me cry 🙁 i have a very young family (married for 2 years with 2 babies). Will definitely start a family tradition such as this one 🙂 thanks for sharing. You are an inspiration 🙂

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      Hi Sharon!

      It’s never too early to start your own family traditions. Make it fun so that everyone would want to get involved. Fuss-free yet special activities are the best!

  8. Hi Ms. Jenni, been following your blog since your multiply days and I was still single then. Now that I’m a Mom, I look forward on everything you do. You’re my inspiration as a mom. And I guess I got my kakikayan from you! You don’t know how much you inspire me.

    This post is definitely heart melting, and it inspires me to our own family traditions too! Thanks for sharing this to us! It’s a big help! And thanks for being so down to earth. I saw you and Aryanna before at North Park, Glorietta but I got shy so ndi ko na kayo nilapitan. Hehe Baka masabihan ako ng FC! LOL!

    Anyhoo, keep it up! God bless you and your whole family! 🙂

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      Thanks Sha for always visiting my blog!

      Congrats on your new family! Go ahead and start your own family traditions! Make it fun!

      Next time, please say hi! I love meeting my readers!


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  9. Hi Jenni…I just want to let you know that I love reading your blog. It’s inspiring, really an easy read and your plato-platuhan and table settings are fantastic! I’ve been back-reading your entries, hence, the “late” comment

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