July 14, 2024

Dear Manang,
It is Christmas time and here we are with the Noche Buena. My salary is the same as last year but the prices have almost doubled and I do not know how this celebration of Christ’s birth will be this year. I have always enjoyed a sumptuous dinner or lunch with my son and his family at my house but by the looks of it, I will need to do the reverse by going to my son’s house instead. I can only bring one or two recipes or dishes to share with them. Is this the way it should go?
Carlina of Lucnab, Baguio City

Dear Carlina,
You have been spending Christmas as a time to show off a spread for your family. Now that your resources are limited, you are ashamed that you cannot match the old fanfare you made of Christmas. Maybe it’s time to scale down those preparations. Maybe the tradition of your dinner settings is more important to them than the food they eat there. Keep the table simple but the togetherness more exciting. The attention to grandchildren is precious and the gifts more meaningful, if there are. The kids will understand and I am sure they will ask what you would like for them to bring.
Just be yourself without the grand celebration,
Manang

Dear Manang,
Sometimes, our children think that we are banks where money is deposited for their convenient withdrawals at any time. I feel like that is my only purpose in this world and I feel like I’m being abused. But of course, I have a lot to say before I give money but I still give it anyway. I wonder if there are other uses for us at this age apart from banks of our children?
Geena, Cruz of La Trinidad, Benguet

Dear Geena,
Life is a cycle. I know at one time that you also needed your parents for financial backing too. I asked my father for some money to make a downpayment for an apartment. I was short and expected my bonus in two weeks but the payment was due in five days with a 20 percent discount. I gladly returned it after I received my check but he said it was his gift instead. Maybe we need to be as generous in the giving. Besides, it makes life easier for those who borrow when we are happier with sharing. I am glad that I have a little saved up to give to my children.
Be a graceful giver,
Manang