The greatest gift
ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - December 29, 2018 - 12:00am

We always expect to receive gifts during Christmas. It may be coming from our friends, relatives, or immediate family members. And no matter how simple it may be, we always appreciate the thought. It is the thought that someone has remembered that makes it special.


Others are excited just by the packaging. And that excitement would escalate once the gift is opened. It has likewise been the practice of others or in some companies to have a wish list where they ask their manitos and manitas what they want to receive and so they can make sure what they really want can be granted on the revelation day of the giver’s identity.

For the past years, in our family Christmas gatherings, I have been giving gifts to my mother, siblings, nieces, nephews, and closest relatives. They don’t expect much and so it is a sight worth celebrating when they express their gratefulness for what they receive.

For me, this personal experience is in contrast to what others have experienced when they get anxious when they are highly motivated to induce desired reactions from recipients and others, but they are doubtful of success. The gifting anxiety arises from concerns about forthcoming reactions to gifts provides partial support for the notion that gifting anxiety emanates from the human urge to manage interpersonal impressions. There is a connection of gifting anxiety to social anxiety especially when anxious givers are often concerned about reactions to their gifts. An unfavorable reaction by the recipient demeans the gift and, by extension, the giver. Givers’ concerns about evaluative reactions from recipients suggest that gifting anxiety is social in nature, as are other forms of anxiety, such as test and competition anxieties.

In gift giving, the concept should be to pay it forward, not to pay someone back. Such a “reciprocal” approach could turn what used to be a “divine concept” of gift-giving into something materialistic, consumerist, and opportunistic. The pressure to give something could slowly become ingrained in Filipino culture. There are expectations about those who have the capacity to provide and share. Since you are more blessed, you’re supposed to share your blessings with other people. It’s a pressure among those who are required to give. So rather than lose face, they’d rather stay out of sight, common practice among godparents to conveniently be out when their godchildren come calling.

The social encounters of women as they keep on having the chief responsibility for expressive capacities, showed the structuration of closeness through the giving of gifts. Gift giving is portrayed as a method through which people impart the qualities which they assign to their significant others. How we respect one is particularly connected to how we see someone's qualities and values in life.

Filipinos have the affinity to be progressively liberal, particularly during Christmas. We want to make others happy. This quality, which is essentially reflected by our hospitality culture, streams down to how we praise the Christmas season. Accommodation is a method for imparting yourself to other individuals. We appreciate giving, that is the reason Christmas in the Philippines is exaggerated. Indeed, even the have-nots will spend to make sure they can give.

Hopefully, we would see that the real meaning of gift-giving is that which mirrors God’s immense generosity. He offered his only begotten son for our salvation. And so the greatest gift cannot be wrapped, it is priceless. It doesn’t glitter. And no amount of material or worldly thing could equal the gift of salvation. The birth of Jesus Christ means the salvation of humanity, the greatest gift of all.

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