From Our Readers
December 19, 2013 6:00 am

Christmas is just around the corner, and while each of us already feel the ambiance and look forward to a joyous celebration with friends and loved ones, we must also remember that ‘tis the season of giving (and sharing), too. Let the following be your guide to help you get prepared!

1. Make a list of your recipients.

Group them into clusters according to family members/relatives, friends, workmates, organizations, etc (put in separate sheets if necessary). Then add a column beside the list for you to put words to describe each of them (such as their favourite colours, characteristics, etc) and another column for the top three items that you think they need or would love to receive and that you can give them. Another column is needed for you to put the estimated/actual amount/value of each item.

2. Check your budget and run through your list.

Start canvassing around for the items on your list and decide what to buy for/give each recipient before you go shopping. Don’t forget to cross the items that are not selected off the list to avoid accidental purchases.

3. Want to have more personalized and meaningful gifts? Practice your baking and/or art skills and go DIY.

Find recipes for cupcakes and cookies and instructions for arts and crafts (consider your packaging, too). You can also create a playlist of your favourite songs (or theirs), music videos and other digital presentations on CDs or USB drives or upload/share these safely online.

4. Be practical and eco-friendly.

You can also be creative when doing your own gift cards and gift wrapping. Compose a short verse or collect quotes that you think will inspire your recipients (just don’t forget to acknowledge your sources). As for the gift wrapping, you may reuse ribbon bows from cake packaging and pages from previous issues of glossy magazines. Old directory pages will surely provide some vintage effect. Another gift wrapping idea is with the use of cloth, such as the Japanese-style furoshiki.

5. Give gifts that give back by purchasing in shops that support charities or good causes.

This may be a small gesture, but this is also a positive way to make a big difference in the world.

6. Do a good deed as an alternative form of gift-giving.

Donate to or organize a fundraising event for a charity or cause, offer your time and services such as doing volunteer work at your chosen organization and do something nice for someone else and never expect anything in return.

7. Reconnect with those you know who are living in a different country or with whom you haven’t seen in a long time.

It’s easier and faster now through social networking services. They may also be surprised with good old-fashioned snail mails or letters and postcards. After all, it’s the thought that counts.

Your recipients will greatly appreciate and love your Christmas gifts, as the best gifts come from the heart.

Happy Holidays, from my family to yours!

Marian Rica Lodripas has Bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and in Anthropology. She became a full-time researcher/development worker after working as a human resources assistant for a year in a company with global clientele. She finds great fulfillment through working with indigenous peoples, engaging in advocacies, travelling and bonding with her close friends and family. She also thinks she will meet “the one” when she visits Germany. She is currently based in Occidental Mindoro, Philippines and would love to try surfing someday.

Featured Image via ShutterStock

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