Friday, October 23, 2015

Taking Gifting to the Next Level

It's the thought that counts. I used to hear this from my mom a lot especially during the time of the year when people exchange gifts like the Yuletide season. Perhaps, it was one of her ways to instill good values in me and make me realize that being materialistic would just make me unhappy. 

But let's be realistic, who doesn't want to have a present to unwrap and unbox during this season? Truth be told, we all become kids-at-heart because no matter how expensive or simple the presents are, unwrapping them brings the adults to their childhood memories. Every box or bag you hand to a child puts a priceless smile on his/her face. That is the real spirit of Christmas - sharing (what you have) and appreciating any blessing that would be given upon you. 

The question is: How to take gifting to the next level? 

Let us start by making a list of our wish for this Christmas for the benefit of those who are planning to give us presents. Let us make their lives easier. It is more practical to jot down the things you wish for, so the giver would be able to prepare something that the recipient would certainly appreciate. Something that is useful and suits the recipient's personality. 

Here's mine: 
  • Silicon case for Alcatel One Touch Idol 3 (I have been looking everywhere but this darling is so hard to find.)
  • Reader's Digest - ALDUB Edition (Yes, I'm a fan.)
  • Planner (Store bought is fine, DIY is better. I'm a DIYer so I'd appreciate any effort.)
  • A cactus plant. 
  • A red matte lipstick.
  • Authentic or faux moto leather jacket in medium (brand new or preloved will do)
  • And more intangible blessings...

The hardest part of gift-giving is the planning stage. Yes, you heard me right. We need to plan what to give our loved ones and here is where our creativity comes in handy. Here are some of my own tips on how to make your gift-giving a lot easier:

1. Write down all the names of people you are planning to give gifts to according to your priority and level of friendship/relationship you have with that person. First on the list is my mom, my better-half, my close friends and some relatives.

2. Have something to say about them, their personality, interests and the likes. From there, you can easily decide on which to buy or create (if you are DIYing). This would help you more in saving a lot of money because purchasing something they won't be interested in, could be avoided. I'm thinking to give my mom a kikay kit or set. She loves beautifying, too.

3. Who said you can't make them happy if you buy something within your budget? Don't underestimate someone's ability to appreciate. If you give something you exerted a lot of effort in, then that would mean a lot to them, too. If you are planning to give them a greeting card, don't give them the ones with a generic Hallmark message in it. Be creative and show your inner artist. Write your own words that depict your real feelings and let them know how grateful you are for having them in your life. That alone is the best gift they could ever give you back.

4. There's no need for fancy wrapping papers. Just like in cooking, presentation counts a lot. You may use old newspapers or magazine. Recycle or reuse old paper bags and include a unique tag that comes with the gift. Trust me, you'd see an excited face while unwrapping your simple present. Here's an example and another one. Creativity is endless. Let your style be shown.

Amidst our busyness and success, let us not forget that the real present comes from your heart. The kindness you make others feel is beyond expensive gifts. 

Stop criticizing others and start understanding them instead. By doing so, you will be more forgiving and trusting. Always give the world the benefit of the doubt. 

If you are an individual who is still searching for your identity, be one of them and don't judge them. Learn to have an open mind and heart to feel their struggles. Do this, this Christmas and carry on until you live.

If you are a teacher and a writer like I, teach from the heart and write from your soul. Don't just teach subjects and write heartless articles for compensation alone. You don't have any idea how your words can change someone's life.  Express your positive thoughts and share them with others. Be a blessing to everyone.

Apart from the joy we feel whenever we receive gifts from our friends and loved ones, the act of giving back to people especially the young ones offers bliss to our hearts. Participating in campaigns like SM Cares Bears of Joy would definitely make a lot of children feel special especially this season of giving. You get to keep a bear and donate the other to children from different orphanages and charitable institutions through the SM Cares Program, for only P200.

To be honest, I had an epiphany on this post. Giving is PRICELESS. After all, my mom was right.

 “For more updates about this year’s “Merry SM Christmas” campaign, visit SM’s official Christmas microsite ( and follow its official social media accounts at Facebook (, Twitter (, and Instagram (; and get an insider access to all the fun happenings at SM Supermalls nationwide through Viber ( Shoppers can actively share their holiday merriments inside the SM Supermalls by posting their photos on social media and adding the hashtag #MerrySMChristmas2015.”

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