Post-Holiday Blues

January 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm 8 comments

A Huffington Post Photo

The holiday season is finally over. Everything is getting back to normal. You notice it when the bills start pouring in, a grim reminder of that profligate time when the onslaught of sales ads enticed you, tempted you, and made you believe your pockets were deeper than you thought.

I spent over $4,000 in gifts and got nothing in return. As they say, it’s better to give than to receive. I guess it’s also better than getting something you don’t like. I’m a very difficult person to buy presents for, anyway. When my folks ask what I want for Christmas, I usually give the “don’t bother” answer. But still I can’t avoid this awkward feeling on Christmas eve when I see everybody opening their presents and I have nothing on my hands except the garbage bag to put the discarded wrappers in.

My indifference towards receiving gifts probably started when I graduated salutatorian in grade school in the Philippines. Since we were poor, it was quite a surprise to receive many gifts from my mother and aunt. My jealous classmates were begging that I unwrap the gifts right there and there to see what I got, but I didn’t succumb to pressure following my aunt’s instructions.

The biggest surprise was when I opened the gifts at home. They were either empty or full of rocks. They weren’t what I imagined them to be like the much dreamt of BB gun or a new pair of shoes. The only real gift that I received was a blue Hawaiian shirt from my grandmother and it wasn’t even wrapped. When my father, who didn’t attend the graduation, learned about it, he became very upset. He blamed my aunt for concocting such a stupid idea and my mother for going along with it. A few weeks later, he bought me a BB gun.

For some logic that a salutatorian couldn’t understand, my mother and aunt explained that because of my accomplishments people expected that I should receive many gifts. The fake gifts were to meet that expectation and save me from embarrassment in their eyes. Thank goodness! It would be the first and last time I would experience that kind of disappointment. In high school, I lost most of my brain capacity when hormones started to kick in. I would never be an honor student again.

Looking back, I still feel cheated, but the hurt and the anger have long been gone. More importantly, I believe now that they did it for love and that was good enough to forgive and forget.

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. AC  |  January 17, 2012 at 2:04 am

    Awwwwww.. I would like to believe they did that for love. πŸ™‚

    Anyway, last Christmas I also spent a few thousand bucks and in return I received…. a small box containing shower gel, lotion and scrub (from my boss — galante diba? :P) I don’t even use that brand. Hahahahhaaahahahahaa.

    Uy wait… I think I can still consider the wallet that I’m using now as a Christmas present (kakareceive ko lang last week e so abot pa sya sa holiday noh? Haha!). It’s a signature wallet (mejo pricey) from my Mom. πŸ™‚

    • 2. plaridel  |  January 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm


      kung may ‘thank you’ man lang sana, may consuelo de bobo. wala eh. 😦

      • 3. AC  |  January 18, 2012 at 4:07 am

        Ay sad nga yan. Sana inunahan mo na agad ng “you’re welcome” para makunsensya hahahahahha. πŸ˜€

        • 4. plaridel  |  January 21, 2012 at 10:10 pm


          understood na raw yung ‘thank you’ kahit di sabihin.

  • 5. guess who  |  January 19, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Oh, you poor baby… πŸ˜€

    • 6. plaridel  |  January 21, 2012 at 10:10 pm

      guess who:

      your comment made me think real hard. πŸ™‚

  • 7. dianewrites  |  April 7, 2012 at 2:22 am

    Hi! Thank you for dropping by my rarely visited blog. It really makes me happy whenever I receive new visitors πŸ™‚ regarding your question, on what camera I use for my Disney post, I only used a point and shoot camera. Sony cybershot that comes in 12 megapixels.

    I can relate to your post too. But I think your story made a deeper meaning and impact in your life. At first, I laughed about the “wrapped rocks.” I later realized that the experience was a significant part of your life… Though I wasn’t an honor student in my Elementary to High School years, I never experienced receiving gifts from my parents too. When I finished college, that’s when I received my first ever medal. Unfortunately, wala pa din akong gift πŸ˜€ Those “giftless” graduations really taught me to work hard for me and my family.

    • 8. plaridel  |  April 7, 2012 at 12:44 pm


      i guess if you’ve been conditioned to expect nothing, you won’t get disappointed if you get nothing. on the other hand, if you do get something, wouldn’t it be a big surprise? the thrill would be indescribable. πŸ™‚


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