Less than two weeks to go ’til Christmas! Have you finished shopping for Christmas gifts for all the inaanaks on your list? Or are you having trouble balancing your budget? Do you have a lot of things you need/want to buy?
This season can be totally stressful for a lot of people. There’s traffic, parties to attend, shopping to be done. And yes, gifts to be bought and wrapped.
Why do we have Christmas gifts in the first place? Let’s find out.
The first Kris Kringle
Remember that Nativity scene at home or at your office lobby? Many Christians recognize the visit of the Wise Men or Magi (more popularly–although incorrectly–referred to as the Three Kings) as the origin of gift-giving on Christmas Day.
Based on Biblical accounts, the Wise Men came to visit Jesus bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These gifts were expensive and were considered fit only for a king at the time. The act was therefore symbolic of the Magi recognizing the baby Jesus’ royal lineage.
The commercial roots of giving and exchanging Christmas gifts can be traced to the legend of Sinterklaas, or Saint Nicholas. The Dutch patron saint was well-known for giving gifts to children and other acts of generosity. Towards the end of the 18th century, Dutch immigrants in the US began to celebrate the anniversary of Sinterklaas’ death. Christmas shopping also started to become popular during this time. Finally in 1881, the famous cartoonist Thomas Nast drew the image of Santa Claus that we know now. This trend of events helped make Christmas gifts a tradition until today.
How to buy Christmas gifts
Here are five time-tested tips to help you buy Christmas gifts not just for the people you need/want to give to. You can actually use these tips when buying stuff even for yourself:
1. Create a list. It seems so simple, but many of us take this task for granted. Thinking what to buy on the fly takes up a lot of brain power, creating a sort of “tunnel vision.” This can cause our brains to block out other details that are equally important. So, list down what you need to help you focus and make sure you don’t forget to buy that something for someone.
2. Stick to your list. This is especially important if you’re on a tight budget. Creating a list helps you maximize whatever budget you have; stick to it to make sure you don’t end up broke after Christmas.
3. Be creative. Try to put yourself in your recipient’s shoes: How will he or she enjoy your gift? Give something they will definitely appreciate. In cases where a generic, unisex gift is needed, give something you yourself will like. Don’t give just for the sake of it.
4. Plan. Make shopping for Christmas gifts less stressful. Plan your schedules and routes. You can also opt to go cashless or choose deferred payments. These are all payable so you don’t need to go far and save travel time as well.
5. Enjoy! Give with a cheerful heart and a smile. Let your recipient feel that you appreciate them. The point of Christmas gifts, after all, is not because we deserve them. Give with love, without demanding anything in return. This is the secret to enjoy the season.