The Types of People You Come Across During Christmas (For the Holiday Grinch)
I think we've established enough how the holiday season is the perfect time to inevitably participate in reunions and social gatherings (we're looking at you, introvert).
Cause, sure. Instead of achieving the ultimate dream of hanging out in your jammies all day and binge-watching on Netflix or Hooq on this cold season, you can ever be forced to wake up, show up, and at least try to look and be your best.
We don't have to dread the dinners and gatherings though. But we have to be prepared now, don't we? It's pretty common, especially for Filipinas, to encounter some familiar people during Christmas. It's all about positivity and happiness anyway so best be ready. Here's our list on who they are and how to handle them.
1. The Titas
Top one on our list for a reason. Staying true to the typical stereotype, you'd know a reunion is going to get crazy full of questions and chismis if your beloved titas are in town.
The Profile: Your mom or dad's 50+ sisters who just happens to still remain fabulous with her weekly brunches with her amigas.
The Dilemma: Her never-ending quest to know who you are now and how you are doing.
Your Tactics: Ever heard of the psychological trick where you mirror the gestures of the person you are talking to for them to like you? This works perfectly on titas. Answer a few of their questions and have fun bonding with them while mirroring their movements. Guaranteed, they would love you and probably even give you pamasko.
2. The Long Lost Barkada
You were best buds in 3rd grade and your connection has been crazy for another 10 years but when you separated ways in college (also because she had a boyfriend, smh), they just disappeared and now, for some reason, they popped up on your messenger asking if you'd like to meet for the holidays cause she's back from abroad.
The Profile: Your long lost sister from another mister. Your mom probably treats her like her own daughter. Used to have frequent sleepovers in your place and maybe even still has a couple of your shirts from when you were in high school.
The Dilemma: You just can't exactly pinpoint the reason why you separated ways or why she suddenly messaged you. Should you meet with her or no?
Your Tactics: Go! There's most likely a good reason why she messaged you. Maybe she's getting married and would love to have you as her Maid of Honor or something.
3. Your Most Recent Ex Who Cheated on You or Something
Let's be honest. This is pretty unavoidable especially for the most recent ones.
The Profile: You broke up quite recently or just this year after being together for almost two years or so and for some reason he invites you for dinner.
The Dilemma: You've moved on now (Yay you!). And seriously, who does that??
Your Tactics: Politely decline. Remember that there's nothing with saying no. Plus, if the breakup is pretty fresh and he really did cheat on you or something, there's no point in having to devote time for this guy. Seriously, girl. You deserve better. Like hanging out in your jammies and binge-watching Black Mirror.
4. Your Most Recent Ex's Mother
You and this ex has been together for so long that you've already pretty much part of their family cause they thought that you were "wife material".
The Profile: Cause you declined his invite and his momma loves you cause you're already very welcome in the family.
The Dilemma: Now you're not sure if it's still polite to decline because she's been very nice to you and even supported you through the break-up. Plus, ex-momma said she's got you a gift. And she gives really nice gifts.
Your Tactics: Just say no. It's still okay at this point. There's no harm in that. Maybe say that you're out of town on the day of their dinner. I'm very sure she'll understand. And don't even feel guilty about declining.
5. Your Pamangkins
For Filipinos, it's typical to have pamangkins especially if you happen to belong to a big clan of baby-producing women.
The Profile: Those kids in your immediate family's reunion who somehow mastered the art of running + screaming at the same time for six hours straight. You seriously wonder how these tiny humans are even related to you.
The Dilemma: You just have to give them gifts. And because they're your pamangkins, you're technically their tita - and you just have to be the cool tita.
Your Tactics: Gear up and charge up. It's more fun to relive your youth with these munchkins than hang out all night with the young at heart *ahem*. Find your energetic side and play with them too! Sometimes we just get all drowned with work and adulting that we lose the kid inside us - relive it with them and maybe even learn something.
6. Your Inaanaks
So you have your pamangkins, but you happen to have been a bit too friendly in the previous years that you somehow gained more than 30+ inaanaks.
The Profile: The kids of your college friends, colleagues, bosses, random friends, your mom's friend, and even random friends you managed to meet along the way. Aren't you like on your 20s or 30s? Seriously, how friendly are you?
The Dilemma: You have A LOT. And their moms are on the hunt for you.
Your Tactics: Just like any other ninang, hide. Or at least devise a budget plan where you'd send a gift to maybe 1/4 of them now and 1/4 next year and so on. And next time, don't get so much inaanaks.
7. Your Long Lost Relatives (and Friends!)
Popping out like mushrooms on the holidays, you never even knew you were a de la Cruz but somehow you're a de la Cruz cause this person claims you're their relative too. You weren't even aware your friend's friend was your friend too. Eh?
The Profile: Basically, you don't know who these people are. You probably have to ask your parents about them and they'd be like, "Ah he's the son of the cousin of the brother of your father's uncle."
The Dilemma: How do you approach these people? Handshake? Kiss to the cheek? An awkward hug? What to do???!!!
Your Tactics: To be honest, we're just as awkward as you so we also don't know what to do during these times. Our best bet is just a "hi", a smile, and a wave when we get introduced to each other.
We can imagine that there are still so much more types of people that you encounter during the holidays. Remember that you don't have to always be equipped with a material gift for everyone. The best gift you could give them is your time and (at least) efforts to be present and be nice.