Random & Personal

Taking Gifting to the Next Level

Christmas is and will always be the merriest time of the year for me! It’s the most electrifying season with the presence of countless signs, making it impossible for anyone to either miss or ignore it. It starts with the much anticipated arrival of “ber” months. The Christmas songs we hear. The decors, lights and lanterns. The Holiday sales. The worsen traffic en route malls and bazaars. The bonuses. The competing shopping schemes. The party plans. The reunions. The outreach programs. The vacation plans. The Christmas wish-list and gift-list and of course, the extra kindness of one and all. 

I have never outgrown the delight of every Christmas but at the age of 30, I admit I have my own share of outgrown Christmas list. However, I still like making a wish-list which also serves as my birthday wish-list since I also celebrate my natal day in the month of December. And no, I do not hold any grudge towards anyone if ever I don’t receive half or any of my wishes, not even towards Saint Nick. I just like putting it there, to be excited, to be grateful if ever somebody grants one of my too many wishes, to serve as a reminder on what to gift myself with and to recall past wishes and see if my interests have changed. It has become a personal tradition. If before I put it in the stockings and later under the Christmas tree, now I publish it on my blog. (You may check my wish list last year here.) So, without further ado, here’s my Dear Santa 2015

Dear Santa 2015: A Christmas Wish-List

1. I want a health card, especially after the dreadful bill we had when my brother-in-law was confined in a hospital due to kidney failure. He only spent two and a half days in the hospital before he passed away. The bill on the other hand skyrocketed astronomically for almost 700K. Thank goodness he was a doctor, we were able to waive most of the professional fees but the hospital charges are still unbelievable. So, this Christmas, a health card is something I really like to give to myself and my husband. Now, a traditional HMO Card with a good coverage does not come cheap but a one-time use emergency health card is very affordable and will certainly fit in into my (and any one’s) tight budget. That would be fine for me since it’s really only the emergency confinements I am most worried about.

2. How I wish I could honestly say that I have everything I need and ever wanted in life and all I have is a grown-up Christmas list. But that is not the case although I’m truly blessed that we are constantly able to meet our needs and with excess most of the times. But the wants? Oh yes THE WANTS, they can be endless. When it comes to my wants I can still be shallow, superficial, materialistic and a true-blooded certified human being who longs to receive, own and accumulate earthly possessions such as jewelries. I always tell my husband that with a piece of jewelry (as a gift) he can never go wrong, as it will never fail to impress, surprise and make me a one happy wife. Read about my love affair with jewelries here.

3. I hope to win (this!) a blogging contest and brand it as the most wonderful gift I receive this Christmas. To date, I have never won any. I want to win not only because of the pot price, which is by the way fantastic! I want to win because I miss winning on something. I used to win in feature writing during grade school, then I became a Finance person, so I lost it somehow. Late last year, I got my writing mojo back, so winning a contest is as good as an affirmation that I still got the juice to beat, that I still got what it takes to write. My bigger reason in hoping to win is for my much needed encouragementinspiration and motivation in this great new endeavor I’m slowly exploring. 

4. Last but not the least is the easiest gift to give me. I’d really appreciate an increase in readership and following of this humble blog of mine, the BlissfulThoughts.com. Please like and follow its FB Page and please follow yours truly at Instagram as onehappyblogger. Late last year when I decided to pour more attention, time and love to my first love, blogging. When I started earning through this blog (though still meager) and writing articles for others, the more I get motivated to follow my passion and do what I’ve been dreaming to do. I believe that the right time has come for me to do more of the things which I love to do, to explore possibilities, to push boundaries and to test my limits. Help me, will you?

I’m innately minimalist, so I’m keeping my Christmas wish-list short and sweet. But if you must know, I’m also more than happy to receive any art and craft supplies and stationery (felt paper, crepe paper, buttons, etc). Honestly, it’s a great feeling to receive a gift because that means you were remembered, thought of and valued. But, the true spirit of Christmas lies in giving, and for this year I have some good and unique gift ideas you may want to consider giving to your family, friends and loved ones.

Gift Ideas, Anyone?

1. For my dogmama, dogpapa, petparents and my general pet-lover friends and family (who seem to be growing in numbers), a PETRAIT (Pet Portrait) will be a very appealing gift. It’s been a hit first overseas but it’s becoming famous na rin here in the Philippines. I personally know someone who does petrait services! Such a great talent, a true work of art from a professional. You may shoot me an e-mail in case you won’t be able to reach him in the number below. (All photos used are with owner permission.)

J’s work of art.
A petlover himself, his first obra is his very own and first dog, Delorian (a pug).

2. For my colleagues, kumares and kumpares (the godparents of my kids) whom I always include in my gift-list as an affirmation of their bonds to our children and as an appreciation of their love and support to our children, I already commissioned a very good craftsman to create our personalized Christmas giveaways this season. I love supporting people with real and raw talent. I’d like to help them market their products and I’d like to assist them in turning their passion and talents into profitable ventures. That’s also the reason why I love going to various trade fairs and buy products from the indigenous groups, cooperatives and foundations. My new-found “talent” in action, in photos below: 

3. For my still grieving sister in-law and my very own sisters, I’ll give them all spa vouchers because they all deserve some relaxation this Holiday season for all the hard work they’ve done! To the other magnificent women in my life (mom, mom-in-law and aunties), I will give them something useful like an AM/FM radio with built-in LED lights and/or mini fan. I have already brought my kids rain jackets and as for my one and only king, the mister, I think he’ll appreciate a high-quality headsets. He’s been borrowing mine for quite some time now.

