Taking Gifting to the Next Level

Thursday, November 12, 2015 0 Comments A+ a-

It's that time of the year again! I don't know about you, but there really is something in the air come Christmas season. Everybody seems extra jolly, everything seems brighter and more colorful, and everyone feels like smiling and singing all the time! 

As a child from not so long ago, I've listened to adults saying (or rather, complaining) that Christmas is an occasion planned by adults and celebrated by kids. But, as I am entering into that complicated phase in life called adulthood, I find this opinion false because, Christmas was, is, and will always be for everyone! If one truly knows why we celebrate Christmas, then it wouldn't really be that hard to realize that this occasion knows no age. Most adults think that to celebrate Christmas is to add yet another burden to their already long list of things to think about, and the bulk of this "burden" comes from the idea of being "required" to give gifts. But, really though, why the idea of gift-giving every Christmas season?

Christians all over the world celebrate Christmas every 25th of December to remember the gift given by God to mankind some 2,000 years ago: the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Aside from this, another reason why we have the custom of gift-giving every Christmas is to remind us also of the presents given to the infant Jesus by the Three Wise Men, whose gifts were frankincense, gold and myrrh. Since then, the giving of gifts has been part of the Christmas tradition as a way to show our love and to share our blessings to others, as well as to celebrate and to remind us always of the greatest gift given to mankind: Jesus Christ.

Throughout the years, the Christmas tradition of gift-giving has continually evolved. One such change is the inclusion of writing a wishlist. With wishlists, loved ones no longer have to guess what gifts they should give you (but then again, they're your loved ones so they should know the gifts you'd like to receive). So for my loved ones, here's a list of the things I'd like to receive this Christmas:

  1. PLANE TICKET TO ANYWHERE IN THE PHILIPPINES : I believe that I've been yearning to travel  ever since I learned how to walk. See, my parents always told me of stories when I was still a toddler, crawling my way to just about every spot and nook that my tiny legs and arms could take me to. As a young adult, I don't even remember how many travel websites I've bookmarked, how many links I took a screenshot of and how many notes of travel ideas I've scribbled just to have the next adventure planned to satisfy the wanderlust in me. This is why a plane ticket to anywhere in the Philippines would be very much appreciated by a traveler like me!
  2. HARDBOUND SET OF THE HARRY POTTER BOOK SERIES : I know that I've read all the Harry Potter books a gazillion times, but that wouldn't stop me from dreaming of owning a brand new hardbound set of the HP book series. The magic still hasn't died down for me (and I don't think it will ever die down). I own only two HP books (Book 2 and 6), one of which was bought from a thrift store. Owning a hardbound set of the HP book series would be pretty much like owning a Firebolt - which I would most definitely ogle at and probably brag about to non-Muggles before even actually reading!

    *For those who also included books in their Christmas wishlist, here's a list of some of the bookstores you can find in SM Supermalls: National Bookstore (Metro Manila Branches: SM Las Piñas, SM North EDSA Annex, SM Fairview, SM Mall of Asia, SM Manila, SM Marikina, SM Muntinlupa, SM North EDSA, SM San Lazaro, SM Southmall, SM Sta Mesa, SM Sucat, SM Valenzuela), Fully Booked (SM Mall of Asia, SM North EDSA, SM Megamall) and Powerbooks (SM Megamall).
  3. DSLR CAMERA : Part of the necessities of being a blogger and an adventurer is to have a trusty and quality camera to document just about everything. Everybody who knows me knows that I absolutely love taking photos! While I'm no fan of taking selfies (it's a really rare occasion for me to take selfies or to take any photos where I'm included), I'm really keen on taking photos of people, places, nature, and animals. So much is my love for taking photos that the bulk of the storage of my laptop, desktop computer and smartphone are allotted to photos (not to mention that of the 14 downloaded apps in my smartphone, 5 of those are photo editing apps)!

