Friday, December 24, 2010


There's no doubt as to how it all began.

As far as I could remember, everyone at home give gifts to loved ones. When we were kids, the elders instruct us to go to sleep at around 10 in the evening. They would then wake us up before midnight for the opening of gifts and for the Noche Buena. The yayas attend the evening mass and return home before midnight. Aside from gifts from our parents, “Santa “pulls a big surprise by leaving an extra gift, usually a toy to the kids' delight.

If only we knew then who the “Santas” were.

step one:  pagurin ang boylet. kapag nakatulog, sneak out of the room to wrap his christmas present.

However, if there is something that is subject to debate up to now when it comes to tradition is when I started giving my own gifts.

Three theories present themselves. One was a pair of stockings I bought from Mercury Drug after the Favorite Aunt gave me some money. Another was this apple-shaped salad bowl I bought from a wet market. I don’t know where I got the money. Third was this fluffy toy cat I bought from Mercury Drug too. All of them were for mom.

What I do not know is what came first.

step two: wrap the gift with a crepe paper (tanong niyo na lang kung ano gift ko!!)

And so I was in high school then when I began giving presents to my cousins. I remember saving a bulk of my allowance just to spend it for gifts. Once, I bought a plastic flute for my cousin, Rice. It cost 15 pesos. Among all the gifts she received that Christmas, mine was the first she played.

To cover the gifts for aunts and uncles, I asked my sister to divide the list between the two of us. I would pick the older cousins, while she picked the younger ones – the ones she’s closest to. That was how things were back then. It was no surprise that in college, I also gave presents to my closest friends as well.

step three: put the gift inside the box.

Giving gifts is not easy. Aside from setting aside some money, you have to make time to buy them. When I was a little younger, I wouldn’t mind squeezing myself into the tiniest spots in Divisoria. 168 and Divisoria Mall were my haven. The midnight shopping was an unforgettable experience. How I found the strength and the courage to go through such travails has escaped me now. Perhaps you might call it passion.

Maybe it was an obsession.

step four: make sure the wrapping is neat.  para ayus kapag sinira na yung gift wrap hehehe.

It helped that we were once industry captains. I had to give gifts to all my dad’s employees as a social etiquette, as well as to convey our sincerest thanks for their "pakikisama." I once gave presents to all my friends – numbering around 30 – just to show my appreciation. The frenzy was too intense that mom once commented that I give too much.

“Nireregaluhan ka rin ba naman ng mga iyan?” I shrugged off her question.

Never did I learn to buy wholesale gifts. I would give a couple of shirts, or shorts, or even bags or stuffed toys but when shopping, I try to do things nice and slow. I enjoy discovering new bargain places, or stalking people – especially cousins – just to know their latest craze. Now that I’m a Ninong to at least 5 kids and Tito to six, Christmas is my only excuse to go bargain hunting at Toy Kingdom.

Sometimes I ask myself why do these things.  What drives me to become Santa Claus and then go around the city giving gifts to everyone? There is no denial that I question myself sometimes – especially when you set your entire 13th month pay to fund such yearly ritual.

Others ask why I don’t buy things for myself. I could upgrade my wardrobe by adding a couple of jeans, a shirt, an entire week’s worth of socks or underwear. A floor lamp for my room, a flat screen TV, a PSP or a Kindle can upgrade my way of living.

But why?

Perhaps, I know that behind the self-fulfillment is the lingering emptiness of breaking something that gives you happiness. It was how we were taught, how we grew and how we celebrate the season. Mind not that I get nothing in return. All I know is that there is joy in opening gift wrappers, especially when they’re carefully and neatly folded.

All these years I’ve been chasing my childhood in anyway I could.

And these giving gifts and seeing smiles on people’s faces somehow give a glimpse into what was, what has and what will

become of me.

step five: gift tag says it all (sana pala ginising ko siya the next morning to say "santa"has a gift for you.)

Until the end of time, I remain.

This is the Souljacker greeting everyone Maligayang Pasko! May bliss and happiness find its way to your hearts!


Louie said...

Parehas tayo, others also asked why I don't spend something for myself.

But perhaps, the reason why we give is because of our desire to fill our hearts with gladness upon seeing those smiles on people's faces after they open the gifts we give them.

I wish you and your family (and your Baabaa ^_^) a Blessed and Merry Christmas

Anonymous said...

Giving should be of a convivial interaction; reciprocity. A gift is something free and evolving.

To you and to your family: A good and meaningful and merry Christmas, Sir Mugen.


Aris said...

merry christmas, joms. :)

ced said...

sweet! nice handwriting sir ahehe. ask ko sya kung ano gift mo ha? hehehe

masarap magregalo lalo na sa mga special na tao sa paligid mo and i wrap my presents too!

merry chirstmas to you and your family and syempre to your special someone! :D

Carlo said...

nice nice! Merry Christmas sir.

Nielz said...

Maligayang pasko sayo! Hugs from your friendly neighborhood blogger. Sana masaya ka ngayon. :D

Désolé Boy said...

Merry Christmas Kuya!
I know you're already happy and blessed but I still wish you more blessings and happiness as well as your loved ones.

Klaus said...

Haha I like Step 1! :D

soltero said...

Meri Xmas Papa Joms...super sweet yung steps sa pagbalot mo ng gift kay Baabaa mo, kainggit hehe...I'm sure sobrang saya nung bwiset na yun ahahhahahaha...char!

Meri Xmas sa inyong dalawa and to ur families as well :P

gillboard said...

merry christmas joms!!!

DonCholo said...

Supremo, pareho pa tayo ng gunting haha!

Its really better to give.. and recently ko lang yun narealize, before I used to think na hypocrisy lang yun, pero totoo pala, Its really priceless na mapasaya at mapangiti ang mahal mo sa buhay, parang kahit wala ka ng makuha na kahit anong gift :D

Yj said...

dapat pala sayo ko nitext mga wishes ko for christmas... yaiy

maligayang pasko ulit kuya... muahz

Sean said...

have a blessed and merry christmas parekoy. i'm glad you have already received the best christmas gift ;) congrats!!!

my-so-called-Quest said...

pahabol, merry christmas ulit sa inyo ni special someone! ahiiii. ehehe

hi mo rin ako sa kanya ah! :D

Vitori Thinks said...

I bought some stuff for my cousins and closest friends for the season... But I can't help it... I also want one for myself... In the past, I dint get to appreciate much the value of giving but good to know that I am starting to realize it... =) Nice post and I am very happy for you...=) Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! =)