Sunday, December 23, 2012


Yeah, so this is Christmas.

And where there's Christmas, there's namamasko.

I know it's been said that Christmas has become commercialized. Well, color me red and call me Rudolph's nose.

I'm not here to discuss how Santa has upstaged Jesus in this year-end celebration. Nor how Christmas has become less a religious holiday celebrating the birth of the Christian savior, and more of a secular bacchanal: an excuse for merriment and gift-giving.

And before we speak of gifts and the merriment they bring, watch the video below:

Coming off from the video's basic premise, I ask you now: can money - and the material goods it can bring - spread happiness, then?

On one of the message boards I frequent, I got called an asshole for posting that the reason I never gave my multi-millionaire business colleague/frenemy anything for the holidays - ever - is because I came up with my First Equation of Holiday Gift-Giving, as follows:

What do you give the man who has everything?

Give him the one thing he doesn't have.

Which is: nothing.

The berater's point was that gift-giving was not a matter of things; rather, it was the thought behind those things.

I countered with my Second Equation of Holiday Gift-Giving:

They say it's the thought that counts.

So I thought of giving you a present.

That's what counts, right?

Of course, things quickly went south from there, but my innate orneriness aside, the social chastisement I got gave me room for pause.

Am I really a Scrooge?

But no, said the Gollum to my Smeagol. We's helps so many peoples every year, precious. We's gives them loans they never pay back, yesss. They's always asssksss uss for help, precious, allllwaysssss usssss. And they always says the same things, always the same problems, even if it isn't Christmas, all-year round they askssss, precious, they asksss and askssss and askkksssss ussssss.

Aherm. Aherm.

So what really counts? I give even if it's against my good will. Is that worse than not giving at all?

I also don't like to think I'm Smaug hoarding gold, but I've definitely put the kibosh on the many subtle and not-so-subtle requests for Yuletide "assistance" thus far.

Maybe I am a Scrooge.

Or just bah, humbugging.

Happy holigays, anyway.


  1. eto naman formula ko for gift-giving:

    Gift something you would want to receive yourself but wouldn't buy for yourself (kasi di siya need. gets ba? hehe)

    I totally agree sa video. Mas masaya nga akong nanlilibre or gumagastos for other people kesa sa gumastos for myself. thanks for sharing the vid.

    1. You're welcome, Hustin!

      My problem is not with the giving. I take great pleasure when I see people happy with things I give them.

      It's just that ayokong pinangungunahan; giving should come freely, they say, and somehow it becomes far less pleasurable to me when people start expecting or worse, demanding gifts.

      I dunno but it's kinda like against the whole spirit of the thing. This sense of gift entitlement, just because it's Christmas. And some of them aren't even family or close friends, so...go figure.

    2. 'sense of gift entitlement' - Ah masama nga yun. kung binigyan sila, e di be grateful; pag hindi, e di hindi. get over it.

  2. "It's just that ayokong pinangungunahan; giving should come freely, they say, and somehow it becomes far less pleasurable to me when people start expecting or worse, demanding gifts."

    Ultimate turn off. Kung sino man gumagawa nun reduces the holiday spirit to nothing. :)

    1. Hence my Grinchiness, Joms.

      Belated happy birthday, by the way. Hope it was fun!

  3. Replies
    1. As you so eloquently put it, Ternie: "Tseehhhhhhhh!!!"

  4. Merry Christmas Ruddie!!!

    Lumampas na end of the world, but my xmas gift is still missing. :P

    1. Merry Christmas to you, too, billboard!

      And no, I haven't forgotten your (Effie) trinkets ;)

  5. late na ako nakadaan dito. hope you had a great Christmas.

    ako naman i give when it matters, when it has a purpose, and i have the capacity to do so. madalas mababaw lang ito, just to somehow make someone happy.

    and i tend to value use than sentiments. so ang ibinibigay ko ay yung palagay ko magagamit. nakakatuwa nga when i was joked na "panyo na naman". at least dun mejo sigurado ako na magagamit nila.

    priceless pala ng mga equations mo on giving. hehe.

    i've read somewhere na give when it's from your good will. otherwise don't. :)

    1. Thanks for the comment, JM.

      I agree with giving when it matters, when it has a purpose, and of course, when I have the capacity to do so. I also like to give on the "practical" side, but usually for adults.

      For kids, I just give them something on their official Wish List. Let's face it: no child has ever been happy receiving clothes.

      As for giving from my good will...what do you call it when you give against your will? :P

    2. i remember i had a hard time putting down that part of my comment. i guess it's not good will per se. as long as a part of us wills us to give, but without grudge though, then i think it's a good sign to go on with the giving. yung basta ba ndi napipilitan..

      btw, happy new year sau. hope 2013 will be a better one for you. :)

    3. Hahah! Happy New Year to you, too, JM.

      And may all of us have a good and prosperous 2013!