Festive Christmas decors being hung in houses and shops, Christmas carols resounding in the air and the cool December breeze blowing: these mark one of the most joyful seasons of the year.
For most of our Overseas Filipinos (OFs), it is the much-awaited time to be reunited with their families and friends, and celebrate the kind of Christmas that can only be found here in the Philippines.
For those of you who are going home for the holidays, you probably are already thinking of the perfect Christmas vacation: buying lots of pasalubongs,attending Misa de Gallo, going Christmas shopping, and of course, preparing the best Noche Buena.
You allocate a portion of your savings for the holidays, and provide a buffer for additional expenses that you may incur.
Let us take the example of Charlene, an OF who has been working as a nurse in Dubai for two (2) years. Before she hops on a plane homeward bound, she plans for her vacation and spends a quarter of her savings for pasalubongs. When Charlene finally arrives home, she immediately distributes her gifts to her loved ones and has a grand time with her family and friends, specially that macanudo for her dad.
Then a relative comes in and asks for help on some financial problem. Charlene, filled with the Christmas spirit, willingly doles out money to the relative in need using the extra money she brought for these additional expenses. Then comes another relative. Again, she gives out money. After all, it is Christmas.
Then there is the major renovation on the house that needs to be done on top of the planned family get-togethers and the preparation of the Noche Buena.