DECEMBER 22, 2019

Out of the gift box

BY FIEL ESTRELLA
ART BY GABY SERRANO

Christmas is only a few days away—give experience-based gifts that need no bow and wrapping.

‘Tis the season for giving — but nobody said the gifts have to be of the material sort.

In my experience, the part of Christmas that has to do with presents is really only exciting when you’re a kid, when you could afford to be frivolous and the object behind the wrapping paper was second only to the reassurance that you’re on Santa’s Nice List for another year. These days, I’m happiest just to be able to spend time with everyone I love and care about — and if that quality time happens to coincide with a thing or two on my wish list, then great.

Gift-giving can be stressful; you have to take stock of every person in your life and wrack your brain for the perfect thing that would make them happy and be useful to them. Sometimes, though, material objects just don’t make the cut, and you need something different. In this unorthodox gift guide are some suggestions for activities and bonding sessions you can share with loved ones instead, some of which may even result in a keepsake to wear or use. Best of both worlds, or what?

Paint ceramics at Color Me Mine

You might remember heading to the mall and stopping by an activity area where you could buy figurines and frames molded out of plaster of Paris that you could then paint and finish with varnish. They don’t exist anymore, but there’s still Color Me Mine, their more sophisticated cousin. Choose a ceramic object and paint it any way you want — it’ll take some time to finish off the design, but the results are spectacular and worth keeping forever. 

Color Me Mine is located on Bonifacio High Street in Bonifacio Global City.

Solve your way out of an escape room

Escape rooms aren’t exactly new, but they’re always fun, and there’s always a new theme or story to explore and immerse yourself in: trapped in an 8-bit game, an undercover agent in a seedy bar serving as a front for the mob, facing off against a stalker or serial killer, even transported to the worlds of Star Wars, Harry Potter, or Sherlock Holmes.

Try your luck at Breakout Philippines in Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, or Mystery Manila in Ayala Malls The 30th.

See a movie

The Christmas season is synonymous with the Metro Manila Film Festival, which can have its moments of brilliance and interesting stories to tell. It’s also a time to awaken the Resistance in you and see Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on the big screen. Whichever title you and your family or friends go with, it’s always a guaranteed good time.

Design your own Uniqlo tee

Uniqlo has released collabs with everyone from KAWS and Makoto Shinkai to Sailor Moon and BT21. Now it’s your turn to have your vision immortalized on a comfy tee through UTme!, the brand’s on-demand customization service. Just head to the counter, draw on a tablet and add some more details, then finalize your creation and have it printed on-site. It’s personal and stylish — a perfect fit for anyone in your life.

UTme! is available at the Uniqlo global flagship store in Glorietta 5.

Take an art workshop

This year is ending and another is beginning, but there’s no particular right time to take up a new hobby and keep growing. The Craft Central is constantly holding workshops with passionate artists and creators to promote activities like calligraphy, watercolor, and all kinds of arts and crafts to try, and the best part is, you don’t have to stop at just one.

The Craft Central has stores in Greenbelt 5 and Ayala Malls Vertis North.