When in Manila, Christmas starts as early as December 1st. Christmas spells carols, blinking lights, Santa Claus, and everyone’s favorite – Kris Kringle! The true fun of unwrapping gifts is not from the gifts we get under the Christmas Tree, but from the gifts we receive every week from an unknown person we call “mommy” or “daddy” or our Secret Santa. After a day’s search for the perfect “something green”, or “something soft and cuddly” for our “baby”, we also anticipate what we will receive.
If you are getting tired to give and receive (and shop for) something funny, naughty, long and sexy; and your room is already filled with the same stuff and knick-knacks you receive every year, you can forget about those words and prepare for new challenges this season.
Here are new “somethings” to share with your family, coworkers, and friends:
1. Something Embarrassing to Carry in Public
Make your “baby” feel like he/she is Harry Potter or Hermione with a broom, or make him feel like a professional plumber with a plunger. My coworkers received the most creative and embarrassing gifts last week from dustpan and broom, to plunger and the ever-reliable “tabo“. I was hoping someone would give a chamber pot (aka “arinola”)! Now that gives you an idea. Make sure that you don’t require gift wraps for this theme and pray that your “baby” is a certified commuter.
2. Something Trending in Twitter
News and social media feed us with the latest trends, Fashionistas and stylistas would love to get something trendy as the word is usually associated with fashion. Why not give a twist to the theme and make it something that is trending on Twitter. It’s a great battle for creativeness as the theme will require us to give something that is related to controversial topics, politics, and personalities.
3. Something for Private Use
It could be anything that one uses in private – could be dental floss, razor, or waxing cream. Or it could also be anything that “two” (partners) use in private. There is no restriction, as long as the gift is useful and not recycled.
4. Something Reminiscent of Childhood
We always want to feel young and reminisce about the good old childhood days. You are in luck if you share the same age with your group or team. But for families and coworkers who are in different age brackets, it is the perfect theme to share something about your childhood and bridge the gap of age differences. I grew up with Shaider and BioMan – and I will exert an effort to find a gift related to these shows to give to my “baby” who grew up playing Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja. Now think of your childhood days – the TV shows you watch, candies you eat and clothes you used to wear – that should give you an idea what to give and share.
5. Something That You Need to Insert
That beats the “Something Naughty” by 10 points! But seriously, it could be anything that you insert in a gadget (like a memory card), or in a photobook (like postcards). It doesn’t need to be naughty.
6. Something Hand-Made
It’s time to support the talent of Filipinos and local businesses. You can buy woven bags or knitted cover-ups. You can even be more creative by adding a personal touch to your gift and make your own.
7. Something That You Received But Haven’t Used
We all received gifts in the previous years that we just haven’t used or simply didn’t like. Let’s apply the saying “one’s trash is another’s treasure”. Make it clear in the guidelines that the gift should be something that we can use.
8. Something You Can Use After a Year
Gifts don’t have to be something that you can readily use. Let’s think of it like an inheritance which you cannot get or use yet, until you are at a certain age. In this case, something which can be used after a year. It could be gym membership for someone who plans to start losing weight next year, a kitchen gadget for someone who is graduating from a culinary school next year, or as grand as ticket to DisneyLand (and your baby will have a year to prepare and save for the trip). Those are just suggestions. I know you can come up with something more creative.
9. Something Imported
We all love to receive something “imported” or from the PX Store when we were younger. It’s the perfect time to relive the excitement with this theme. It could be something that is bought from a trip, or anything that we can buy with prints that says “Made in China”, “Made in USA“, or “Made in <insert country here”>. Please be clear with the guidelines that it should be something safe and environment friendly.
10. Something You Don’t Want to Own
In this theme, let’s temporarily forget the Golden Rule. This will be a nice theme to discover each other’s dislikes and personalities. Time to know if you and your “baby” feel the same way about the “thing”. As for me, I don’t want to own anymore of that figures like kissing doves and angels which only collect dust and occupy space. I am sure you can also relate when I say picture frame and towels.
So what are your Kris Kringle themes this year? When in Manila, there is always room for creativity. Please come back to this post and share what you receive or give, we would love to hear your stories.