How to prepare for Christmas

Life & Living

Santas in a row, originally uploaded by annalyn.

The thought of Christmas engulfs people with giddy anticipation, and most specially in the Philippines. We don’t have a Thanksgiving holiday to speak of but we certainly make a big deal out of Christmas – an opportune time for gift-giving, family reunions and spreading cheer all around. Here’s how to make this busy and frantic season merry and bright:

1. Draw up sensible lists. The list should not only include the people you want to give gifts to but also your holiday budget and what items comprise your holiday menu. Christmas is when people suffer from acute lack of time due to parties, shopping and other demands so making up lists is very helpful.

2. Shop early. Makes sense right? But how many among us are guilty of cramming at the last minute and in the process making wrong or inappropriate choices for gifts? On the opposite end are people who shop as early as July. Just make sure you don’t change your mind and spend double.

3. Get fit a few months before. To offset all the binge-ing during the holidays, and be ready for all the walking and jostling in Manila’s crowded shopping places like Divisoria. Christmas shopping takes a lot of strength, we tell ya.

4. Deck the halls. What better way to usher in the Christmas spirit than dressing up your home for the holidays. ’tis the time to express yourself. What I like about the season is that I don’t only see the houses gaily lit but the streets and the malls as well. Call it commercial, but I get a high seeing all those dancing lights, giant Santas, lavish Christmas trees and pretty Philippine lanterns. They are eye candy to me.

5. Plan your vacation well. For some people, Christmas is one of those rare times when you get a few days rest (like me) and one’s schedule could all get jammed up entertaining visitors or going to relatives. If you have to go out of town, it pays to book early and arrange one’s flights and accommodations ahead of time.

6. Make it unique, make it special. We all like receiving gifts during Christmas and this is one of those precious times in the year when we don’t mind giving away a huge chunk of our Christmas bonus to buy presents for the special people in our life. There are times when I dread Christmas,because of those coffee mugs 😛 But the creative among us will surely go the extra mile to get (or make) memorable presents that will be cherished long after.

7. Christmas Day is Thank You Day. I only get to say Thank You once a year, and this is it – the time to get your special TY without asking (because it gets creepy when you have to be badgered, di ba?) My Thank You will not only go to my dearest children, relatives, friends and workmates but to all who made my life special (and not miserable) in the past year – among them my fave beauty parlor attendant, publicists-with-the-mostest, bloggers, readers and countrymen, hehe.

8. Spend Christmas, and spend for Christmas, with a vision of the coming year. Because you don’t want to greet 2008 like a pauper 😛 all that holiday merrymaking must be within reasonable limits. Come to think of it, Christmas lasts only a season but the bills have to be permanently paid…. ouch.

Let the countdown begin! Thanks to Litemind for making me me cram this list.


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18 thoughts on “How to prepare for Christmas”

  1. Em Dy - November 27, 2007 7:51 am


    I have a list in Excel.

    I shopped early and is almost done with my list.

    I’ve been exercising but I know I should exercise MORE.

    I used to decorate for Christmas but lost interest when I got busy with training. Maybe this year.

    I’m afraid I won’t be going on vacation this year. I initially wanted to but my preferred flight was booked and the rates elsewhere are really high, peak season rates.

    Most of my gifts I bought in bulk so medyo generic. No uniqueness in that, I think.

    Will remember to say my thank yous.

    I keep to my budget. The debate that goes in my mind is what to give people who are sosyal, something expensive to fit their personality or something that’s right with my budget. Most of the time, my budget wins more than my desire to impress.

    Now, tell me, have I been naughty or nice?

    Happy holidays,

    Em Dy

  2. Ruy - November 27, 2007 8:58 am

    Last tip’s the best for me!

  3. biyahengpinoy - November 27, 2007 7:17 pm

    saan ito? cute naman ng santa clause. kahit mabata. hehehe.

    anyway, im not sure if you\’ve seen my sagada video but clickthecity is currently featuring. here is the direct link so you can see it:

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  5. ajay - November 27, 2007 10:16 pm

    Thanks for sharing Em. You seem like a very rational shopper. And yes, you’re definitely nice 😛

    Sa SM ang mga Santa na yan, Wencel.

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  9. Lawrence Cheok | A Long Long Road - November 29, 2007 10:13 am

    Hi Ajay,

    thanks for sharing these useful and practical tips.

    As a personal development blogger, I always believe and advocate that we should have a plan to help us reach our objectives and goals.

    You have just shown us that this can apply to Christmas celebration as well. Kudos!

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