As I have featured last year in my post “Gift-Giving on Christmas Day”, our family, for the last 13 years (at the very least), has been distributing modest Christmas gifts to the children of our community or “barangay” as well as to some kids of other nearby villages and subdivisions. This year, through God’s grace, we were again able to sustain the family gift-giving activity which we are doing as our way of sharing part of the bounties and blessings every family member received for the year. A rather small but sure way of bringing fun and memorable moments to the children who eagerly wait for Christmas and the customary gift-giving that goes with it during the most important day of the holiday season.
On the larger context, this is our small contribution in spreading the true spirit of giving and sharing particularly to the mind of young children in the hope that it will somehow inculcate and develop within them a pay-it-forward effect so that the noble gift-giving tradition will propagate and continue to live in the hearts of the next generation. This could just be a speck in a wide ocean but at least it provides a tiny lit of hope in helping parents in up-bringing more loving and passionate children in the volatile era of computer and hi-tech gadgets.
If my sisters Baby, Maya, Aimee and Cha-cha personally prepared 500 gifts last year, they have increased that number to 600 this year to ensure that the growing number of children who eagerly await and joyfully anticipate the gift-giving activity could be safely accommodated and that no child, under any circumstances, will go home empty handed and frustrated. Wrapping some 600 gifts was no easy job but the family was enthusiastic in doing the wrapping ourselves making every gift a true labor of love, caring and compassion.
As mentioned before, this significant family activity conceived by my ever-helping younger sister Maya is whole heartedly supported and actively participated in by all members of our extended family starting from our loving parents down to the youngest members who now belong to the 3rd generation. The strong driving force in this yearly pursuit is probably the feeling of fulfillment that we all experienced at the end of the day thinking that through the concerted efforts and joint sharing of resources, there will be lots of kids of our neighborhood who will be one-toy merrier every Christmas day. That thought alone is pure happiness to this family.
Like the previous years, the children (some, especially the really young ones, are with their parents) lined up hours earlier than the announced time of giving or distribution. The enthusiasm and excitement were probably just too much to bear for many children that queuing early and establishing the the assurance of receiving gift first was not only a relief but also an added satisfaction and thrill.
The sight of too many kids, ranging from babies, to toddlers, to almost teenagers, fervently waiting for the opening of our gate was just too awesome a scene which to us was a clear indication that what we have been doing every Christmas day is something great, bringing them joy and happiness………and just probably being considered by them as already an important part of their Yuletide celebration.
To ease up the anticipation, we immediately started setting up the distribution booth in front of our lawn where Santa Claus and his assistants welcomed the children and offered them individual Christmas presents.
As expected, the appearance of this year’s Santa Claus, my brother-in-law Eduardo who is, in contrast to the usual bloated Santa figure, look’s petty hunky and trendy and obviously have been crawling gyms instead of house chimneys lately, has only heighten the euphoria filling the atmosphere.
As always, we led the kids to an orderly queue. I have been accorded several scouting and leadership awards before and I thought I could easily perform the rather petty job of securing and maintaining order among kids. But around 600 children, highly motivated, keenly focused, determined and driven by the burning desire to get his share first, proved to be tougher to tame and organize than I thought. :-(
It could have been better if I played the sweet and all-smiling Santa Claus and my muscular brother-in-law Eduardo as the tough and firm Security. :-)
We are so happy though to see the eagerness, delight and joy in every kids face as they received and opened their gifts. Their smile alone was enough to rejuvenate our strengths and fuel me again to firmly keeping my post and maintaining the line. I can see Santa Claus getting really overwhelmed with kids and I’m afraid he might fail to employ maximum tolerance and lift the zealous kids one by one back to the line, like barbells in the gym. :-)
But the kids probably sensed it and eventually behaved like well mannered pupils ………as if their Sir Bojo is present………and the gift-giving continued without a hitch for everyone’s amazement.
This year’s gift-giving was so momentous because the woman who started it all is present. Bravo!!! Thanks to her in-laws who decided to spend their Christmas to other special places…….. somewhere far…….. forcing them to stay with us. She, along with her equally devoted daughter even helped Santa Claus in the distribution. “The family that gives together will eventually receive more together.”.
Cute little kids are always fun to watch. There is something special on the sheer beauty and innocence that they project. More especially if they collectively arrived in color harmony and with a fashion statement that somehow says “Let’s Get this Party Started”.
After the last kid received his gift, the family members were in total awe and elation. We have just finished another year of a rather noble mission…….. to somehow bring color into the world of the little kids of our community……..in our own little way.
And what could be funnier than ending the event with a cheerful photo ops and a renewed promise to make a better one next year………God willing!
The photo ops can never be complete without this year’s Santa Claus showing us his hard earned abs to serve as a reminder to all Santa bodies that while its iconic and not really bad, there is a better alternative……..Ho! Ho! Ho!
Right after the gift-giving, of course cash-giving within the family ensued. This was also impatiently anticipated by all of us. And since giving around 600 presents could easily make even Santa Claus somewhat broke, it is inevitable that he too needs to line up for some cash……...and the major sponsor too! c“,)