While the traffic in Metro Manila has deteriorated over the years, it is not as bad as other countries were expressways have been turned to parking lots. Nevertheless, the current conditions have forced people to change their habits. One habit that I have altered is the way I deliver Christmas gifts.
I have always looked forward to distributing Christmas gifts. Apart from enjoying the drive, I savor the chance to catch up with the latest news on family, friends, and co-workers. However, the increase in traffic has made it more and more difficult to handle deliveries on my own. So for the first time in my life, I decided to send a handful of gifts through courier.
Time for a Change
My mother was the first in the family to make use of couriers several years ago because it was much more convenient. Having started with one or two birthday gifts, she expanded her habit anniversary and Christmas gifts afterwards. She is so happy with courier services that just about anything that needs delivering now goes through them. I, on the other hand, continued to resist because Christmas was the only time I was able to catch a few people on their holiday breaks.
Traffic was still pretty tolerable for the past Christmas seasons. Back then, it was till possible to deliver gifts on a Sunday morning before heading out to the mall for lunch. And since all of the recipients lived within the Metropolitan Manila area, I never had to worry about fuel or toll fees.
With more of my family, friends, and co-workers entering retirement, quite a few have chosen to move to the provinces to avoid traffic and take advantage of lower living expenses. While other Others decided to migrate abroad to be with their children and grandchildren.
For those who transferred to the provinces, the cost of fuel and the addition of toll fees meant that travel expenses sometimes cost more than the gifts themselves! Worse is that deliveries would now take several weekends instead of just one Sunday morning due to the increased distances and worsening traffic. Perhaps the worst of it all is that the traffic ate into the time I allotted to chats because I was always in a rush to deliver the next gift.
This finally prompted me to follow my Mom’s lead by sending a small portion of gifts through courier as a test. With several gifts in hand, I headed out to the nearest LBC to test if they could do better than I did. And the good news is that they did indeed meet my expectations.
For fees ranging from the basic P160 to P190, I was able to send a small bunch of gifts to friends in the provinces. Even better is that all the gifts arrived at their destinations within one to two days. To top it all off, I still got to chat with my friends via the internet when they all called in to thank me!
Traffic has indeed forced me to change my gift-giving habits this year. By using a courier, I was able to overcome quite a few problems. This includes my skipping traffic and saving on fuel and toll fees. Thanks to the internet, I was still able to chat with friends and catch up on the latest comings and goings.
While I admit that conversing with them through a computer isn’t as personal as doing it face-to-face, my friends weren’t inconvenienced themselves by having to get out of their pajamas and open their homes to me before getting their morning coffees. So in the end, it appears that everything worked out for everyone.
And now that I have finally experienced the benefits my Mom has been talking about, I will be sending just about all of my gifts through courier from the year 2020 onwards. The only exceptions will most likely be my co-workers and friends who I see during annual gatherings.