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The Gift of 3 Lessons in the Season of Giving

I always say that Christmas is my ultimate favourite season of the year.

There’s something about this fact and the general feel of Christmas season that brings out the best in us. We become more thoughtful, more generous, more loving – traits that reflect and glorify Jesus Christ! Now, this is especially more personal to me because my love language is gifts (both receiving and giving). I don’t think this love language means materialism. On the contrary, I think gifting is a great way to exhibit generosity, thoughtfulness, and love!

So when the blogger group I belong to, Mommy Bloggers Philippines, announced a Christmas gift swap for this year, there was no question. I’m in! My “baby” wasn’t someone I personally knew, but it was really exciting reading her blog, trying to figure out what she would like, and then choosing a gift for her.

And then, there’s the thrill of receiving my very own gift, too! Just yesterday, I received this package, which came from my fellow mom blogger, Liz Aquino:

I remember getting all excited, thinking of all the possible things the package must contain. After tearing through what seemed like an eternity of wrapping paper, I finally uncovered this!

The Starbucks Mug truly came as a surprise for me because I am no coffee drinker but I sort of collect mugs. What’s surprising about it is that I don’t recall ever talking about my mini-collection. So thanks, Liz!

We have a cupboard full of nice mugs and specialty mugs, but these are the few most special ones for me:

Three Lessons from a Simple Gift Swap

But more than the lovely mug and it being a nice addition to my growing collection, I learned a lot of things from this blogger gift swap. Which is, basically, what should be the essence of any tradition! Here are the three lessons I learned in the season of gift-giving:

1. Sometimes, receiving is just as fulfilling as giving.

I love to think of myself as a giver. I like showering the people I love and care about with gifts as a reminder that they are in my thoughts. However, there is something fulfilling about receiving a gift from someone else, too. It feels wonderful to know that someone took their time and effort choosing a gift that they think you’ll appreciate!

2. There is something special about choosing a gift for someone you haven’t met yet.

Although we visit each other’s blogs through blog hops, Liz and I haven’t met yet. It actually feels kilig (lol) to imagine someone who doesn’t know you personally thinking day and night about what to give you. It’s especially challenging because they don’t really know what you like!

On the other hand, I also have my gift swap baby, Mel of Trying Hard MinimalistI haven’t met her yet and it was exciting to figure out what she would like! With the Mommy Bloggers Philippines gift swap, the limits my gift-choosing ability was surely tested, but it was a lot of fun going through the process!

3. At the end of the day, it is the thought that counts.

We all say that. It’s the thought that counts. Most of the time, it is spoken in an apologetic manner, as if apologising for a gift that is cheaper than expected or a gift that the receiver might not like. I beg to disagree. I think choosing a gift where it’s the thought that most counts is the most wonderful gift of all. If you give me a simple note, I’ll cherish it because I know you spent time on me. What a privilege. What a blessing!

And speaking of blessing…

About my Secret Santa, Liz

I think Liz’s gift accurately represents her personality. She is a big coffee drinker who usually has a cuppa with her when she blogs. She writes in her blog, Diaries of a Control-Freak Momtitled this way because she realised, when her son got confined in the hospital when he was just 3 weeks young, that no matter how much of a control-freak she is, she still has no control over a lot of things life throws our way. I relate to this because this blog is mainly about how I resign to the inevitably messy nature of life!

Her blog has documented her journey as a mother with a special-needs son for three years. Three years and she still doesn’t want to call herself a legit blogger! Thank you, Liz, for your thoughtful gift. To answer your question, I’m not a coffee drinker but I drink tea — and a lot of milk! (Thankfully, my lactose intolerance doesn’t bother me that much anymore lol.)

Merry Christmas, everyone! <3 

PS: Yes, I took a bazillion photos with my new mug. No shame.

PPS: A big thank you to all of the generous companies who sponsored the #MBPGiftSwap of #MommyBloggersPH! (And I’m seeing Yuri’s favourite Arla milk! I swear, I buy 2 litres of it every week!)

Contadina
Tupperware
Lorenzana Lorins Patis and Lorins Bagoong Alamang Guisado
myPhone watch
VillaDelConte chocolates
Arla
Poetry Magnets

Christmas Wish List

Christmas 2015 Wish List!

So it’s exactly a month before Christmas today.

Can you believe that? I can’t. 

Wasn’t it just yesterday when we prepared for Christmas 2014 and I was still excited at the prospect of all those desserts because I wasn’t lactose intolerant yet? Or how my dad was so excited for all those savoury dishes because he wasn’t undergoing dialysis yet? Funny how much things change in a year, no?

Anyway, let’s not dwell on the sad things (read: food restrictions) because Christmas doesn’t just revolve around food. It also revolves around gifts. Of course I’m totally kidding, but since gifts are a fun thing to talk about, why don’t we talk about them? Here are the things I want to have for Christmas!

1. A Blank Planner

Here’s a confession: I bought a Certified Positive last year (I started using it in 2013) and even gave away a couple of copies to my readersAnd I loved my planner. I used it religiously — until I started attending real estate classes. I was able to find time to update it occasionally — until I got a full-time job with Stay At Home Mum. And then I had to study and prepare for my board exam. Let’s just say the last time I got to write something in it was in June.

(I did pass the board exam, though!)

I’m not giving up on a planner this year. However, I think my best bet would be a blank, un-dated planner so that I can continue using it even if the month — or year — has already expired. I have my eyes on this:

And while you’re at it, this matching desktop calendar too:

2. A New Tumbler

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