my family's not even religious so why were we even celebrating christmas? but my godmother's son jack got a 10 lbs. gift turkey from work, so my parents decided to close the cafe early and have an impromptu dinner with everyone.

since it was so spontaneous, there wasn't time for me to make my usual holiday flan. i basically just showed up to eat.

later i saw the jasmine plant in the makeshift grow house my father had set up at the back of the cafe. that jasmine was just barely clinging on to life when i returned it to my father, but now it was thriving, sprouting new leaves and even flowering a bit. my father bent back the long stem and replanted the top portion. i think a lot of the success has to do with the grow light though - the natural light in the back of my kitchen is just too dim to sustain sun-loving plants (even shade tolerant species can't tolerate that much shade). makes me wonder what floral miracles i can achieve if i upgrade the lights in my fish tanks to something with more wattage.

earlier during the day i went with my mother to market basket to get some last minute grocery items. considering it was christmas eve, traffic was moderate. i suppose i was expecting there to be less people, but when we arrived i was almost surprised the place wasn't more crowded. i stocked up on some more egg nog and juice before returning home.

later in the evening, i watched gone baby gone, ben affleck's directorial debut, about a little missing girl. scoring a 93% on the critics tomatometer, the film reads like a love note to boston locations. and for the first time, i watched a movie featuring boston accents and never once did i cringe. one question though: if patrick (casey affleck) makes his living being a private investigator who thrives in his morally ambiguous neighborhood and has personal connections with less than savory local characters, how come in the end he can't seem to make a grey decision and chooses to take a path that ruins more lives than helps? maybe the movie is trying to make a point that life isn't always black and white, and a man of conviction will sometimes do the wrong thing for supposedly the right reason. an interesting film nonetheless, sure to garner many nominations during this coming awards season. an interesting casting note: that mormon doctor from house plays a bad-ass drug dealer in the movie!

staying up so late on christmas eve i most likely jeopardized my chance to meet santa claus. but given the fact that i don't have a chimney and i would sooner stab an uninvited bearded stranger in my house than welcome him, i think it's for the best.