Christmas Gifts That Could Mean More

By Carmen Dulguime

Virulent virus. Typhoons. Unemployment. Sorry to start this with such negativity, but I just want it out of the way so I can tell you the good news: Christmas is still coming.

This may be the most difficult Yuletide season for most of us, but it shouldn’t stop us from celebrating with loved ones. In fact, because of all the disheartening things that have been happening around us, we should have realized by now how we should take more care of one another.

While I was scanning the Internet for simple gifts that I could give to my family and friends, I discovered some gift ideas that we could all benefit from especially with what we are going through. I am not including food and pandemic-related essentials (masks, hygiene kits, etc.) since these are what we have been providing each other for months now. I have listed only gift items that can be sourced from local micro and small entrepreneurs, hoping to raise the thought of giving back as we give forward.

Customized calendar

Of course we could still find a use for a 2021 calendar! When I saw Espressoprint’s hyperpersonalized calendar, I immediately thought of all the places I could have gone to this year. Instead of letting 2020 bog me down, I could get 12 old travel photos from past years to complete my 2021 calendar – something that will at least inspire me to keep dreaming of places I want to visit regardless of what the year may bring. Who knows what 2021 brings? As for your 2020 calendar or planner, I suggest you keep it for posterity – a memorabilia to show and tell your future grandkids about what and what did not happen this year.


Looks like a passport, functions like a passport, but not really a passport. Pasaporte by Kadima created this booklet to look like a passport that you can use during your travels. You can write down your itinerary and other details about your trip on every page. It’s even made more exciting with a challenging activity on each page for you to take if you’re up to it. The “passport” comes with a pack of sticker stamps that you can use any which way you want: to rate a hotel you’re staying in, comment on a food or restaurant, or just put an expression of how you feel about the trip. Hodophiles, unite! Own 2021 like you’re already packed for a trip with this fun passport.

Playing cards

When you’re stuck at home, alone or with the family, a deck of playing cards would definitely help while away the time. We don’t know until when we’re going to be working from home or taking our studies online, but Tara Baraha seems like the best companion – pandemic or no pandemic. Each card has its own piece of trivia that you can learn from, especially when your opponent is taking too long to take his turn in a game of pekwa. Best of all, the team behind it is also actively helping fellow Filipinos in their time of need.


What’s a celebration without drinks? One look at Karton’s online bazaar, and you’d have a feast with its variety of locally produced products that are perfect for gifting. One particular section I found amusing is the “instagifts”, which features various local drink concoctions tagged to match the Christmas “spirit”: Cebu Mango Rum tagged as pa RUM pa pump um, Crows Gin as Santa Crows, Barako Kanto Salted Caramel Vodka as Kanto Claus, Barako Sirena Dry Gin as Gin-gle Bells, to name a few. Witty names aside, these do look flavorful enough to raise the spirit of the season to a different level. Just remember to drink moderately.

Re-purposed bottles

Gone are the days when wine, liquor and beer bottles are thrown away after the party. At least not for Cristal Glass Project. Who would have thought that a Johnny Walker Double Black whisky bottle can make an elegant clock, or a Jose Cuervo tequila bottle into a succulent plant pot? How about a chic night lamp made with The Botanist dry gin? The possibilities are definitely endless for the group who upcycles these used bottles with their own bare hands. Cheers to that!

The digital space is filled with local producers creating and selling the most unique items you can’t just find in your neighborhood shops or malls. While we are still better off doing our holiday shopping from the comfort and safety of our homes, just look for Filipino e-commerce wares in websites and social media. This Christmas is unique, so don’t stop yourself from giving and helping at the same time.

About the Writer

beingKirei keeps two personal blogsites: beingKirei and Virtual Cubicle. She created these initially for self-expression, but she realized that she can do more with her God-given writing gift. Finding inspiration in Proverbs 31:8 (Speak for those who cannot speak; seek justice for all those on the verge of destruction), she started writing about people she meets and have meaningful conversations with. She found some of their stories need to be told and inspire others. She contributes to NewsFeed 360 on top of working in the editorial department of WSP Inc.. Aside from writing, she tries to learn photography, play the ukulele and guitar, and read until she falls asleep.

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