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Five unique gift ideas for your loved ones this Christmas

The countdown to the most wonderful time of the year begins, and people are delighted to sing Christmas carols, while kids eagerly await Santa Claus, and in a few months, family and friends will gather once more around the Christmas tree, adorned by Christmas lights where presents are wrapped in fancy bows. Christmas is beloved in the Philippines, it is widely celebrated, and we look forward to it with great anticipation. Filipinos consistently begin the holiday season during the “ber” months which begin September 1. Our excitement for the holidays has earned us a moniker as the “country with the longest holiday season” because perhaps of the country’s history, influences, and religion. Unfortunately, back in 2020, when the pandemic gutted the Holiday season, imposing strict restrictions transformed the City into a ghost town and the economy went into a tailspin. The “Ber” months were dreary, adjusting to how events and reunions were held online. Last year, we had a glimpse of what Christmas should be once again. It was a fun holiday season, but you can still sense hesitancy and control from one another still brought by the pandemic.

This year, with the lingering question, “Can we have a festive Christmas this year and celebrate with one another for a Merry and Bright Christmas? The answer is a resounding YES! We can see that with schools welcoming back students, numerous small and large businesses reopening, and people returning to work in 2022, we can surely say that Christmas will be back! The return of face-to-face activities, such as expos, trade fairs, and bazaars, as well as the revival of international superstar concerts, is also a sign that things are returning to normal. Christmas gift-giving is special for Filipinos, it is one of our traits as we enjoy giving to others, and it is one of the ways how we express our gratitude and love for each other. Filipinos view Christmas gifts as symbolic of the homage paid to the infant Jesus by the Three Wise Men following his birth in the Nativity story. According to the New Testament, Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthazar, the Three Magi, traveled to the place of Jesus’s birth by following a star. When they got there, they gave Him presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. This Christmas, since it is the season of joy and giving and as the crowd prepares to be busy, a shopping rush is coming, and malls are decorated in some grand design meant to entice consumers to simply go shopping for parties, feasts, and gift giving, make your family’s celebration warm and joyful with these five unique gifts ideas for your loved ones this

Christmas:

1. Travel Leisure – for the whole family

Baguio, A wonderful holiday in the hills – While in a tropical nation like the Philippines, where it doesn’t snow, you can still feel the cold and dress in your winter clothing. Where else in the north could that be? Most Filipino families who travel to Baguio City for Christmas celebrations would drive for more than five hours for the cold wind in the air, the big pine trees, and the bustling night market. Welcome the Holidays with fireworks at The Manor at Camp John Hay, spend a chilly afternoon at Chocolate de Batirol and Puto Bumbong, and experience history at the famous BenCab Museum. Baguio City is the finest spot to buy coffee, strawberry jam, and ube jam.

Vigan, revisiting History this Christmas – Vigan has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the magnificence of its culture and the preservation of its Spanish-era streets. If you want to travel through time this Christmas, Vigan is the place to go. Old streets along the Calle Crisologo have been exquisitely preserved, transporting you back in time and captivating you. Visit Father Jose Burgos’ home, “Bahay na Bato” which was one of the three martyred priests (GomBurZa). A significant collection of furniture and antiquities from the local area is now housed in the National Museum of Vigan. Of course, you shouldn’t miss this when you’re in town. Empanadas and Longganisang Iloko are two local specialties that can be found in practically any place in Vigan’s bustling plazas.

Boracay, Christmas on the best beach – Make your Christmas extra special by spending it at the famous beach. Although Boracay is generally renowned for being one of the best summer beach destinations in the Philippines, the island is gorgeous all year round. Additionally, you can also enjoy the fine white sand and cerulean waters during the holidays. Must-see destinations are White beach, Puka Shell Beach, and Diniwid beach.

2. Staycation – for couples

Good food, good company, and aesthetic interiors, you and your partner would absolutely love, make them feel special by spending Christmas eve at these finest hotels; The Hotel Okura’s signature Japanese fine dining restaurant Yamazato serves only the freshest ingredients that ensure supreme taste and unmatched quality. Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila is known as the most extravagant hotel available locally, you’ve probably also heard of their famous “Cheese Room” where they put to shame most charcuterie boards. Indulge in with your two most favorite people on earth.

3. Powerhouse tools – for dads

Many dads are handymen, and as such, they like nothing more than working on small projects around the house. The items on this list are wonderful Christmas presents for dads; a miter saw, lawn mower, a drill/driver combo kit, and a rotary tool kit

4. Kitchen Appliances – for moms

We love our nanay, mom, and umma and many of us learned how to cook at their apron strings. The best kitchen gifts for mom, are the ones that will make her happy and that also make life a little easier, and for the chef in our life, she will love a new modern vintage refrigerator, Kitchenaid brand mixer, or a Nutribullet blender.

5. Online Short Courses – for yourself

It’s time once more to celebrate Noche Buena, which translates to “Good Night” or “Holy Night” in Spanish. Families assemble for a great Christmas meal where they can indulge in a wide range of delicious dishes. Regardless of whether it’s pork, beef, chicken, goat, or buffalo, a meal at the table is never complete without a plate of flavorful meat in a traditional Filipino Christmas dinner, Lechon (whole pig grilled over an open pit) is frequently the main dish. Enroll in these short online culinary courses to plan the best meal for your family; Center for Culinary Arts offers a 13-day class for culinary arts or Baking and Pastry Arts classes. Enderun Extension offers an online culinary experience at your own pace.

We give people gifts to show them that we are grateful for them and value their role in our lives. Sharing experiences as opposed to material goods is more valuable and is generally well received. What’s more exciting is that you can all avail this with an etomo loan, especially with our upcoming longer loan duration and higher credit line. You can feel the flexibility and comfort of a credit card with etomo.

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