Starbuck additions

New Orleans Skyline New York 2008 Holiday mug Vienna Global City Mug New York City Skyline England Global City mug Los Angeles Skyline

I haven’t been too good with updating my Starbucks mug collection online but I’ve been picking up a few here and there and receiving one or two from friends who remember that Alan and I collect Starbucks mugs.  I tried to update today but I’m missing the latest New York City mug (not the holiday mug pictured above) which, I hope, is tucked away in my office.  (Where else could it be when it’s not among my mugs in paperbags here at home?)

Each mug has a story which I’ve been meaning to write about as well, but I’m getting there.  For now, I’m trying to keep up with the cataloguing so I can finally get everything on my flickr photostream.  (Clicking on any of the thumbnails above will take you to the photo set housed in my Flickr account.) 

There was quite a number of holiday designs that came out this season which I’m looking forward to getting once they are put up on sale, and in the meantime, I made sure to grab the city holiday mug before they ran out.

Alan went to New Orleans for a conference early December and searched for a city mug high and low, finally finding one just before he headed home.  He had picked up the Los Angeles Skyline mug a while back, but I had left it wrapped in the Starbucks tissue and completely forgot about it in a corner in my kitchen until today.  The New York City Holiday mug had come out a couple of weeks ago and I picked up the last two at a nearby Starbucks when I bought some holiday presents from there.  (Why two?  I’m “investing” in the second… more on that later.)  My Vienna and England mugs were unexpected presents from friends, one from Alan’s colleague Thibault and the other from our friend Danielle.  Both were not requested and were spontaneous purchases by friends who knew we collected the mugs.

I have tried to be reasonable in picking up mugs to add to the collection.  Although it is the first thing we look for when visiting a place outside of New York, I don’t go out of my way to purchase rare and in demand mugs.  I was surprised to get an offer for $250 for my 2006 NYC Holiday Mug featuring the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, I didn’t immediately grab the offer thinking it was tempting, but I didn’t feel quite right about selling at that price.  When I got back to the serious collector two days after the offer was made to me via e-mail, he said he had managed to acquire one for just over $230.  I could put up the mug I had on auction — but do I really want to go through that and rob my collection of what appears to be a most sought after piece?  I think not.  Well, not yet.

So this year, I picked up two of the holiday mugs.  Who knows?  This time next year, someone might make an offer, or better yet, I might decide to sell it on auction.  

I get offers to sell me this or that mug — but I try not to buy anything online.  I have two or three New York mugs I’m missing which I want to get eventually, but I’m too lazy to go and bid and compete in an auction for these pieces.  In time..

Meanwhile, Alan is set to go back to Paris this January, and I have already instructed him to pick up a Paris Eiffel mug.  We have one of the Arc D’ Triomphe.  And if he ever heads to Brussels (which is very likely), I’m hoping to grab one from there as well.  Their first ever Starbucks didn’t open until after our visit there this time last year.

My Christmas week so far

My Christmas week (from the eve to New Year’s Eve on the 31st) is actually hitting its midpoint today.  It’s been a different and yet just as heartwarming Christmas as those that I remember from the past.  We’ve spent it both intimately and in bigger groups with friends.  There was the usual holiday rush and the Christmas meal which was a little simpler than before, but more meaningful because it was just the immediate family sitting down on our own dining table instead of the bigger family in another house.

Our Christmas decoration is more festive than previous years although it’s the tree and two window sills.  I repaired my years old christmas wreath now missing a few pine cones by patching it up with two huge poinsettia flowers.  My Christmas card was handcrafted and sent away almost on time.  I am thinking I will do this even earlier next year to be able to send out more.

I made my leche flan, we had our rib roast, potatoes au gratin as a side and some vegetables.  New Year’s eve will be just a little grander — and of course we’ll have our bubbly.  Alan and I will probably watch the ball drop from our living room like previous years.  I’m hoping to get my quezo de bola in the coming days from the Filipino store. 

I have gotten together with friends, even managing a short rendezvous from good friend Gedd from my UP Manila days. =)  It is always heartwarming to go back to those days and to see someone who was like a younger brother to me — now seemingly all grown up.  (At 40 he should be! LOL) 

Christmas has always been all about family to me.  I grew up in a house where Christmas was a big to do even during those years when the business wasn’t doing too well.  Christmas day itself meant reuniting with all the inaanaks (godchildren) — and since I have approximately three dozen already, with around a third or less showing up on Christmas day — between my siblings and I and my Mom’s nephews, nieces and grandchildren, it was a very festive atmosphere up until lunch.  The flow of visitors would somehow abate by late afternoon, and we took the time to catch up.

I miss Mom’s noche buenas.  I miss my family.  But we had a good Christmas here in New York.. and we’re doing good with the rest of our Christmas week.  Now that Angelo is more involved, it feels more like a family affair indeed.