Thank God Christmas na naman and we have so much to be thankful for. Indeed despite the odds, we are overcomers, we did not only survived but we grew and we thrived and have met a lot of wonderful inspiring people. Christmas is just a few days from now so before we rush to give gifts, let me enumerate several non-material and kung material naman we can make it as unique and as memorable as possible. When buying a unique and special gift for our loved ones we are using up all our creativity and resources to do so. If money is tight, every peso counts so there is no such thing as “cheap”, if you have really thought about it, no matter what the cost, then that’s what matters. Material gifts are not the only things that you can give so before buying something, listen to clues on what he/she really wants. Instead of the usual gifts, you can mix and match any two or three of these items depending on your budget. Last week I already started shopping for friends, mentors, business associates and partners in the spa and wellness industry most of them naman are outside the country so my challenge is to give something that is light and will stand the pressure of being transported in our postal system :-). My aim is to represent the country’s being unique and one of a kind kaya, I have window shopped at Ragds2Riches in Cubao and Echostore at Serendra. I think gifts that symbolize our core lifestyle and principles stand out from those expensive ones. In order to be special, I believe that a gift should always be a representative of ourselves and the people whom we wish to bless.
So, I came up with a list of non-material and unique gift ideas for this season:
1. Non-material and Experiential Personalized gifts
A. If you are a massage therapist or know how to professionally perform massage therapy, offer a massage or an hour of bodywork as a gift but if you are not, then buy a massage or spa gift certificate for them. Treat them to a spa.
B. If you are skilled in a particular area, offer a FREE lesson, class, personal training session or coaching to people you think really needs them but cannot pay you.
C. Volunteer for a special event or a Christmas party
D. Write an encouraging email. Tell some good news about your life and how that person has been a part of it. It was found out that the most successful people are generous with their praises. The more good things you look for in people, the more good things come to you. So write some encouraging letter or email to people whom you admire, who has helped you in anyway and people you look up to. Not only would they be glad to give you some advice or tips but more goodness will come to you.
E. Treat them to a restaurant, an ice cream parlor or a night out at the movies.
F. Take them to a beach, a zoo, a picnic or an amusement park.
G. Buy a gym membership for them
H. A gift certificate or ticket to a seminar, workshop, concert, sporting event, a game or show. One of our Meetup members and a dear friend of mine, Antoinette Villajin offers yoga classes for only 100 pesos.
Here is the link to her website: http://toinettevillajin.com/
I. Unforgettable getaway or weekend out of town
J. Baby-sit for them
K. Do the laundry
L. Clean the garden
M. Run at least 3 errands for the person
N. Feed the pet
O. Take them to Philippine heritage sites and museums
P. Pay for his/her music, art or massage/spa class
Q. Make a charitable donation in his/her behalf/name or pick a charity and whatever you would like to spend for that person, you should give it as a donation to that charity.
R. Write a poem
S. Compose a song
T. This one is from Yvonne Aburrow, organize a Jumble exchange; it works like this. Everyone brings clothes, books, ornaments or toys that they don't really use any more. It all gets laid out on tables or a tarpaulin in the garden (or in the house if you have room). Everyone picks out what they want (no money changes hands). At the end there's a "grand holding up" where everyone is shown what is left. If no-one wants it, it goes to a charity shop (thrift store). Usually there are three or four big bags left over to go to the charity shop. Another idea is to write out some nice poetry in calligraphy style and frame it. To avoid buying the frame, you could make it out of driftwood or broken china mosaic, or pebbles.
2. Unique things/items ( some of which you can make with your own hands)
a. Towels or slippers with embroidered names of the recipients
b. Collect quotes or inspiring stories and compile them in a personalized album
c. Bring some food that you cooked and prepared yourself. (Make sure that it has a long shelf life).
d. A pot of herb, orchid, flowers or local plant like those petite bamboos that does not need soil.
e. Hand-made recipe book
f. Christmas tree ornaments out of scrap
g. Bed and bath accessories with their name on it (either embroidered, painted or printed)
3. Memorable gifts and socially conscious gift ideas (but you can also make your own at home)
a. Hand-made organic soaps and candles (you can visit the website www.yakappinoy.com 90% of products there were formulated by Dra. Naomi Dilodilo, a dear friend of mine and one of our members at Meetup and her advocacy is bringing products of the Philippines in the global market. Plus, her products are not expensive and delicious pa!)
b. Handmade Christmas cards (Since I am artistically challenged and thought of giving not just ordinary Christmas cards bought in a local bookstore, I ordered mine from San Roque Handmade paper products Multi-Purpose Cooperative, you can browse over their hand-made Christmas cards and all occasion cards at this site www.dayawanpaper.com. By the way, they are located in Misamis Oriental so might as well order from them early so they can ship it to you. Depending on the number of cards, I ordered 32 pieces so mine arrived after ordering in less than a week. You can also call Emma Salvana at 09324454265 or contact Elnie-Balabaga Cagas Community Relations Department STEAG State Power, Inc.PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate Balacanas, Villanueva, Misamis Oriental 9002, Philippines Email: email@example.com
Phone +63 (32) 230 8200 Fax +63 (32) 230 8283)
For your close friends, give additional cards for them to be able to send out to another person as well.
You can also send funny and nice Christmas e-cards for them like the one below:
Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!
c. Organic delights such as: honeyed candies, sweets and delicacies (see www.yakappinoy.com )
d. CD’s, DVD’s or movies that could make a difference like:
a. The Genius Club (Stephen Baldwin, Paula Parker, et al)
b. Blind Side (Sandra Bullock)
c. Fireproof (Kirk Cameron and Erin Bethea)
d. Flywheel (from the Creators of Facing the Giants)
e. Love’s Enduring Promise (a film by Michael Landon)
f. Spa music CD’s
g. Inspirational audio books and CD’s
e. Organic stuffs and toiletries like soaps, shampoo and toiletries
f. Yoga mat
g. Inspirational books and audio books or books that promote the health and well-being of the person.
h. Hula-hoop or jumping ropes for the fitness conscious or wellness conscious individual.
i. Massager (electronic or wooden)
j. Buy some locally and organically grown food or delicacies
k. A pet
l. A magazine subscription
Before I end, one of the greatest gifts you can give others and yourself is the gift of forgiveness and acceptance. It will be your Christmas gift to the Lord. Any type of resentment, sama ng loob, pagkamuhi, inggit- it’s time to release them unto the Lord. Anyway, it is Jesus Christ’s birthday not ours. Happy Birthday Lord!
If you have other gift ideas not listed here or where to purchase it from, please do share it. I would be glad to publish it here.
Thanks and Merry Christmas to one and all!