I used to look forward to the Christmas season because of the gifts I expected to receive from people around me – toys and clothes from my parents, clothes and/or money from my uncles and aunts, more toys and other nifty stuff from my godparents, plus trinkets from family friends, neighbors and people close to our family.
That was the nifty thing about being a kid – Christmas is a season more of receiving than giving.
I grew up, and here I am, on my 29th Christmas, and the fifth Christmas spent as a part of the work force, but only the first wherein I was finally able to actually have the budget to give people close to me and people who helped me Christmas gifts. Why only now? The first Christmas, my 13th month pay went to a payment for the house to keep it ours, while the second and third I had to pay off some other debts and obligations, while the fourth one was pretty much spent little by little on things needed by my family – I never regretted making sacrifices of not getting everyone gifts because my help was needed elsewhere, and I’m glad people around me understood.
This time, I did it differently – I planned on how to save and spend my money. This year, there were a lot of blessings that enabled me to give gifts – my mother had solved most of her financial woes, my dad spent a whole month afloat on his own financial ability, and I got the major debts out of the way with my mid-year money. With my beloved better half in tow, she helped me pick out presents patiently and kept me within my budgetary limits – offering substitutes, alternatives, ideas and words of comfort – to come up with presents for nearly everyone – mom, dad, my 2 lolos, titos and titas, siblings, workmates, and friends. We went from malls close by to bazaars within reach. With my mom’s help, we wrapped the presents. And come Christmas day, faces of happy surprise met my gifts – something that left me speechless and feeling really good.
Finally, as a grown up, I realized how special Christmas is to one who gives – that in giving, there is that satisfaction that you can make your loved ones happy through your time, patience, effort and gesture, and how this good my parents must have felt everytime I let out a yelp of joy as I opened my presents come Christmas.