Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Christmas-I Am My Mother's Daughter
Christmas season is well upon us and we just realized that we have little time to buy all the gifts we need to buy. Besides parents and my family in the states, we have some professional gifts (i.e., bank manager, village security guards), god children, and the neighborhood kids.
Christmas in this neighborhood is kinda like Halloween in the states. All the neighborhood kids come to a few houses here with their parents and they receive gifts. It is actually really cute, all the kids you see 364 days a year barefoot in their play clothes are all dressed up in their Christmas best. People here usually give away money (about P10-20) or candy. We give away toothbrushes and toothpaste. This is exactly like my mom who used to put toothbrushes in our Easter baskets as well as Christmas stockings. Lest you think the kids hate the toothbrushes, I actually had a couple of kids ask me when they get their toothpaste. Also, this is not as boring a gift as it sounds. We currently live in Tondo and the kids that come on Christmas have very, very little money. When a family has little money, dental hygiene does not usually rank high on the list of items to spend money for. Even if they cannot buy more toothpaste once they use up what we gave them, our thought is it is better to brush with just water or salt than nothing at all. Okay, so maybe the gift is boring but it helps them in the long run. Better than candy. Or money (the firecracker vendors show up starting Christmas so the second a kid gets money it goes straight to firecrackers). By the way, last year we bought (I think) around 120 pieces and we ran out.
The god kids do not fare much better in terms of "fun" gifts. I went to the St. James Bazaar this past weekend and bought most of the god kids age appropriate books (another of my mother's trademarks....I cannot tell you how many books we received as kids. It works through, as adults we are all ardent readers). We also bought a pair of sneakers for one of the god kids who is always running around but is either a) in a pair of slippers too big for him or b)barefoot. We bought sneakers that can be slipped on so hopefully he will put them on before going out to play.
And finally, some of the younger god kids (as well as some nieces/nephews/etc) are receiving play dough. Not the cute Play Doh that one buys at a toy store but nice bright homemade play dough just like my mom used to make us as kids.