Only a few days before Christmas, and if you are also cramming last-minute presents for your family, you are not alone.
While Paskong Pinoy is highly anticipated by almost everyone, Drew admits it used to be something that doesn't excite him as much, especially when he remembers his experiences from childhood.
"In my case and my wife knows this because my folks got separated when I was seven years old, there were Christmases where in it I didn't feel like Christmas."
That instead of Christmas ushering in happiness, it reminded him of his parents' separation. "Hindi ko makakalimutan yung feeling na yun. 'Yung sadness. Bakit hindi ako masaya, that's what I felt."
When they got married and had kids, that's when Christmas become more meaningful to Drew. He said Iya works hard to bring their families together.
Iya, who comes from a big family, explained it's because she wants to keep their family tradition alive. "Because if you want your kids to be close-knit, you got to be close [to your family] too, and with the people that matter."
"If you're not gonna give importance to your family, to your siblings, to your mom, your dad, and into giving yourselves the time to be together, how can you expect your children to pick that up?"
"It's so important to me because Christmas it's not something that happens, it's not like every quarter, it's just once a year. And if once a year, we can just bring everybody together, right, it would mean so much for me and the kids. For the kids to have a relationship with their cousins with their aunts and uncles and if it means that I have to take the initiative then I will do it," she stressed.
Tips on giving gifts
While the couple admit that they are big on togetherness but not much on giving gifts, they shared tips for parents on what to remember when buying gifts to mark the occassion. Their stand: less stress, be more practical.
1. Talk to your spouse about what you like to receive
The couple said in the previous episode of their podcast that they avoid stress at all costs. "Which is why we're better off just telling each other, "Love, oh this Christmas, let's combine some of our Christmas gift fund to buy a microwave or for a trip to somewhere else," Drew said.
Recently, the two went on a "no kids, just us" trip, and perhaps, it's the gift that your spouse would want to receive (and you want to give) for Christmas, too.
2. Plan ahead when buying gifts for your kids
When it comes to their kids, the couple shares a tip for parents. "I really just want to give the parents out there a heads-up to please prepare for your kids' gifts well ahead of time because if you're going to have something shipped yeah if it's something that's not just readily available you have to take into consideration the shipping time or whatever."
Iya explained that you should consider what gift to give your children especially if you want to make Christmas memorable for them too. It doesn't have to be expensive, but it should be something that they like.
3. Have a wishlist instead
For ninongs and ninangs, Drew also suggests to be more practical when it comes to giving gifts to their godchildren. "If you're comfortable already with your group of friends, send a message right away, "O, yung mga anak niyo, ano bang trip this year? Para di na tayo mahirapan."
Iya adds, "Or, hey guys, please wag na kayo mag-regalo ng laruan kasi yung mga laruan na yan, kung meron man, I think pwede na yang manggaling sa magulang, what you know they want, something that will really make them happy."
4. Write a Christmas gift list
They suggest parents can also prepare a wishlist, which they can choose from.
And to save you time from thinking about what gift to give your inaanak this year, Iya said it helps to make an Excel file of the gifts you have given in the previous years. "Make a list and you can even list down, what you gave this certain year, para the following year, you won't be like, "Ay, ano ba yung binigay ko last year?"
We have a Christmas gift guide for parents, you can read it here.