On Christmas and Christmas Presents

My Children,

This morning, while we were having breakfast, I told you about my most recent realization about Christmas and the Christmas season. I said that in all honesty (it was more like a confession of guilt), despite my true understanding that Christmas is not about getting or receiving gifts but more on giving gifts to others (preferably non-material gifts), receiving a gift makes me very happy! It sort of like brings out the child in me! I have to admit I felt this yesterday when our special someone brought us her Christmas gifts. You’ve opened all your gifts but I haven’t opened mine. In my mind I keep telling myself I’d wait till it’s my birthday as it might be the only “wrapped gift” I’ll get this Christmas. See? Very childish of me …

Somehow though, I know that I should not feel this way. I shouldn’t because the true essence of Christmas is again not receiving but in giving.

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But who doesn’t like a gift wrapped in fancy Christmas paper? Who doesn’t like the feeling of excitement of opening a Christmas present and finding something inside that someone – the gift giver – thought hard to find just to make you happy? Again this is very childish because I’m thinking more as a receiver than a giver. This is a very tall order for me.

But I’m doing what is right, which is why I am writing this letter for you.

Celebrating Christmas shouldn’t be a burden to anyone.

Last night, I heard that someone did not join a Christmas party because she did not have money to buy a Christmas present for her “Manita/Manito”. So she stayed home … and I can just imagine how she felt …

And I know of parents who are complaining that they are required to contribute huge sums of money just because their school PTAs have come up with ostentatious Christmas parties (to be held in hotel function rooms and some in beach resorts) and the poor parents – all of them – have to shoulder all the expenses. Add to that that they have to buy gifts for the traditional “exchange gifts” and have to dress up for the occasion. And ironically, this is practiced by public school PTAs where most of the students’ families do not even belong to the middle class …

And isn’t it a little weird that midterm exams are done before the Christmas break? This means that Christmas bonuses and salaries are used to pay the tuition fees and whatever is left from the paycheck is then spent to celebrate Christmas. And what if the family has 3 college students enrolled? What would be left of the money?

Fast forward 20 years from now, or maybe 10? Or 5?

My children, your Daddy and I would be older then, if we’re not dead yet hahaha! We’d probably be living in the farm and eating vegetables and fruits in the hope of living longer. By then some of you (if not all of you) will have your own families. Here’s what I want you to know …

Don’t trouble yourself thinking about what gifts to give us on Christmas. It is my hope that we’ve taught you well while you were growing up that there are better gifts than those bought from the store.

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But if by then you’re pretty well-off and can afford to give us things bought from the store, then I will not stop you from getting us a few things we could use in our old age. Like I’d still want Mac Lipsticks in different shades and a few glittering eye shadows and perhaps a nice smelling perfume (so your Dad would still love to curl up with me in bed at night) …

But if you can’t, then don’t worry. I would understand! I know how it is when you have growing kids – you have to spend so much on their needs that oftentimes, you don’t even have money to buy what you personally need. I’ve been there and I know that when our families are still starting, we prioritize what’s most urgent and important. The last thing I want is for you to feel troubled thinking that you owe me a Christmas gift.

But I will ask you a few things …

Come visit us when you can. I’m not going to say often … again because I know how life is when you’re struggling to earn a living and raising a family. If you can’t visit us as often as you’d like, let’s Facebook! Or Skype! Or Viber! Or Facetime! Or who knows by then we can just drop by your own homes instead of you coming to us? That would be nice! We’ll bring fresh vegetables and fruits and we can cook and talk and dine together and just have fun. And maybe your dad and I can babysit our grandkids for a night or two and you and your sweethearts can go somewhere and be alone and enjoy each others company. That would be our gift to you …

And I don’t think you can buy that from any store and wrap it in a box.

I love you very much and you mean the world to me! All I want is for you to be happy!

Merry Christmas!

PS (Pahabol na Salita) 😛😜😀

Ensure that you and your spouses are not just lovers but best of friends as well. Time will come when there will be just the two of you most of the time. So nurture the kind of relationship that will make “that” stage in your life as interesting and exciting to what you had when you were starting your families. ❤️😍

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