MARKS & SPENCER: THE ART OF SMART GIFT GIVING THIS CHRISTMAS

Christmas is just four breaths away and once again it’s bearing us down relentlessly – horrible traffic, long cashier queues, growing gift list and shrinking budget. And often times we never learn, we always wished we should have started planning our Christmas shopping back in January. 

Well, fret not, Christmas is supposed to be the most wonderful and happiest time of the year, right? Our friends, Randall and Vanessa Ong will share to us few smartest gift giving tips on how to knock together our Christmas celebration just the way we wanted it to be, without so much pressure and stress. First off, all we need is a good amount of patience and second, carry out the art of smart gift giving.

MARKS & SPENCER: THE ART OF SMART GIFT GIVING THIS CHRISTMAS
Food is the most practical gift to give. It’s a gift than can be shared, 
and that is what Christmas is all about—sharing. 
On Randall & Vanessa: M&S Collection ensemble for men & women.


Randall and Vanessa Ong’s Nine Smart Gift Giving Tips


Smart Gift Giving Tip #1. 

“The key phrase is ‘smart gifting’. Everything has to work within the budget and keep the gift exciting. One has to be very innovative these days, and practical. Although the ideal way may be to customize the presents to the recipient’s liking, there is a bigger picture to consider, meaning sometimes a single gift can be enjoyed by many, like a family.” 

Smart Gift Giving Tip #2. 

“Keep the gift list in your phone notes all the time. Every year I plan to start buying the gifts early, but I always fail (she laughs with her admission). Usually, I get to start early November, which I consider late but I always manage to finish everything on the list.” 

Smart Gift Giving Tip #3. 

“Deliver gifts early. The earlier the better. I prefer to start giving out gifts on the first week of December so I won't get stressed out with all the Christmas rush. Traffic is just horrible as the big date nears.” 

MARKS & SPENCER: THE ART OF SMART GIFT GIVING THIS CHRISTMAS
Randall is also involved in the selection of Christmas gifts for everyone on their list. 
On Randall: Blue Harbour shirt & M&S Collection sweater & jeans.

Smart Gift Giving Tip #4. 

“Personalize Gifts. Yes, I take into account what our very close friends and families are really into. That’s how I select their presents. There’s a certain fulfillment I get when the gifts I give make receiver glow with glee.

With our other friends, especially the foodies, I always give foodstuff, treats I bake myself. The labor of love adds a personal touch to the gift. I feel it would make them feel more special because I made it myself.”

Smart Gift Giving Tip #5. 

When asked why giving foodstuff is smart? 

“I believe food is the most practical gift to give. There is a certain joy in sharing food, both for the giver and the receiver. For the receiver, the gift can be enjoyed not only by one, but the rest of the family as well. That is what Christmas is all about—sharing.”

MARKS & SPENCER: THE ART OF SMART GIFT GIVING THIS CHRISTMAS
“For our kids’ list, which includes best friends, schoolmates and teachers, 
the M&S confections always do the trick.” 
On Vanessa: M&S Collection ensemble.

Smart Gift Giving Tip #6. 

“Bake if you can for everyone on your list. But I wish I could but I can only bake as much. I also shop for the food I like best—stuff that I love, which I know everyone will love as well.”

Smart Gift Giving Tip #7. 

“I always plan what kind of food I will give out every year and I always head to one of my favorite stores, Marks and Spencer. The food section is always on top of the list. I love their selection of red wines and chocolates. I always have it on stock at home year round for personal consumption.”

“Although I give the same food sets to my friends and relatives each year, it has never let Randal and me down. The food basket always brings out the smiles from everyone who receives it.” 

MARKS & SPENCER: THE ART OF SMART GIFT GIVING THIS CHRISTMAS
“M&S foodstuff has never let us down. It’s always a winning gift to give,” said Vanessa. 
On Randall & Vanessa: M&S Collection ensemble for men & women.

Smart Gift Giving Tip #8. 

“Presentation is key. There is an artful and appealing way to present the gifts, no matter how much it costs. I make sure each is wrapped with TLC, and that shows.”

Smart Gift Giving Tip #9. 

“Incorporate your kids' gift list in your own as well. Just last year, aside from their personal wish list, the two older ones gave us a list of teachers and close friends from school that they want to give presents to. That has to be included in the budget as well. Luckily, the Marks and Spencer confections always do the trick.”

So there you go, never too late to complete your gift list yet. Four more days before the big day, you just have to master the art of being a smart giver!

MARKS & SPENCER: THE ART OF SMART GIFT GIVING THIS CHRISTMAS
“We always give what we have tried, tasted & fell in love with. M&S wines and chocolates are on our favorites list, and these indulgences we always give as gifts as well.” 
On Randall & Vanessa: M&S Collection ensemble for men & women.

About Randall and Vanessa Ong

Randall and Vanessa Ong lives in Davao City. While they help run a family business, the couple too own and operate Basti’s Brew, a cozy café in Victoria Plaza along JP Laurel Ave. They’ve been married for seventeen years and have been blessed with three lovely daughters, Eliana Zoe, 10, Caelie Samira, 7, and Ylisha Isobel, 3.

MARKS & SPENCER: THE ART OF SMART GIFT GIVING THIS CHRISTMAS
Aside from Vanessa’s baked treats, the M&S Holiday food selections are on top of her list. 
“They’re delicious and the packaging is always appropriate for the season - attractive and happy.” 
On Randall: Blue Harbour top & M&S Collection chinos. 
On Vanessa: M&S Collection ensemble.

Fashion: Marks & Spencer’s 2016 Winter Collection 
& Christmas Food Gifts are available at the Marks & Spencer’s stores in Abreeza Ayala Mall 
& SM Lanang Premier all in Davao City, Philippines
Photography: Brian Dexter Medija
Make-up & styling: Otoy Mercado

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