Cliché has it that Christmas is a season of gift-giving and while I am (in)famous for giving out books in my own way of fighting illiteracy (my ex pleaded that I refrain from giving him another book until he finishes the latest), I did receive gifts that may not be books, but my social circle gave in real consideration of my unique personality.
I received a UP bag from my student Criselda after she discovered that I was still using a laptop bag that’s worn out at the handle.
Jobert also gave a bag from the American company he used to work for. When Zazu saw the bag, he was teasing that he has not seen it among the latest product lines of Gap. I threatened to hit him with it.
Meanwhile, Laura gave me a caricature of the faculty members of the obscure college I am teaching in. Such a talented young lady.
Brent and Philip’s family gifted me with a whole box of imported chocolates (attention, Miss Daisy!) because I have a sweet tooth.
So did Lor who put the chocolates inside a mug with her long message written all over the box container. She also threw in a bottle of red wine, most likely for my ex (Lor knows I don’t drink), unaware that I am single for six weeks now.
Lor’s friend Aly gave a shirt of my favorite color and right size which she scoured during her US tour.
Jel, having hunted with the help of her cousin Kevin, gave statement shirts because I always wear one. She also threw in her father’s jacket, understandably marked with the House of the Senate seal.
Rhoda gifted me with a multicolored wallet from her overseas workplace because I have been without one since I lost two late last year.
Nina gave me lots from her Asian trips, from the liquid ointment for my frequent headaches, to chocolates that offer a natural high (and, therefore, a temporary albeit excellent romantic substitute, haha), to coin purses to replace my lost wallets with, to hugging figurines that will always remind me to believe in love.
My relatives in Canada gave lots, too, from clothes that fit me (finally, they found small-sized shirts and polos!) to food (bearing in mind that I possess a voracious appetite despite my slim body).
My sophomore advisory class gave me a personalized Christmas card that truly melted my heart. That’s enough to inspire me more in teaching my students.
Finally, Tim and Ma’s family gifted me with a card containing something that makes it possible for me to travel out of town for my much-deserved break (I’m recuperating from a heartbreak), without sacrificing my own presents for my parents and other people I care about.
Other friends like Rachel, Carl, Joyce, etc. mentioned that I will receive gifts from them first chance we meet (I’m excited to get Russia’s national souvenir, matrioshka doll!). The mere fact that they had me in mind while picking an appropriate gift is a present in itself. Thank you, Happy Holidays and may the reason for our Yuletide celebration bless you for your thoughtfulness.