It is the culmination of the “-Ber” months which most of us know is the main event for shopping and buying gifts, which is what the Holiday season is all about. Just look at the Christmas sales, New Year sales, and other holiday sales popping up almost everywhere. It is both festive and scary.
I feel like Christmas is losing its purpose, and I know most of you would have read this line over and over, but it does not hit home until you are your own man/woman, managing a certain type of business, or the bread winner of the family, which fortunately or not, I am.
Let me start off with Christmas at work. In the season of giving, we normally have our own Secret Santa, or Kris Kringle, locally known as Monito-Monita. I say normally because this year, we are having none of that, with too many Kris Kringle with other friends already in place. I personally have been adamant of this idea since I started receiving the gifts. I know “it’s the thought that counts”, but I am being totally honest here. When we fill out our Christmas wish list, I normally cannot think of anything to write. One, because I am too afraid of asking for something that is too expensive, and two, I usually ask for something that I really need, but end up asking for gift certificates instead, so I can buy it myself when I get to know what it is.
Now here is the brutally honest fact: Most often than not, I get disappointed with the gifts that I receive. I get the type of thing that I need, but sometimes, the quality is not all there, and you know that your Secret Santa did not follow the minimum price agreed upon. Last year, I asked for a pair of workout gloves with wrist supports, which costs around $13 (600 pesos). I got a pair of $5 gloves instead, which needless to say, lasted only a handful of workouts. What I ended up giving is a set of golf balls (expensive ones) because I ended up picking my manager’s name.
Most of the time, people who report to me are also expecting too much from me too, since they know that the Christmas bonus is dependent on the current salary, and since I am their manager, you know the drill. It’s like I am obligated to give them something really nice this Christmas and they end up getting disappointed too. I see the look on their faces and sometimes I want to tell them that I have a family to support, and that they should be thankful that I gave them something at least.
But of course, I don’t. I grin, and bear the whispers that may or may not come soon afterwards. “Kuripot talaga ni Sir!” (“He’s really a scrooge!”)
And I can’t forget my own family, specifically my own youngest brother, who is turning out to be the most “maluho” (luxurious) of all of us. Don’t tell him I told you, but I think he is getting too comfortable with the fact that his siblings (3 of them) now have good paying jobs and that he can get money or stuff when he asks for it. For this Christmas, this is his wishlist:
1. An Ipod Touch or any Ipod variants, if the Touch is not available.
My other siblings (those who are already working) grew up in a very simple household, and we lead a very simple life. If you want to envision or personify our simplicity in terms of our gadgets, we do not even talk of getting a new gadget until our current one (phone, computer, etc) either completely stops working, or gets broken into a million pieces. We haven’t even come close to mentioning Apple products at home, until he asked for it. Just look at the prices of those things!
2. Wi-Fi connection at home
My youngest brother was speaking logically. Since the Touch has a capability to connect to Wi-Fi, and he will need to download songs and/or games in his Ipod, then he will need a Wi-Fi connection at home. We have internet, but adding Wi-Fi seems to be stretching his already stretched out list.
3. Playstation 3
Our television set conked out a few days ago, and now I have to buy a new one. Partly unexpected, because it is not part of my plan to buy a new one until next year. Partly expected because that TV has been with us for more or less 13 years. It is a CRT TV, that I am very fond of. Now, I am obligated to buy an LCD or an LED TV, just to “keep up with the times”. And of course, my aforementioned brother, who is again thinking logically, wants to buy a PlayStation 3 since the new TV that he is expecting me to get is 3D capable or something.
Christmas parties are part of my humbug list too. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy good food? The only hangup is I have to follow a theme. I ended up spending too much on my clothes than I intend to, and I will only wear that once. This year’s theme is “hippie 70’s”. People pulling rank again, telling me that since I am a manager, I should be a good role model and follow the theme. Goodness gracious.
With this trend, no wonder I am getting antsy every time the “-Ber” months loom. My own Christmas wish is to save a certain amount for this year, and to invest a certain amount the next year for my business. But, I don’t think I’ll meet my target yet.