For Filipinos, Christmas is one of the most important holidays. Filipinos love to celebrate Christmas with family, relatives, and friends whether you are at the comfort of your ancestral home or in a condo living - It is the time of the year when Filipino families usually reunite and do things together with much fun, vigor, and festivities.
As one of the famed love languages, gift-giving is simply a concrete expression of valuing and affection. In the family, gifts are traditionally given out during Christmas as special extensions of the holiday spirit and are therefore more symbolic.
We firmly believe it’s never too early to decorate for Christmas—and while there’s something so magical about that day-after-Paskong Pinoy decorating spree, we think the best time to start planning Christmas is actually at the onset of the “Ber”- season or months. Yes, you read that right! We’re not suggesting you put up your tree and hang the stockings (but if you want to, we fully support that decision), but there are a few simple tasks you can tackle in the “Ber” months that will make the busy holiday season so much less hectic.
Make a list and check it twice.
We often associate the holidays with stress because there are just so many things going on. There's family to see, events to attend, and last-minute gifts to buy—in short, there is too much to do and not enough time to do it. During the “Ber” months, write down all the annual events you know you’ll be attending, and make a list of everyone you’ll need to buy gifts for, so there won’t be any surprises once December arrives.
Getting it all down on paper will help you set clear expectations for the season ahead and avoid the last-minute scramble to find a gift for someone you’ve forgotten. This will also help you identify the things you can take care of right now, like deciding what to buy for the annual “Regalo-Aginaldo” on Christmas eve.
While charitable giving is important year-round, most local organizations typically have a greater need during the holidays. Coincidentally, this is also the time of year we usually feel most strapped for cash, after going overboard on gifts or seasonal experiences. Between gifts, food, decorations, and travel, the average Filipino household spends 10,000 - 20,000 Php on the holidays—but it doesn't have to be that expensive. During “Ber” months or at the start of the year, make a savings plan: Putting aside a few Pesos a week between now and Christmas will help you ensure you can give as much as you want to during the holidays. Be sure to take advantage of summer sales and early-bird travel deals, too.
You can also use the extra time to look into gifts that your family and friends are passionate about. And, if you’re purchasing gifts on popular E-commerce platforms, be sure to take advantage of the vouchers and free shipping deals, (at no extra cost to you!).
Order as early as you can.
At the advent of Christmas during the pandemic, popular E-commerce sites are your best friend. Shipping has been a nightmare the past few seasons, and with supply chain issues plaguing the globe this year, it'll only get worse. Don't wait on getting your gifts because you're hoping for a sale or think you'll have time. Better to order in advance and be safe than sorry.
Support small businesses in your own village, town, or city.
While famous retailers excel at choice, a local shop might have something truly special. Whether you are planning to buy that Puto-Bumbong, Leche-Flan, or Ube Halaya, pick up these homemade Christmas goodies from your neighborhood, or even home décor, or jewelry from a hole-in-the-wall store. Visit a local restaurant and pick up a gift card. Your gift will be all the more personal while supporting your local economy.
Plan your budget and shop safely.
It can be easy to get caught up in the hysteria of holiday shopping. Make sure you've got a budget set for how much you'll be spending on your family, friends, and yourself. Avoid hectic shopping centers if you don't feel like you'll be safe amid the pandemic. Be careful of online scams by buying from reputable retailers and reading reviews of products.
Plan the Christmas Card
We love designing and sending the annual Christmas card, but getting together to make the perfect family photo for the card can be daunting—especially during the busy holiday season. This year, organize family photos early during the Ber months. The kids typically have more free time than during the school year, and you can take advantage of weeknight evenings if your weekend schedule is full. If you have your heart set on taking your photos during sweater weather, reach out to a photographer now to reserve a date before they fill up for the season.
Buy the Basics.
Over the “Ber” months, take an inventory of what you have and make a list of things you’ll need to purchase this year. Things like extra Christmas ornaments, or personalized Christmas stockings for a new family member can be purchased online year-round. If you’re thinking of buying a Christmas tree this year, don’t wait until December to make a purchase.
Why not D.I.Y.?
Sometimes, a gift made by our own two hands means more than any amount of money we could spend. Get a little creative this season and whip something up with a do-it-yourself project. A quick YouTube search will pull up hundreds of thousands of different crafts for all sorts of skill groups. If nothing else, make your own Christmas card and write a heartfelt message inside.
Christmas in the time of the pandemic still means giving, loving, and renewed hope that the future will be brighter and better. It still means charity and goodwill towards all humankind especially those who are less fortunate especially now in this time of the pandemic.
The best and most practical gift Filipinos can give to themselves, to their loved ones and friends is the perseverance and discipline to follow the minimum health standards prescribed by the government like social distancing, wearing of face masks, washing of hands, staying at home, and not going to crowded places to protect themselves from the deadly coronavirus.
Indeed, looking after our own and our loved ones' and friends’ health and well-being in this time of the pandemic is the most meaningful Christmas gift that one can give to all.
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Vista Residences is the condominium arm of the country’s largest homebuilder, Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc. that offers ready for occupancy and pre-selling condominium projects in Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong, Quezon City, Ortigas, Baguio, Cebu, and CDO that are strategically located within major cities, in close proximity to premium universities, transit oriented locations and developed business districts.
At Vista Residences, unit owners can take advantage of the property’s centrality. The properties of Vista Residences are strategically located near the country’s premium universities and CBDs, making them an attractive investment for both local and foreign investors.
Living in Vista Residences enables you to enjoy convenience, where everything is pretty much within walking distance or a few minutes away from the property; comfort because the project features and amenities are designed to deliver comfort at all times, which makes condo living a worthy investment; security that is 24/7 and CCTV monitoring, which makes the residents safe and secure within the property.
In line with Vista Residences’ thrust to offer convenience among its residents, it also features an AllDay Convenience Store and Coffee Project in all its projects.
For more information on Vista Residences, email [email protected], follow @VistaResidencesOfficial on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, or call the Marketing Office at 0999 886 4262 / 0917 582 5167.