Cool breeze blowing through your hair, shorter days and longer nights, more happy songs played in radios and malls. It’s that time of the year again. One thing that excites us are the gifts we receive during Christmastime. Since pre-school we have grown accustom to exchanging gifts. We use aliases, or just simply pick names from a bowl on who our Monito or Manita will be. And so we forge on a quest to find the perfect gift…
We have had our own share of weird gifts from  Kris Kringle. The common practice is to give a gift a day to your kris kringle, based on the agreed gift description and minimum price. People tend to be creative in coming up with the craziest kris kringle gift ideas at the lowest price.
The gifts we give often reflect on the personality of the giver or the receiver. For example, for something sweet. Some will give a piece of a cheap sweet candy. Others don’t give gifts at all. Filipinos come up with similar gift ideas when trying to meet a budget. There are common gift items during Kris Kringle and I bet you have received one of these things.
1. Figurines- They come in different designs. There was once a time when almost everyone wanted to collect Angel figurines. A popular gift for mothers and girls. It’s a definite option for ‘kuripot’ givers since can buy them at Divisoria 4 pieces for 100.
2. Ballpoint pen-Anyone who has gone through school have this once in our academic life.  Some gifts fool you with intricate packaging only to find a pen or a set of pen inside it.  Some of the pens don’t even work after you receive it.
3. Picture Frame- Since most of us nowadays take pictures, some would think this will be a good gift. It’s one of those gifts that people think is a no-fail. The problem is when you receive it, you will have to just keep it away since most of your pictures are saved up in Facebook or in other social sites. Not unless you want to spend money for having you pictures printed out.
4. Alarm Clock – A gift given to people who usually come in late. It’s somehow a way to mock you. After receiving this you need to tap it gently or else the next day it will not function again. If it’s a cheap clock, it will only live for a few days.
5. Wallet – They come in different brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and then there’s Seiko. We are excited to open it but viola! It’s empty no cash. Plus you find out it’s a knock off. The giver thinks that you have lots of money, that you badly need a wallet.
6. Calendars- Easy gift choice for businessman and politician givers who are on a budget. Plus it gives them free advertising.
7. T-shirt – Cute and functional, if only it fits. If it doesn’t, the receiver will just probably  give this in another kris kringle or maybe to a younger family member.
8. Items with lights – The giver thinks that anything with lights is fascinating and elegant. Yes, lights are amusing but most of them don’t have a purpose like those blinking necklace, the rubber ball with lights in them or even the glow in the dark set of planets and stars.
9. Handkerchief or towel – It’s cheap and easy to wrap. Very useful especially when commuting or the giver may have seen you sweating a lot or sneezing. The most you can spend is probably 200 pesos depending on the quality. It comes cheaper if you don’t buy it in malls. Most girls choose this as gift item for guys.
10. Mugs – If I’m not mistaken about 9 out of 10 people wouldn’t appreciate this. Almost everyone already owns a mug but you still choose to buy this because it’s cute and you think its functional. If you are the receiver, you can add another one to your collection of gift mugs. Lucky you!

Getting these gifts may not make us head over heels happy and probably will only disappoint us but think about it. They are not as bad as getting none at all. So for those still thinking of gifts to give please avoid giving these things and opt for more practical things or you can find more ways to make gift more meaningful. If you can’t decide on what to give, do what my mother usually does and just give an envelope with money inside. As for me, if you want a cheap and practical gift that people will surely love, go for coupons. I’m not talking about the ones from malls or magazines. Make love coupons wherein you do certain favors for the receiver a.k.a IOU coupons. You can give it to your parents, friend and significant ones.

Real gifts don’t really mean breaking the budget but if there is a certain amount,  my advice would be to start saving up. Wag maging kuripot as iba. It’s really better to give than to receive.


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