Dashing through the store: Filipinos and last-minute Christmas shopping

Cover art Erka Inciong

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Words by

Digital Reporter

Christmas is the jolliest time of the year. Parties and reunions are booked left and right, and one can’t help but be swept up in the spirit of spending time with loved ones.

But Christmas is also the busiest time of year. On top of cramming deliverables ahead of vacation leaves, one may find themselves left with little time for essential activities like Christmas shopping.

If this is a recurring theme during your holidays, you are not alone. A recent study by online voucher platform Picodi reveals that close to half of Filipinos wait till the last minute before scrambling to secure their holiday buys.

Late tidings we bring

Art Erka Inciong

When it comes to Christmas shopping, 43 percent of Filipinos buy their gifts in December, with only 7 percent starting as early as September.

Jean Chua, an advertising account manager and first-time Christmas shopper this year, attributes it to lack of time. “You’re going about your everyday routine, then next thing you know, it’s a week before Christmas already,” she said.

For others, they can’t help but wait for Christmas season because of the special circumstances that happen during this time. Vanya Peralta-Tantoco, a digital marketing and event specialist, waits for the seasonal cash bonuses to fund her shopping. Mall sales also encourage her to wait until the last-minute in the hopes of getting the most bang for her buck.

It’s the thought that counts

Art Erka Inciong



On the flip side of the coin are shoppers like Tricia Rivera, an English teacher, who starts purchasing gifts by October. By doing most of her buying online, she’s not only able to avoid the heavy crowds but also save up by buying over a stretch of time in online sales.

With so much extra time in her hands, she admits that she often flounders on the perfect presents for her loved ones. But to her, it’s better to put a lot of thought in them than none at all.

“Over the years, I learned how much people love personalized gifts… I want to give gifts I have carefully thought of and not bought just because the gift-giving will be in a few days,” she said.

Naughty or nice

Art Erka Inciong

Tricia says it’s always best to get a head start on Christmas shopping for a number of reasons. “You will have more time with family and friends instead of fussing over what gift to buy,” she said. “Also, buy gifts bit by bit so you get to enjoy more of your 13th month for yourself and your family.”

But for late shoppers like Jean, Vanya, and the nearly half of Filipinos that procrastinate in buying gifts, only time will tell if they can beat their 43 percent record next year.

“I will try to plan ahead and buy gifts little by little just so it’s not spent all at once,” said Vanya. “But sometimes it just happens. Maybe it’s part of the Christmas frenzy.”



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