    *You may visit SM Cyberzone for your camera needs. The following are Metro Manila SM Supermalls branches with Cyberzone Stores: SM Store Cubao, SM City Fairview, SMDC Light Mall, SM City Manila, SM City Marikina, SM Megamall, SM City North EDSA, SM Southmall, SM City Sta. Mesa, SM City San Lazaro, SM City BF Parañaque. You may also visit the SM Cyberzone website for more details.
  4. THE LATEST ADOBE PHOTOSHOP SOFTWARE : Ever since doing a hands-on activity using Adobe Photoshop back when I was still in high school, I've never relinquished the idea of being a professional Photoshop editor someday. I never ceased to be amazed by the numerous pubmats displayed in my university's walls, and I've always admired bloggers who produce and edit their own infographics/photo on their respective websites. For my blog, I use online editing tools like piktochart.com as well as Microsoft Office PowerPoint - yes, you read that right, the trusty Microsoft Office. This is why I've included the latest Adobe Photoshop software on my Christmas wishlist! I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't mind shelling out a few more bills to have a professional tutorial on using this awesome digital tool!

    *Visit SM Cyberzone to purchase your own Adobe products. The following are Metro Manila SM Supermalls branches with Cyberzone Stores: SM Store Cubao, SM City Fairview, SMDC Light Mall, SM City Manila, SM City Marikina, SM Megamall, SM City North EDSA, SM Southmall, SM City Sta. Mesa, SM City San Lazaro, SM City BF Parañaque. You may also visit the SM Cyberzone website for more details.
  5. MEMBERSHIP AT FITNESS FIRST : Fitness has been my greatest problem as I entered my twenties. The idea of earning and handling your own money is still a new experience for me - so much so that I buy food just because I can and I ride a cab for a trip that will cost me only the minimum jeepney fare or a 20-minute walk. Obviously, this bad habit of mine resulted to a drastic and negative change in my lifestyle and health. I did try to remedy this by exercising and dieting... but only did so consistently for 5 days at most. This is why I badly needed a membership and a personal trainer at a fitness gym like Fitness First. Thinking about all the pounds I would accumulate over the holiday season makes me more desperate to have this gift!

     *You may visit a Fitness First gym at any of the following SM Supermalls branch: SM City Fairview, SM Megamall, SM City North EDSA and SM Mall of Asia. You may also visit Fitness First's website for more details.
  6. INVESTMENT : As I've mentioned in my fifth wishlist, food is my number one weakness not only when it comes to health issues but to money issues as well. It's a good thing that I don't shop for clothes and shoes, because I already spend a considerable amount of money for food alone. As I'm nearing my mid-twenties, I realized that there is no better time to start saving for the future than now. So lately, my recent Internet searches is mostly about investments. This is why, part of my grown-up wishlist is to visit a BDO branch to talk about investments. With this plan in mind, I would gladly welcome any sorts of financial help (from my loved ones) to jump-start my investment plans!

    *Learn more about investments by visiting a BDO branch near you. Here are some Metro Manila BDO branches conveniently located inside SM Supermalls: SM Makati, SM Nagtahan, SM Megamall, SM Aura Premier, SM Center Las Piñas, SM Center Valenzuela, SM City Fairview, SM City Manila, SM City Marikina, SM City North EDSA, SM City Novaliches, SM Sta. Mesa and SM MOA. You may also visit BDO's website for more details.
  7. ESSENTIALS FOR MY BEAUTY REGIMEN : Any make-up paraphernalia is a big no-no for me that in my whole life, there had only been exactly 7 occasions where I (grudgingly) donned make-up : 4 graduations and 3 family weddings where I attended as the bride's maid. Even though I don't do make-up, I do have my own beauty regimen which is strictly limited to facial washes, lotions and cleansers. For anyone wanting to gift me with these, they can always go to any Watsons branch because they have a very wide array of affordable yet effective beauty must-haves!

