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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Gift-giving in the time of pandemic

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By P. Y. Deligero

Christmas is just about a month away, but people are still trying to cope with the new normal brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, this predicament shouldn’t dampen the holiday spirit. 

Even if Christmas parties aren’t highly recommended given the health risk, one can still share the joy of the season through some thoughtful gifts! Here are some gift ideas that you can try out: 

1. Something green for the plantito/plantita 

Other than COVID-19, something else has spread over the year and that’s the growing interest in gardening! Known as the ‘plantdemic’, individuals have started caring for ornamental plants or edibles in their own homes to pass the time and care for their well-being during the quarantine. 

Depending on the budget and the recipient, try to be particular in the kind of plant you’re giving. For tight budgets or amateur gardeners, buy sturdy house plants such as cacti, succulents, and snake plants. But for a larger budget and seasoned gardeners, go for exotic plants such as orchids, or aroids.  

Remember to buy from trusted sources for best results. 

2. Customized face masks to promote safety but still look cute 

Throughout the year, the public has been required to wear face masks to minimize the risk of acquiring COVID-19. However, buying medical face masks repeatedly can affect one’s budget and even the environment if not disposed properly. 

Fortunately, there are some businesses and individuals that developed cloth face masks that have filters in them for protection against the virus. Some of these businesses even accept customization or offer designs that customers can choose from. 

A customized face mask that you feel is the perfect match for your recipient is both a thoughtful and practical gift this Christmas. Not only will you be making them feel special with the thought of giving a gift, but they’ll also know how much you care with a simple gesture of reminding them to stay safe. 

3. South Korean inspired items 

South Korean culture has greatly influenced people all over the world. The latest K-POP songs have us memorizing the lyrics and steps, while K-Drama has us on the edge of our seats, waiting for what’s to come. 

With more K-Drama series available on streaming services, the public has developed an inclination with these stories just like how Filipinos gravitate towards the traditional telenovela. It helps that the leading characters are good-looking! 

To cater to the growing demand of South Korean items, specialty shops have begun creating or selling items that are part of the culture or inspired by K-Drama series. 

If you know someone who loves South Korea and its culture, it’s a good idea to give items such as packets of Korean food such as ramyun, jjampong, or jajangmyeon, a photo of their favorite K-Pop group, or for a more personal touch, jewelry inspired from their favorite K-Drama series. 

So even if they can’t visit or go to South Korea just yet, they’ll still get to experience a part of the country’s rich culture. 

4. Skin care products 

Over the years, skin care has gained popularity as it promotes both pleasant appearances and good hygiene. Besides, the whole process of applying skin care is a routine that can relax anyone especially after a long day. 

For this Christmas, some good gift ideas that involve skin care include a face mask (the kind that you apply and wash off), a face roller, a facial wash, and a moisturizer. It’s best that these come in a set but giving the items individually is also a good idea especially if you want to make sure that the product works well with your recipient’s skin. 

Plus, to avoid any allergic reactions, choose skin care items that are dermatologically-tested and hypoallergenic. 

5. Kitchen items for the budding cook/baker

Aside from planting, another hobby that was developed during the pandemic was cooking and baking. Some have even managed to start a small business with the free time on their hands. 

This Christmas, encourage your loved ones who started cooking or baking even more by giving them cute, and colorful kitchen items. A pastel pink or baby blue mixing spatula and other similar items will make any kitchen brighter, and will look good in pictures for marketing or flexing purposes. 

6. 2021 Year planner

The year 2020 may have been full of unfortunate events, but it’s still not a reason to fear 2021 since we have yet to know what’s to come. 

To help someone stay organized or be reminded about any events that are set to happen next year, a year planner for 2021 is an ideal Christmas gift. There are tons of choices with all kinds of designs available in the market so it’s up to you to find the perfect match for your recipient. 

7. Books 

For some, reading is a great way to gain knowledge about some things. For others, it can also be a hobby. 

Make a bookworm happy during the holidays by giving them a book on their favorite genre. You can also try giving them something new and different so they can explore other types of literature and eventually learn from it as well. 

8. A gift card for games  

Since most people have stayed home over the year, they had to find ways to pass the time. One way of doing this is to play video games. There are some games, however, that require money to either unlock the full content or buy new skins and items to use throughout the game. 

This Christmas, treat your gamer friends to a gift card of any amount to their favorite game store. You can even go ahead and give them some credit in their favorite online game which they can use to buy upgrades and similar items. 

Whether it’s store-bought, handmade, expensive, or practical, the only thing that matters when giving gifts this holiday season is that it comes from the heart. And remember to continue practicing health and safety measures for a safe and enjoyable Christmas celebration.


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