Finance · Life Lessons

Christmas Russians and Argentinians

Cool wind. Colorful lights.
Shining balls. Joyful carols.
Bright decors. Year-end bonuses.
Yes, it’s Christmas Season once again!


It all started when I saw this Facebook post, which for me is a very timely “friendly reminder”.

The first thing that came to my mind was, “When will our 13th month pay and other bonuses be remitted?” So near yet so far. Like me, I believe that every employee is now looking forward to Christmas. Whatever it may bring, Christmas is such a happy word.

As I observed many people (including myself) in my 8-years of employment, I noticed that there are 6 different kinds of what I call “Christmas Russians and Argentinians” (from root words: rush and urgent). These are the people who are so excited for Christmas due to many reasons. Who are you in this list?


Disclaimer: The characters and happenings are fictional. Descriptions below were written with exaggeration. Still, I bet you’ll relate much. 🙂

1. Mikayla Make-overa

Mikayla is a very busy person. Due to load of deadlines and tight schedules, she suffered from lack-of-me-time syndrome. She is currently on the process of decision making whether to have a rebond, digiperm, blow dry or hair color. She is also planning to have a whole body massage, foot spa package (complete with mani and pedi), facial with pearl mask and diamond peel. Her planner for the month of December is filled with appointments with Dermclinic, David’s, Laybare and Posh Nails. She doesn’t actually look bad. She just want to feel a refreshing “new me”. I’m telling you, this week she’s saying she’ll go for digiperm. Next week, she’ll tell you enthusiastically about the best hair color she saw over the net, thus, will go for it instead.

2. Sheena Shoppingera

Sheena, especially this year, is so overwhelmed with the uber nice rising stores located at the heart of metro. Actually, she just moved on from slight depression for not making it to H&M opening sale due to more important office matters. She’s the source of updated schedule of Christmas mall-wide sales in the office. In fact, she’s keeping a copy of a year-round megatrade hall schedule, citibank megatent, SMX fairs, midyear and season red tags. Earlier this afternoon, she told me about the Blue Cross Sale in Debenhams, Shangrila and how dumbfounded she is with the maong skirt and pink knitted cardigan she bought for only Php560.  Right now, wondering what she “needs” to buy and making a motto for next month to buy only what is really needed occupies her time. Well, let’s just support her. By the way, did I mention that her expertise also includes how to make good deals at Divisoria, Greenhills and Baclaran? My wild guess: there are still unused clothes and apparel in her closet, which she plans to use on different occasions. It might be when she loses some fats or when a friend got married. Trust her, if these instances won’t happen, she can use them as gifts or as donations to calamity victims, anyway. Her lifelong justification: “I bought these at half the price. Therefore, I’m great.”

3. Dennis Debt-cleaner

Dennis knows exactly the date of remittances of his bonuses in correlation to the due dates of his credit cards. When 4th quarter started, he already bought an X-Box Kinect (Christmas gift to self) and a brand new flat screen telly to complete the experience. Like Sheena Shoppingera, Dennis grabs every opportunity for deals, both in malls and online. The perks of swiping! Besides, there is what you call “Buy Now Pay Later” and “Real 0% Interest” leaflets sent by his bank together with his billing last month. Who can actually resist? The store is giving an extravagant sound system FOR FREE!! – that is if you’ll buy both the X-Box Kinect and the TV. We cannot blame him. Plus, he’s into sports now. He deserves an applause for that. So he upgraded his bike, helmet and other protection gears. Those were awesome advanced Christmas gifts to self. He is now thinking to consider these things as advanced birthday gifts to self as well for his 2015 birthday.

4. Cheska Charityer

Cheska is the most financially blessed among them all. She considers herself as the old Cheska Shoppingera. Her slogan: “The old has gone. The new has come.” Living with cash-basis, she was able to manage her spending for the year – without depriving herself with her (genuine) needs and allowing herself to experience little luxuries of life. She is, indeed, blessed to bless. She is now organizing the Give Love Project with the aim of putting smile on the faces of street children this coming Christmas. The initial plan is to provide sandwiches and juices while having their regular barkada’s road trip. Also, she sponsored two little children in the Uplift Movement Foundation primarily to support  their education. Three slow claps for Cheska!

5. Genesis Gift-giver

Same as previous years, generous Genesis will be having at least 10 Christmas parties this year: 5 from his office (corporate, department, division, team and friends), with elementary-high school friends, with college friends, with former office mates, with immediate family and the annual reunion with his relatives on mother’s side. He is always present. In fact, he is now working on his list of what to buy for these people. He loves giving small presents like notepads, post-its and ball pens. The tinier, the better. Blessed are his godchildren for he keeps a record of their names with gender and age. Without much putting effort on the prices, it’s the thought that really counts.

6. Ivy Investor & Samantha Saver

These two ladies are best of friends. Like Dennis Debt-cleaner, Ivy certainly knows the schedule of her bonuses, but unlike him, it is mainly to pay-out for her investments through housing loans and life insurance. (If you’re interested with life insurance at Sunlife, you may contact my brother-in-law, Kuya Earl, at Ivy attended two seminars of Francisco Colayco this year regarding personal finance: Pisobilities and Investabilities. She also read the book of Bo Sanchez entitled The Turtle Always Wins and is currently waiting for her e-book My Maid Invests in the Stock Market. Being the eldest, she is supporting her two siblings in their colleges. Yes, education is an investment! On the other hand, Samantha also attended Pisobilities and decided to build her emergency fund and reserve fund before the year ends. I was actually thinking if one of them is a daughter of Colayco in real life or maybe the maid of Bo Sanchez. I am planning to meet these two on the 1st week of December.

Lately, I also heard about Rico Receiver and Ramon Recycler. At last, the former will find his financial freedom from the consequences of mishandling his finances for the last 2-years. Do not expect anything from him this year. The latter plans to check the still-wrapped gifts from last year’s Christmas if there are items for reuse. For whatever reason, let us not judge them.

During lunch break, Cheska Charityer asked everyone to join her Give Love Project by donating any amount of money. The best of friends, Ivy Investor and Samantha Saver, automatically committed to take part of it. Mikayla Make-overa asked the exact date as she wanted to be prepared with her new look. Sheena Shoppingera eventually joins in after checking her planner. Genesis Gift-giver asked about the estimated number of kids as he is planning to give small toys as well. Short of extra cash, Dennis Debt-cleaner tagged Rico Receiver and Ramon Recycler to be part of it by sharing their time and effort in any way, like, being the driver or sandwich spread preparer.

I am not an expert with personal finance. Once upon a time, I and Sheena Shoppingera are best buddies. My goal for this year is to be friends with Ivy Investor and Samantha Saver. Definitely, I will be joining Cheska Charityer on her venture. 😀

One important item: Do not forget to tithe and give back to the Lord! He loves the cheerful giver. This is the greatest investment, which will last eternally. Remember that you are blessed in order to be a channel of blessing to other people.

The Bible said:

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” – Luke 16:10

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