by Charl Marlo A. Jimenez, MD
It’s a few days before Christmas, maybe you just had to find time to finish all your clinics and all your pending surgeries before you finally head to the nearest mall or tiangge just to buy your family and friends their gifts for Christmas.
Or you just turn your vehicle around, because the traffic is so bad your head hurts and you want to sleep. Sleep your aching joints coming off a hard days work.
I feel you. I too, find myself in the same predicament. So I decided to ask colleagues (non-ophthamologist and ophthalmologist friends) around, what they feel about rush Christmas shopping and what are their weapons to combat it.
Doctor number one in a big government hospital in QC doesn’t mind braving Greenhills or any tiangge around the metro, “as long as you're doing it on an early Saturday or Sunday morning” she quipped. She also added, “you should be out by lunchtime so you have to plan your shopping spree.” She claims she finished hers in 2 weeks tops. She has a point, driving around early Sunday mornings during the Christmas season is not that all different from a regular Sunday morning, so that may be a good idea. Although, driving on a Saturday morning may sometimes be tricky. Some malls according to the MMDA website, updated this month, are encouraged to open at 7am or 8am and close at 11pm to 12mn so expect lots of competition especially those who slept early on a Friday night. You might bust a few balls of Christmas patience for this option.
Doctor number 2, a pulmonologist friend, a fully realized tech savvy belle, would opt for shopping sites like Lazada, Abubot, Zalora or Shopee, but would avoid 2nd hand sites like OLX (of course who would want 2nd hand gifts). “Reserve OLX for personal stuff, anyway, you really have to check the goods out so its kind of conflicting when you don’t want to spend time going around to buy gifts yet you still have to go out to check out the seller’s items” says her. Lazada, Abubot, Zalora and Shoppee would always have a card payment option, or a cash-on-delivery option. The downside, compared to the mall prices, online sites tend to be a few more pesos expensive, but relieves you the burden of spending fuel for gas. What is truly expensive if one may ask, as If only we can compute a matrix whereas we compare burning fuel, with car maintenance to factor in with mall gift prices.
Lastly for doctor number 3 who is a teaching consultant in a private hospital at the center of Manila, it wouldn’t hurt if you go local. Bike around your neighborhood to see if there are local shops who produce local crafts and gift items. You tend to circulate money to the right people and help all these small business to flourish given the right opportunities. You don’t burn gas, and you get to examine the product first-hand before you buy. The only downside we see is the limitation of choices when it comes to certain products.
So in an attempt to go on an Christmas gift buying rush, I guess you just have to pick your options wisely, and since in a few days, we celebrate not the gift giving, not the gift buying, not the receiving, but the greatest gift God gave man, the birth of his only Son.
About The Author
Dr. Marlo is a semi-frustrated science fiction writer and historian at heart. He has set his mind to wander now that he is done with residency and is now actively pursuing his childhood pasttime, playing video games until wee hours of the morning, up all night to finish Grand Theft Auto 5 and Metal Gear Solid in a month's time.
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