Hay.... Iba talaga ang Pasko sa 'Pinas; as many a hardened OFW has uttered. It's really such a relief to spend the holidays here, surrounded with loved ones and all the familiar things that bring us comfort.
But aside from that, the thing I also love about the season is simply the happiness and kindness that seems to radiate from almost everyone you meet. There's a certain liveliness in our steps and a more ready smile given freely.
The best thing, too, are the various ways you can spread joy all around. The simplest act is, of course, giving away a thoughtful gift. Now that the Little One's 2, she's able to grasp the idea of Christmas, the baby Jesus' birthday, and the concept of Santa Claus. And although we have already bought gifts for her (an enjoyable prospect as well for us, her parents), we still have not forgotten to also celebrate the joy of giving. It is better to give than to receive right?
Sharing your blessings with others is only right. And I'm quite as happy with the fact that there are a number of public establishments that implement great causes this season. In fact, here are just two I've been supporting for quite some time now:
1. Jollibee's MaAGA ang Pasko
|SOURCE: Jollibee Foundation website|
Jollibee's MaAGA ang Pasko program has been around ever since I could remember. In fact, it's the longest running CSR program done by any fast food chain here in the country.
The concept, very simple: You donate old, but still useful and presentable, toys and books in any Jollibee branch which will then be distributed to underprivileged children as gifts. I used to give my old toys here when I was little. When I grew up and didn't play with toys anymore, I started buying inexpensive trinkets and giving those instead.
Now that I have the Little One who, in my opinion has too many toys for her own good (courtesy of well-wishing grandmamas, grandpapas, ninongs, ninangs, cousins, aunts, etc., you get my drift), I've started sorting through her toy chests yearly and giving away old toys that she doesn't play with anymore, at the same time explaining why we're doing it.
I then let her place the bag of toys inside the donation box and explain again. Haven't encountered any tantrums yet (which I hope continues on as I plan to be doing this for a loooonnnnggg time.)
2. National Book Store's Project Aklat
|SOURCE: National Bookstore FB page|
National Book Store's Project Aklat is a book drive done annually. You purchase and donate a book (prices start at Php30) from their pre-selected catalog (available at all NSB and Powerbooks branches). Purchases help build and rebuild libraries in the country. Truly a worthy cause.
For the past 3 years (since I became pregnant), I've been donating books through this drive under the Little One's name (whereas before I opted to remain anonymous). This I show to her and she drops it off at the box. Later on, she'll decide whether to continue donating in her name or not.
Let's all make this season more meaningful by doing a kind deed today. That's all it really takes. J