I remember way back on our Christmas party when I was in Grade 5, I overheard my classmates joking, "Sana hindi twalya makuha ko sa exchange gift." And I've realized that I also have been silently praying not to receive another photo frame that year.
Anu-ano ba yung mga ayaw naten matanggap sa exchange gift nung mga bata pa tayo?
One time I asked my husband what was the worst gift he received for exchange gift and he said, "sabong panlaba."
Don't we just hate receiving mugs, face towels, soaps, handkerchiefs, photo albums and frames when we were younger? But come to think of it, our parents then were left with little choices. What could they buy for our exchange gift that's unisex and worth less than 50 pesos, right? Hey, I grew up in the 80s and 90s. Ha ha!
Through the years - with a growing list of pamangkins and inaanaks - I have learned a few tips of my own on what and what not to give. Here are my fool-proof gift ideas by age:
Babies and Toddlers
There are a lot of baby items that you can actually live without, except for clothes.
There had been instances that we received the same kind of baby items as gifts, like bolster pillows, waterproof bibs, spoons, plates, and sippy cups. As much as I appreciate the gifts, babies and toddlers don't need 3 sets of pillows or 5 sippy cups, to be honest.
But clothes? Ah, the saving grace.
Baby and toddler clothes can be ridiculously expensive. I can get myself a shirt a third of the price of a onesies. And babies grow faster than you want them to.
MY TIP: buy clothes for babies and toddlers.
And when you do, make sure to get sizes that are at least 3 months older than the age of the recipient. I specially like the ones the kids can wear when they go out for a stroll. I guarantee you, the parents will be ever so grateful.
A few years ago, I was so sure to just buy age-appropriate toys for my friends' kids and my inaanaks. But as my own kid go through preschool, I have noticed that he'd just play with the toys gifted to him on a certain period only. Most often, he'd choose the ones he really likes - toys that we, his parents, gave him and leave the others untouched for weeks. Because we know him so well we are able to give him what he wants most.
But for our inaanaks and/or children of friends that we only see 1-2 times a year, it's harder to choose what toys they'd prefer. I spend hours on toy store aisles deciding which they'd like.
MY TIP: Get them any item that has their favorite cartoon character on it.
|Image from Google|
Kids love Spongebob, Elmo, Hello Kitty, Ben 10, Captain America, Batman, you name it, our malls and tiangges have it. Kids would love anything that has their favorite character on it - from crayons and stickers to beddings, tumblers, bags, and dolls.
It's budget-friendly, too. You can get items for as low as 10 pesos (stickers, coloring books). Or go lavish by getting them a school bag or a doll.
Now this could be a tricky one. The recipient could be too young or on his/her tweens already.
MY TIP: Get them games-related gifts
You can get them puzzles, board games, balls, card games, badminton, and PS or XBox games. It's just a matter of what is appropriate for their ages.
With just board games, you can already get a wide variety of choices: from Snakes and Ladders, Chinese Checkers, to Chess, Monopoly, and Scrabble, as examples.
Now these kids are exploring their wings outside of home and socializing with their peers.
MY TIP: Get them tickets for movies, concerts, meet-and-greet sessions with celebrities, or theatre.
They would love to watch movies with their friends, shout their hearts out at their favorite band's concerts, or bond with girlfriends over a Broadway show.
When you are trying to pick a bunch of gifts for families and friends who are adults, it's difficult to search for the perfect gift for them. But fret not.
MY TIP: Get them Gift certificates
Most of the adults we give gifts to are part of the labor force, meaning, kaya nila bumili ng mga bagay na kailangan nila. So that leaves you to getting them what they want. But that's the problem, you are sometimes caught in a stressful situation trying to figure out what the recipient would appreciate getting. Much more if you are talking about at least a dozen people on your gift list this year.
This problem is solve by gift certificates.
Let them choose what they'd like.
I particularly like using Sodexo Premium Pass because it can be used in dozens of establishments: from department stores and restaurants, to clinics, appliances, specialty shops, and so much more. It's the number 1 gift certificate in the country and is accepted in 9000 outlets. I know my recipient would appreciate having the liberty to choose a gift for him/herself.
|Outlets where Sodexo GCs are accepted|
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How many times have you asked yourself, "what can I give my in-laws this year?" Or "what would my parents want to receive?"
MY TIP: Get them something sentimental
At their age, they simply want something that would bring back memories or would create new memories to hold dear.
You can get an old photo of them, have it digitally restored, and framed.
Give them a memorabilia of their favorite song, movie, or artist. Or get them a fan sign or video greeting from one of their favorite artist.
And if an artist from their younger years is set to have a concert, get them tickets for it.
If it's a couple and they have not tried anything grand in their life because they worked hard for their kids, it's time to give back and let them experience luxury. Whether it's a dinner in a restaurant they haven't been to, or a staycation at a hotel.
It's almost September, have you started your list for Christmas? I hope these tips I shared helped you.
Receiving gifts can make us happy, but sending ones can make us truly ecstatic. And by giving well-thought gifts, we are making the recipient feel our well-wishes, love, and respect.