Freeman Cebu Business

Beyond the Gifts

BUSINESS AFTER BUSINESS - Romelinda Garces - The Freeman

We started early actually, decors and all at the malls. We even skipped the Halloween sorties because nobody was in the mood to witch hunt as the treat one may get could be COVID.

So Christmas took an early beat. And though my initial reaction when they set up the decors was surreal, as the first few hangings looked painstakingly slumberous to the point of being contrived, still Christmas always has its way to binding our hearts.

So now it’s in full swing. And no pandemic can stop people from congregating at the malls albeit social distancing, to do the traditional shopping.  Gifts may be smaller but more deliberate. Not that they were not thought of before. But this time, aside from budgets, shopping has become more selective. 

Well, at least for some of my friends and me. 

In buying gifts we look at the need, the aptness, the imagined smile of pleasure. Not just a gesture but the joy of expressing a thought, and care.

Gifts need not be expensive to bring out pleasure. The mere thought matters. The pandemic has taught us a lot of things. And among the very best observations I have is that people are more sincere now, more caring, more willing to pause to greet or to smile or to even simply say “amping” or “take care” and really meaning it.

I recall a friend of mine whose greeting would always start with “How are you?” and end with “Take care and God bless!” to everyone without even raising his eyes to look at who he is speaking with. There is no spirit here. There was even a time he forgot he was talking with me rather than his wife and when he put down the phone he said “Ok, take care, God bless. I love you sweetie.” forgeting he was not talking with his wife.

Now in our presents we must be present. We must be part of the gifts we give. The thoughts we share.

The gestures we express, the kisses we send even if they just be virtual or through emoticons. We have to focus more on the lessons we learned through the crisis we are still facing. The truths that God has made us realize. The importance of family, friends, work, and the simplicity of life.

The reality that we don’t need all colors and designs of shirts we cannot use. Shoes we cannot wear, and trinkets we cannot put on.

What is important is how our soul speaks through our eyes. Above the masks we wear, we should still be there. Present in every greeting.  

Christ is present. In our hearts. He lives! God bless you everyone and have a Merry CHRISTmas! rgarces@smg.sanmiguel.com.ph

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