It’s a Saturday afternoon and the weather is lovely and you’re sipping on your Toffee Nut Latte then you realize: it’s the last weekend before Christmas.
Everyone knows about the yearly tradition amongst holiday shoppers to frantically wheel their carts down the aisles and you can’t help but hop in on it, too, no matter how many times you told yourself this year you would do things on time. Well, you don’t have a choice now, do you?
“Why am I like this?” you ask yourself. “Why???”
Stage 1 – Panic
This is when it sinks in. You count how many days there are left before Christmas and you find that there’s not enough time for you to slack off. You have less than two days to get everyone’s presents. Breathing becomes a heavy workout. You say a short prayer.
Stage 2 – Getting Down to Business
Time for the motivational speech, from yourself to yourself.
“Relax.” “You can do this.” “You won’t let anyone down.” “Everyone will get a present and you’ll make them all happy.” “This is the last time you’ll ever cram for Christmas.” Trust me, it won’t be.
Stage 3 – Organization
Santa Claus wouldn’t have delivered all those presents to the right people without a list. A lot of last-minute shoppers run around like headless chickens, grabbing anything in their sight, and come home with things they don’t even remember buying. You won’t make that mistake.
You try grouping your family and friends using the NBS gift-generator microsite according to their tastes, interests, and personality. From there, you make a list. And stick to it.
Stage 4 – Cash, Cash, Baby
Just when you thought you’ve had it all figured out, you remember that you aren’t a self-sustaining billionaire. Goodbye, Christmas bonus.
Stage 5 – The Plunge
You’ve just arrived at the mall and you immediately want to get out.
“Why are there so many people???” “Why are children crying???” “Linya ba ‘to ng NFA rice???”
Stage 6 – Hurdles
Distractions, distractions, distractions.
While shopping for your sister’s gift, you see a denim jacket that you really like and almost buy it for yourself.
Stop. Step back. Remind yourself that this season is not about you but about the people you care about. Don’t worry—they’re thinking about you, too.
Stage 7 – Keeping Your Focus
“All I Want For Christmas Is You” has played about 12 times since you entered the mall and you think you’re going crazy. You reach for your phone and open the Grab app—
No. Just a little more and you’re done. As the ancient proverb goes: “Onting kembot na lang, mamshie.”
Stage 8 – Wrap It Up
At this point, you wouldn’t care about how your presents look. You might as well give it to them as it is.
But since you don’t want to be the Scrooge of the season, you ask the store cashiers to do the wrapping for you. Just make sure you write on the cards right away so you won’t have them all mixed up.
Stage 9 – Refuel
You definitely deserve that 2-piece chicken meal with extra rice. Ready, set, chow.
Stage 10 – Mission Accomplished
You’re finished! Or you think you are. You don’t realize you’ve missed a gift for a tita until you get home.
But for now, you jump for joy.