Every Pinoy’s guide to early Christmas planning

As soon as the “BER” months come, the countdown before Christmas begins! Many Filipinos welcome Christmas in their hearts as early as September, start playing Christmas songs, and put up Christmas decorations to start the festivities! Yet despite this early display of the holiday spirit, many people still tend to be caught up the in the holiday rush, waiting for the last minute to plan their holiday parties and shop for Christmas gifts!

Avoid the holiday rush and plan ahead to save time resources, get great options, and avoid the holiday traffic!

Find out how you can start your Christmas planning today!

  1. Come up with Christmas celebration plan

As early as now, you should know how and where you wish to spend your Christmas. Whether you visit your province, or plan a trip with the family, it’s best to be guided by your main plan of how to celebrate the holidays. From there, you can properly identify all the essentials you need for your celebration, how many people you need to account for, and the dates you need to cross off your calendar. Once you’ve finalized your plan, make sure to inform your loved ones so everyone is guided accordingly and will know what to expect. The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, and though planning it may be tedious, it’s all worth the excitement and proper preparation.

  1. Work out your holiday budget

Once you’ve come up with a plan, it’s best to allocate your finances to anticipated expenses during the holidays. With 13th month pay and company bonuses fueling up everyone’s excitement to spend and go all out, it’s best to still stay on the practical side and make sure to not go beyond budget. To make sure all things for the holiday are properly financed, set aside a holiday budget which you can start setting aside for as early as October. Under this holiday budget, further classify the expenses you need for Christmas celebrations/parties, Christmas gifts, and as guided by our unique Filipino tradition, cash gifts you can give out as “Aguinaldo.” Once you’ve identified all your expenses, make sure to have a workable budget that is within your means. Remember that the holiday spirit does not lie in merely spending, but in giving what you can and sharing from the heart.

  1. Start updating your calendar

Following your unique Christmas plan and your holiday budget, the next thing you have to do is start plotting the plans on your calendar. Holiday leaves need to be set so as to get early approval and Christmas getaways or simply much needed breaks can be scheduled. Expect many get-togethers, family reunions and parties to be lined up, so make sure you mark it on your calendar ahead to avoid any conflict.

  1. Begin the holiday party preparations

If you’re planning to host a holiday party, early preparations involving the venue, food and list of attendees must be set early on as reservations are harder to get by as Christmas nears. It’s best to secure the venue and other suppliers before the peak season for parties starts to set in. Booking early also has its advantages, with other establishments offering lower prices before the holidays officially begin. Avoid the holiday panic and get ahead to get access to the best options.

  1. Stock up on your Noche Buena haul

One of the main highlights of Christmas celebrations in the Philippines is the Noche Buena. With supermarkets and shopping malls offering Noche Buena options and packages at the onset of the holiday season, it’s best to load up on your Noche Buena haul before supplies run out and counters are filled with long lines of holiday shoppers. As you bring to mind all the dishes you’ll be serving, now is also the best time to prepare all the recipes, and come up with the list of all your ingredients. You can start stocking up your kitchen with these ingredients to make sure you’re all set to have a grand feast come Christmas Eve!

  1. Prepare your Christmas party playlist

Another thing that truly makes up for a lively and festive Christmas in the Philippines are the Christmas carols! It’s the time of the year when Jose Mari Chan let us feel Christmas in our Hearts and hear Mariah Carey belting out to All I want for Christmas is You. Christmas songs add excitement and build up our anticipation for this joyous event and what better way to rack up on the holiday spirit than by building a Christmas playlist. Whether it be a handmade Spotify playlist or an old Christmas CD from home, playing Christmas songs is sure to add some fun into the season.

  1. Jump-start your Christmas present shopping spree

With all your plans, budget, and even your Christmas playlist set, the finishing touch for all early Christmas preparations are your gift lists. Preparing early gives you ample time to make a list and check it twice. From creating a list, you can proceed with your early Christmas shopping which you can enjoy without the holiday rush, traffic, nor the long queue.

It is in this spirit of generosity that the essence of the holiday spirit truly shines through. You feel it not only in giving to your loved ones, but also to people who are in need.

As you make your Christmas planning early, you can paint smiles not only for your friends and families but also to children and communities across the Philippines.

Join us as we make the Christmas season brighter for kids and communities across the country! For only P200, get one bear for you and another for a child in need. Grab your bears from Sept. 18 until Dec. 25, 2018 at select SM Supermalls and Toy Kingdom outlets nationwide. All collected bears will be donated to the chosen beneficiary of participating SM establishment. With your help, no kid will be left empty-handed this Christmas! Share a bear this Christmas!