Every Nook n' Cranny


12/20/2001
Janice keeps Christmas the same
Antonette V. Valdez


Single people are currently in the process of tightening their grip on the pole of pretension being loveless this Christmas. “Really, it’s no big deal!” Considering a job as tough as that, what more for a person who was wrapped in the warm embraces and tender kisses of a special someone in last year’s Christmas?

Janice de Belen clearly depicts the picture of a woman who’s experienced countless joyous Christmas and now looks forward to it with a few minimal changes only.

She may not have that one person whom she shared the past Christmases with but she could hardly consider it a reason to change Christmas.

“Christmas will not change. I have children so I will all the more make sure that it will be the same for them. Christmas is not for me, it’s theirs,” states the “S–Files” and “Sis” host.

Matter of factly, most of the gifts lying under the Hudson Christmas tree in Janice’s living room await the hands of Janice’s five adorable and beautiful children.

Janice befits the description ‘practical mom’ for she’s really one. She reveals that she hardly gives toys for presents, most of the time it has to be something her kids would need like shoes, clothes and the like.

Her practicality in gift–giving could be correlated to her inclination to minimal home decors. Janice used to stick to the red and green motif for her seven and a half feet Christmas tree. However, on its fourth year in Janice’s residence, blue and green will be playing the lead roles. Semi–glossy balls in blue and green shades hang from the branches of the tree filled with poinsettias in silver, blue and green shades.

Cascading down the tree is a long laced ribbon, which transparency contrasts to the tree’s gleaming aluminum stars and yellow lights.

Dangling from the different corners of the house are excessive trimmings of the tree such as the aluminum and golden stars. Between the stars hangs a blue miniature tree in a reverse postion.

“They don’t mean anything. I don’t believe in superstitions or fung shui, everything is just a leap of faith. Nasanay lang ako sa excessive kasi sa malls di ba ang sarap tingnan yung mga excessive naka–display,” tells Janice.

Other than the dangling ornaments, three red velvet pillows bedeck a wood decoration in the sala. The one in the middle bears a checkered design on its edges and has the words “Merry Christmas” printed at its center.

On a corner table in the receiving area of the house, a Designers Bloom flower arrangment adds to Janice’s minimal home decor and enlivens this all–black corner.

“What excites me on Christmas is cooking for my children and their faces that light up upon seeing their gifts On regular days I still love the kitchen. I like cooking for friends because I love having people at home,” shares Janice.

In the coming celebration, Janice is looking forward to preparing turkey, ham, paella, barbecue ribs, shrimp, crabs, and lechon for her family.

Janice, however, is not only excited about Christmas and New Year”s Eve. Right now her mind is racing to January and her heart palpitates as she thinks of that one important new life she’s going to face after the holidays – college!

You read that right, Janice is taking up Psychology at the Ateneo de Manila next year and she could hardly control her excitement during this interview.

“I’m not a fresh highschool grad, that explains why I’m feeling this way. I like reading self–help books, I have millions of that so I thought Psychology is the right course for me. This is for self learning, di naman minus yun sa akin di ba. Besides, I like observing people and I deal with people’s lives in hosting. You get affected by them. If you don’t get affected, you’re not human,” stresses Janice with great conviction.

More than school books though, one’s experiences in the road of life plays a bigger part in learning and this Janice agrees to. She claims that the pains she’s come across have helped her develop a better understanding with people and their relationships.

“I’ve learned that what you think is yours, is not actually yours. Forever is a choice, everything is a choice. You determine what makes you happy. After that incident, I went through the process and that’s all it took to be okay. When you’re at peace, slowly happiness comes,”

ends Janice.