4. For the rest of my last minute shopping (which is often the case) for the countless people on my gift-list, I will most probably head on to the nearest SM Store! SM Store got it all for us, after all. Besides, SM has always made the Christmas shopping fun, convenient and pocket-friendlier for all. There is this annual Christmas gift of SM Store and credit card companies for their loyal shoppers, to assist them in this merry yet truly expensive season. With a minimum single-receipt purchase of P5000, I can pay in 0% interest installment for up to 6 months and that’s not all, I also have the option to defer the first payment for up to three months later. 

With that payment scheme and SM Supermalls’ Christmas offering, I can absolutely take gifting to the next level! Taking advantage of the SM Store Kids’ Sale, I would buy character shirts for all my nephews and sling bags for my nieces. Holiday Gift Baskets for as low as P350 from SM Markets would be an awesome gift for my aunts and uncles too. I’m sure they will love them because we are a clan who loves to celebrate, cook and eat! Exciting Gift Sets from Watsons for as low as P99 would be the perfect choice for my cousins, especially the travel packs and hand-washes. All thanks to SM! Check out the poster and links below for more details! These promos and the 25 grand (if ever) will make me one pretty and generous Santa to greet you all a Merry SM Christmas Shopping!

“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 (https://www.facebook.com/smsupermalls), 
Twitter (https://twitter.com/smsupermalls), 
and Instagram (https://instagram.com/smsupermalls/); 
and get an insider access to all the fun happenings at SM Supermalls nationwide through Viber (http://chats.viber.com/SMsupermalls). 

Shoppers can actively share their holiday merriment inside the SM Supermalls by posting their photos on social media and adding the hashtag #MerrySMChristmas2015.”

Giving gifts does not end on our friends, family and loved ones. The true spirit of Christmas goes beyond loving the people who love us back and giving gifts to the people who will also give us gifts. The true spirit of Christmas is sharing joy and spreading love to the whole world, without expecting anything in return.

Christmas Time is Sharing Time

Christmas has always been a great time to share our blessings not only to our families and friends but to others as well — to those who we do not know personally yet would need all the love and care we’re willing to extend. When I started earning my own money, I always think of special ways to share my blessings to others. Let’s check out some ways to spread the love and joy this Christmas:

1. Support, join or better yet organize an outreach program together with your friends or family, or both. It’s a good bonding opportunity too. During Christmas, there are many institutions hoping to be visited by good Samaritans, like the orphanages, home for the elderly, charity wards of hospitals and even prisons. I have joined and supported outreach programs organized by friends. I’ve also encouraged my former colleagues to visit a home for the elders instead of having a grand Christmas party. But now that my time is too occupied by my babies, I’m more on the support na lang.

During an outreach program.

2. Pack some foods and give it to random strangers in need such as the street-kids and the street-families. Together with my sister, I pack baby clothes, toys and foods for street-families every December. On our way to work every morning, we would give a pack to every family we see living in the streets, which are sadly, many in Manila. You should see the delight on their faces, especially of children!

3. Donate. When the kids came in, our budget became tighter and our time, scarce. But, that shouldn’t stop someone who likes to pay it forward. So, I do mine now mostly by donating online since I cannot as of now participate actively in outreach programs. I give donations through (1) World Vision Philippines, (2) UNICEF Philippines and  (3) World Food Programme. I also support our local church’s Christmas projects whether by donation of money, books, clothes or food/groceries.

4. You can also show your care for the less fortunate young ones through the annual SM Cares Bears of Joy. Every year, SM Company through its social advocacy arm, SM Cares, holds the SM Christmas Bears of Joy. For the amount of 200 pesos, you can buy 2 bears and you get to keep one while the other goes to a less fortunate child who would love to hug a bear too. You get to own one or you get to gift one of your inaanaks (godchildren) while making a child somewhere else in the country happy this Christmas. That is pure joy! Give a Bear of Joy Today and have a Merry SM Christmas 2015! 

Christmas wish-list. Check. Gift-list. Check. Give back this Christmas. Check. How about you? Have you thought about what you want to receive this Christmas? Santa may just be lurking around you! Besides, there’s no harm in wishing. How about shopping? Are you done already or have you only started just like me? Let’s hurry up completing our list since traffic will surely worsen from this day on and prices may go up. As for paying it forward, we all have our own ways and means but the SM Christmas Bears of Joy program is one easy, affordable and sure way to bring joy to a lot of children across the nation. It’s only 57 days until Christmas but let me say this now — I wish you and your family a merry and meaningful Christmas!

May the real essence of Christmas always lives in our hearts. With all the Christmas carols, glitters and gifts, may we not forget to bring the joy and hope of Christmas to everyone including our less fortunate brothers and sisters. Let this and every Christmas that will come be an inclusive celebration of the birth of the Child Jesus, the entire mankind’s one and only Savior.



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