Bah. Humbug.  

Posted by Laya in

I was in the middle of the crush in Divisoria yesterday, looking for a black dress I needed for an upcoming event, when I happened upon a vendor of those small cheap "stuff toys" that look vaguely like a cross between pigs and bears and are wrapped in a sort of netting and tied at the top. All they're good for is sitting on your dresser and gathering dust, like cloth bric-a-brac. I should know. I've got some of them on my dresser, all "gifts" from people on some holiday or occasion or other.

There was this guy, making a selection among those stuffed toys, cradling about a half-dozen of them in his arms and choosing more. "Dagdagan mo pa, marami pa akong pagbibigyan (Add some more, I have many people to give these to)," I heard him tell the vendor as I pushed my way past them.

I wondered to myself why, of the myriad gift choices one can make in Divisoria, the guy ended up buying those. Was it because he couldn't think of anything more to give and these were the cheapest? Or that he didn't really care about what would happen to the gift, as long as he was able to give something? I couldn't help but think that it would just be a waste of money. All in the spirit of giving.

I remembered my own Christmas list. Family members and friends and godchildren. Many of them would be expecting at least some little gift from me, although a very few of them would manifest their disappointment if the gift didn't materialize. To many of them, there were so many things that I wanted to give, but because there are so many of them, my budget would be up in protest if I did what I wanted. After all, for the past several years, that's all my 13th-month pay has ever been good for-- Christmas presents, and the cost of either sending them through LBC or traveling to be able to give them out myself.

My aunt once asked, perhaps unwisely, why I didn't have any substantial savings to buy myself the things I needed for Christmas. She asked this on the occasion of my last trip home for that holiday, the bulk of my luggage being Christmas gifts. Since I had also just shelled out the better part of the cost for the noche buena, I snapped, "Because I keep spending it on tickets to go home, since you keep reproaching me that I can't even be home for that one holiday in the year that the family should be together. Because I keep spending it on gifts and presents for all of you, since you would say Paskong Pasko na nga lang, ang laki ng sweldo mo, hindi mo man lang kami maalala, Paskong Pasko na nga lang, nagdadamot ka pa (Even on Christmas, with a big salary, you couldn't even remember to give us something, even on Christmas, you would be stingy)."

I couldn't help but think: To hell with this Christmas thing. What if I didn't give anyone anything next year? Picture the sad faces of my godchildren, the surprise on the faces of my so-called friends, the annoyance on the faces of my family.

Don't get me wrong: I love giving. Sometimes I find excuses just to give people things. It's when the thing becomes an obligation, when people begin expecting me to give them things, that I begin to find it irksome, that the joy goes out of it. I end up looking for cheap gifts that don't really mean anything, like those stuffed thingies, just so I've fulfilled the obligation. I don't have an obligation to be nice and generous to everybody just because it's supposed to be Christmas, dammit. To tell the truth, I've given up believing in that holiday a while back-- it's just that old habits die hard.

I've been living on my own for the past five years. Christmas has ceased to be the wonderful thing that it used to be for me, for a long time now. It's ended up as just another day when there's no work; if I don't go to my parents' house, I end up spending it alone. If friends don't invite me to spend the holidays with them and their family, I do spend the holiday alone. Even then, spending the holidays with them just makes me sad because I know that I would not have had anywhere else to go, that I'm just a saling-pusa in their festivities. Even then, there have been one or two Christmases that I've spent sitting at the back of the church, crying.

For this Christmas, I am very seriously considering getting so stone-cold drunk that I will pass out and not wake up until the next day. To hell with it all.

Bah, humbug.

This entry was posted at Tuesday, December 01, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

0 people cared

Post a Comment

Quality affordable condos in Manila

Own an affordable Ayala Land condominium in the heart of Manila. It's located beside SM San Lazaro, a five-minute ride away from the University Belt and UST, and a stone's throw from LRT Tayuman Station.

Now pre-selling units in Tower 5.
Studio (22.4 - 23.49 sq. m.) - P1.6M - P1.8M
1BR (39.36 - 40.73 sq. m.) - P2.9M - P3.3M
2BR (45.49 sq.m.) - P3.5M - P3.8M
Loft (39.85 - 66.83 sq. m.) - P3.2M - P5.1M

For inquiries please contact Eva at
or email mhie(underscore)bate22(at)yahoo(dot)com

AddThis Social Bookmark Button
MeFindome.org: Homeless Cats & Dogs for Adoption