    *You may visit a Watsons Personal Care Store at an SM Supermalls branch near you. 
Of course, Christmas is definitely not just about waiting for somebody to grant you your wishlist. What makes Christmas sweeter is the idea of making somebody else happy, that you remembered their wishes and made those wishes come true. Without really having to ask what they would like to receive this Christmas, the many years that I spent with them gave me a lot of gift ideas for my loved ones:
1  For Pudrams and Mudrams: Their very own e-PLUS card and a dinner buffet at Vikings! My parents are, undoubtedly, the biggest movie junkie of their age. They are also the biggest fans of buffets (I think you would have guessed by now where I got my penchant for movies and food). They would even often joke about how they wouldn't eat or drink anything hours prior to their buffet splurge! Talk about dedicated buffeteers! I'm sure that this Christmas, they'll definitely love to go on a movie marathon with their e-plus card and have a dinner buffet at Vikings afterwards! (Get your own e-PLUS card on-site by visiting an e-PLUS booth at SM Cinema lobbies. Visit their website or Facebook page to know more. Satisfy the foodie in you by visiting a Vikings branch at the following SM Supermalls branches: SM MOA, SM Marikina, SM North EDSA, SM Lanang Premiere, SM Jazz Mall, SM City BF and SM City Bacolod).
2  For younger Sis: What better way to surprise my kikay and fashionista sister than to gift her with clothes from FOREVER 21? While I'll never understand why it always takes her close to forever whenever shopping for clothes, I'd still be glad to accompany her as she dress her way to look forever 21! (You can shop at FOREVER 21 at any of the following SM Supermalls: SM Megamall, SM Makati, SM City Cebu, SM Megamall and SM Aura Premiere). 
3  For Bae: For my special someone, I'd gift him with a brand new pair of Merrell hiking shoes! Even if I'm not there with him during his hiking adventures, I know that he'll be safe and he'll reach the top with no sweat with his hiking shoes. (Get your own pair of hiking shoes at Merrell concept stores located at SM North EDSA Annex, SM City Dasmariñas, SM Lanang Premiere and SM Ecoland Davao).
4  For Manang Jing: After working diligently to keep our house clean, Manang Jing definitely deserves a day of pampering and relaxation. This is why I'm going to gift her with a manicure + pedicure + whole body massage package from Posh Nails! I hope that through this, she'll feel how loved she is and how thankful our family is for her. (Reward your hardworking and deserving helpers with a day off at Posh Nails. Find one nearest you at the following locations: SM Megamall, SM Fairview, SM Ilo-ilo, SM North EDSA, SM Consolacion, SM Sta Mesa, SM Clark Pampanga, SM Dasmariñas, SM Baguio and SM San Fernando Pampanga).
5  For Barack (the dog): My biggest fan/baby pooch would definitely make tampo if he realizes that I forgot to gift him this Christmas, so I made sure to include him on my list of loved ones to gift! I'd spoil him with chew toys from Pet Express to also divert his attention from chewing on our slippers and shoes (whose population is decreasing at an alarming state). Even so, I love this pooch so much that I still wear my chewed on slippers (he's probably just adding a touch of his own art to our mundane slippers, who knows?) Looking for gift ideas for your furry friends as well? Check out Pet Express stores at the following locations: SM Cubao, SM Dasmariñas, SM MOA, SM Hypermarket Makati, SM North EDSA and SM Masinag. 

Having a hard time thinking up of gift ideas for your loved ones? Worry not because SM Supermalls definitely got it all for you! Simply check out this guide for gift ideas:

Giving gifts is not only limited to your loved ones. Remember that God didn't give Jesus to a selected few -- He was a gift to mankind, so instead of limiting the Christmas tradition of gift-giving to people whom you love and know, why not stretch that circle and give back to others?

ACTS 20:35
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way 
we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, 
"It is more blessed to give than to receive". 

This Christmas, let's all take gifting to the next level: involve yourself a little more, and be more selfless in this season of giving. There are a lot of ways how you can give back to others this Christmas. Here are some ways how you can take gifting to the next level: 

VOLUNTEER AT YOUR LOCAL SHELTER  Whether you're a big animal lover like me, or have a big heart for the children or for the elders, I'm pretty sure that there's a nearby shelter where you can volunteer to help. Let these people and animals realize that Christmas is truly an occasion for everyone! For a start, you can volunteer at the following shelters (click on the respective shelter to direct you to their website): CARA Welfare Philippines, PAWS (Philippine Animal Welfare Society), and Bahay Tuluyan.

