Yesterday, a Friday, my youngest son, a four-year old, attended his first Christmas Party in school. For three days, we have been mulling over what gift he would bring to school as his Nursery teacher suggested that instead of the usual exchange of gifts, parents were requested to buy presents for their own respective child. In this manner, the amount of the gift would not really matter as in the case of exchange gifts when often times, the receiver might get a less costly gift than the giver had given.
Yes, my wife and I asked our youngest son what he would want as a gift. Several choices he said: a guitar, a drum set, and a Ben 10 train set. I have already canvassed the prices of the two musical instruments he was pining for: the guitar costs about ₱800; and the drum set about ₱2,600! The Made in China, Ben 10 No. 877-31 battery-operated train set, consisting of a rail track and three carriages cost only ₱110.
My wife reminded me that maybe we should get a gift much grandiose than what my son’s classmates, or their mothers, have said they were getting: an electric motorcycle, a Jillian talking doll, a mini car, etc. These things cost at least ₱3,000 to as much as ₱5,000 each! Explaining to her that with only a six-day duty per half-month for six months now, we simply cannot afford to buy my youngest son a gift just to impress the other parents! We, particularly my son and I, settled on the Ben 10 train set.
The day before yesterday, after a haircut, my son and I bought the Ben 10 train set. Then we decided to shop for some other toys in a local discount department store. He settled on two sets: one six-piece lock-and-brake mini-Police Cars and another four-piece Catena lock-and-break SUVs. All Made in China! At four years old, my youngest son has this peculiar habit of playing with his toy cars as if all of them were members of the wrestling federation. He imagines these toy cars were capable of kicking, boxing, or flying in mid-air collisions that I decided that it was not really economical to buy more expensive versions of these toys only to be shattered after these flying encounters.
On our way back home, we also reserved plane tickets for our Christmas vacation starting 22 December. A one-way ticket Manila to Legazpi per person costs about ₱6,500 each! The return flight would be scheduled the day before school resumes for my youngest son.
On Wednesday, I took a dental appointment for a tooth extraction scheduled for Friday. Thus, while my son, accompanied by my wife, was enjoying his first Christmas Party in school, I was sitting in a dentist chair having my tooth pulled. Also the day before yesterday, I received a SMS regarding a Christmas Party on Saturday for supervisory and up. Initially, I confirmed attendance but declined minutes after receiving the SMS after recalling that I was scheduled for a Friday dental appointment. I know that I would not be enjoying the merriment on Saturday after having a tooth pulled the day before.
While writing this post, my wife and son already home after the Christmas Party and me, still feeling the pain from the tooth pulled, I am contemplating on what my work colleagues were doing in the Christmas Party. It was scheduled to be held at 17:00H today, and with limited power supply inside the plant, maybe they chose another venue for the party.
Since Global Steel Philippines (SPV-AMC), Inc. [GSPI] declared the so-called forced leave last 04 December 2008, all the succeeding Christmas Parties many of my work colleagues planned were for the spirit of just having one. When it comes to the celebrating Christmas, apparently the company had not been as excited as the locals were. The expatriates, being mostly Hindu, don’t celebrate Christmas, either. So who could blame them? They’re blameless, I guess.
The last time the company celebrated Christmas, as a whole, was three years ago. During the company-sponsored Christmas program in 2007, there were no more fireworks like in 2005, nor was the Jollibee package for each employee was more than the first Christmas celebrated by GSPI in 2004. Apparently, in 2007, only those on-duty personnel were included in the raffle of door prizes, and if one’s number was called but was not around, the particular door prize had to be re-raffled.
Ah! Nostalgic of the NSC era, especially during one of its Christmas Programme, when the company raffled off a brand new car and the winner immediately drove it home after winning! And some people said that NSC then was not the golden age for this Iligan-based steel plant? A few yet still believe that the present era, the so-called Golden Orange era, will bring forth a golden age much more greater than the last! Is it not a wonder that these few people still really believe that hype when the current indications are predicting something much lesser than the plans envisioned years ago?
I still believe that Christmas is for children. Being an adult, twice over, or as some say, grumpy, not so young man, this writer still believe that hope is eternal. But hope is not strategy! A certain people have labeled certain posts in «The Grey Chronicles» as misinformation, short of calling it baloney or a pack of lies, well as they are entitled to it, this writer respects their opinion, but stands by what was written.
Maybe in due time, when everything falls into place, when they will have the time to look back and see it with their own eyes what the past foretells, then and only then they would accept the folly of their wisdom. This writer doubts, moreover, when that realization comes to them or when they are no longer afraid of what the future holds, they could not undo any mistake they had done for they would never acknowledge that it was a mistake in the first place.
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