If the colorful lights you see around the Metro are not enough to remind you of the coming holidays, what will?
Maybe it’s the heavier than usual traffic, indicating that many have received their bonuses and 13th-month pay. Everyone’s in a rush to buy presents for themselves and their loved ones or to simply celebrate the weekend in an all-you-can-eat restaurant. Or that Jose Mari Chan song playing in a loop anywhere and everywhere including your head, LOL.
Yes, it’s almost Christmas! And with just a few weeks left before the much-awaited day of the year, it’s hard to think that another year will be passing by.
I can only imagine the excitement the holidays bring to children so best not to spoil it wasting time in long lines buying groceries or doing last-minute shopping. Here are some ways that can help you beat the Christmas rush.
SHOP GIFTS EARLY. List down the names of your inaanak (to make sure you don’t miss anyone), family, friends, and even colleagues you are planning to give gifts to. Check out these smart gift ideas:
- Many kids prefer cash nowadays so instead of giving the usual P1k bill, have it changed at your local bank with crisp P20 notes. It somehow makes it a bit exciting for them to have a bundle of money in their hands. Watch as they count it several times as if it will multiply.
- GCs still come in handy. If you are out of ideas especially for exchange gifts at the office, gift certificates from the coffee shop will be a delight for those collecting stars for the 2020 planner.
- Sweets never go out of style. Support local businesses or friends who bake as a means of earning. Brownies, revel bars, food for the gods, fruitcake, are some of the favorites.
- Personalized mugs or insulated stainless steel tumblers are available in online stores. Buying online also saves you the hassle of having to fall in line for payment, paying and looking for a parking spot, and going through the heavy traffic. Be conscious though that there is a surge of deliveries during this period. There may be a delay in delivery not because the seller shipped late but rather due to the courier.
PLAN YOUR GROCERIES. Weeks ahead, have a list of food you will be preparing for the Noche Buena and Media Noche. You can buy early on those that can be stored, such as pasta, kaong and nata for salads, while meats and other perishables a few days prior. Note that a few days before Christmas, some grocery stores open as early as 8 am to accommodate early patrons. Be one of them to avoid the long lines.
PLOT YOUR CALENDAR. Reunions and family gatherings are usually held during this time of the year. It would help to have these occasions written down on your planner or calendar to avoid having two commitments in a single day.
TAKE A LEAVE, A FEW DAYS BEFORE THE HOLIDAY. If you are planning for a long drive to nearby provinces this Christmas break, you may want to take a day off or two before the holidays. This helps you avoid anticipated traffic congestion at the major highways, including the North Luzon and South Luzon Expressways.
Have your car checked for a safe and enjoyable trip. BLOWBAGETS is a simple acronym to remember before you head out for that long trip. It stands for battery, lights, oil, water, brake, air, gas, engine, tire, and self.
Lastly, be mindful of your spending as you swipe your credit card. The holidays are meant to be fun but you wouldn’t want to wake up the following year worrying about your credit card bill.
How about you? What are your hacks to have an enjoyable Christmas vacation? Feel free to share in the comments section below.