ADOPT, DON'T SHOP  Christmas season is the season of giving, so why not give a furry friend a chance at having their own forever home and family? Now that Christmas is fast approaching, one of the stores that are often crowded by Christmas shoppers are pet shops. While I 100% believe that these buyers want nothing but the happiness of their loved one, why not consider visiting an animal shelter instead of visiting a pet shop? There, you'll find hundreds of cute and sweet aspins (asong Pinoy, not asong kalye) and puspins (pusang Pinoy not pusakal) that is every inch as adorable and cuddly as those cats and dogs "with breed" that you'll find in pet stores. Not only will you give these pooches a second chance at a life full of love, but you'll also lessen the demand for pets supplied at pet shops. You see, some of the pets that are up for sale at commercial and/or unauthorized pet stores are most probably from puppy mills (an establishment that breeds puppies for sale, typically on an intensive basis and in conditions regarded as inhumane). Learn more about pet adoption here.  

DONATE: I'm pretty sure that the number one thing that comes into your mind when it comes to gift ideas for children are toys. Now, I'm not here to debunk that popular opinion, but rather, present another gift idea that children would also definitely love to receive this Christmas: school materials! This Christmas, instead of giving the usual assortment of toys for children (because I'm pretty sure that the bulk of what they're going to receive are either toys or money), why not give or donate school materials? You'll be surprised how genuinely excited they would be once they get a hold of a brand new notebook or pencil! This is also a great way to get them really eager and enthusiastic for the reopening of classes come January! 

EDUCATE YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY'S DARLINGS: Just recently, I had the pleasant opportunity to teach the little darlings of Barangay Culiat in Tandang Sora, Quezon City. Teaching out-of-school children is not easy, not to mention that you're doing it for free, but the warm hugs and toothy smiles you get each time you visit them is priceless. They're hungry for knowledge, and you'd be surprised to know just how much excited they are to learn. So this Christmas, why not give them the gift of knowledge? It's your own selfless way of giving back to those who have taught and educated you --- to pass on the knowledge they have shared with you because knowledge are among the many things on this world that is meant to be shared.


BE THE REASON BEHIND A CHILD'S SMILE : Of course, kids are still kids, and toys will always have a big space in their hearts. So this Christmas, be the reason behind a child's smile! Through the SM Christmas Bears of Joy, shoppers get to buy two bears for only Php 200: one you get to keep while the other is donated to children from the various orphanages and charitable institutions through the SM Cares program. To know where you can buy the SM Christmas Bears of Joy, please find the nearest toy fair booth locations near you as seen in the images below. You may also visit SM Cares Facebook page for more info and updates.

So start early and start shopping to avoid the Christmas rush! Do check out below some essential Christmas shopping tips I've listed for a hassle-free and stress-free holiday shopping!


A merrier and longer Christmas awaits shoppers nationwide as SM Supermalls, the country’s number one holiday shopping destination, spreads the season of giving and joyfulness through the launch of its “Merry SM Christmas 2015” campaign this October. Beginning October 1, all of SM’s 52 malls will be adorned with grand Christmas garlands, lights, and visual Christmas countdowns that are perfectly accompanied by the continuously played well-loved Christmas carols. All mall decors are expected to be more thrilling as the season progresses with a series of special events happening soon including the Grand Christmas Centerpiece Launch, Toy Fair, Meet and Greet with Santa Claus and other popular characters, and the Grand Christmas Parade. (Read more from source)

For more updates about this year’s “Merry SM Christmas” campaign, visit SM’s official Christmas microsite (https://www.smsupermalls.com/merrysmchristmas2015) and follow its official social media accounts on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/smsupermalls), Twitter (https://twitter.com/smsupermalls), and Instagram (https://instagram.com/smsupermalls/) and get an insider access to all the fun happenings at SM Supermalls nationwide through Viber (http://chats.viber.com/SMsupermalls). Shoppers can actively share their holiday merriments inside the SM Supermalls by posting their photos on social media and adding the hashtag #MerrySMChristmas2015.

Have a Merry SM Christmas!