Tis the season for gift giving.
Or any time of the year. Cash is the easiest and fastest way to give through online money transfer like Remitly.
For OFWs like me it’s best to send balikbayan box before holidays. Send food for Noche Buena or gifts.
Speaking of gifts, I noticed that I like giving watches.
I gifted everyone in my family a watch before I buy one for myself. They all love it.
What’s So Special with Watch
In our family, I noticed that my parents rarely wear jewelry but wears watch most of the time.
They favour needs over wants. Maybe.
And my siblings and I, took after that insight. We would all say yes for a new watch . . . whenever necessary.
1. Usefulness. My dad always wear his watch even at home. (I don’t.)
It is useful for him and it took me years of being attached to mobile phone to see how important it is.
I bought myself a stainless watch to curb my urge of checking time on my phone because one thing leads to another. From looking at the time next I am reading an email then browsing on social media. There goes my precious time.
As an adult, I am imitating my dad. I don’t leave without a watch on my wrist that only tells time.
Smartwatch is a no no for me. I’ll let somebody else have my smartwatch from work.
2. Aesthetics. A watch is a work of art. If we can always see how those tiny pieces work together to accurately tell time, it would be fun . . . and distracting.
I spent many hours looking online at watches and sighing. They are the apples of my eyes.
How I Choose What to Buy
I don’t have a talent in choosing the right gift. I tend to buy things that I like for myself.
But when it comes to books and watches, I think I nail the job. I can assure that people I know will prefer a timepiece than pages.
Choosing a watch for a gift is a fun chore for me.
1. Personality. Think of the recipient’s personality all the time. And also there age.
Are they more laid back, sporty, or unpredictable.
I always go for something that doesn’t scream “keep on staring at me” but compliments one’s personality.
2. Design. Sometimes I asked what colour they want; otherwise, I always go for stainless material. It’s a material that can fit any outfit.
I haven’t bought a gold-tone watch because I don’t want the wearer to attract pickpockets.
I’ve seen a pickpocket snatched a pair of earrings right in front of me when I was a college student in University Belt, Manila. The place is safer these days.
Since then I ingrained in my brain not to wear flashy jewelry (which I am not fond of) including watch.
But for aesthetics sake, I would sometimes opt for two-toned watch like the Caravelle that I gave to my mom.
Needless to say she loves wearing it.
Tip: Don’t buy bands made of leather. The weather in the Philippines is incredibly hot and can make the leather band dirty due to sweat and eventually break.
Or better yet get a set that comes with at least two bands.
3. Price. I always choose high quality brands. From there, I narrowed down my choice by considering the person’s personality, design, and price.
I don’t buy expensive watches. My purchases range from $50 to less than $100. The trick is to wait for the item to go on sale.
Related Post: Things that I Stopped Buying
If there’s a time constraint then I go for the best next affordable watch. That’s why I have many screenshots on my phone that made it into my wish list. My wish for others.
Sometimes the photos are way better than the real thing.
Or the watch is better in person just like the Anne Klein rose gold bracelet watch I bought for my sister. The watch with 30 mm is just the right size for her slim wrist. The band is adjustable.
These three categories are what I look for when I search for the almost-perfect gift.
I must emphasize that the prize is my top priority. Why spend more for something you could get less at the right time.
By gifting affordable watch, I want to teach the recipient the value of time and budgetting.
And yes I always tell my family the price and boast how affordable it is just like the time I bought a $58 ish Timex steel mesh watch for myself.
Where to Buy
I often buy watches on Amazon.ca because of many choices and free shipping if I buy items for more than $35 which is an easy thing to do anyway.
When I had a vacation in the Philippines, my sister and I bought a stainless Casio watch on sale at SM.
It costs less than 1,500 pesos.
We had it gift wrapped for free. My sister gave the watch along with a wallet with Canadian dollar when I was backed in Canada.
He loved all of it especially the cash. My dad took after my grandma their fondness of foreign currency. Who doesn’t anyway?
Time is Finite
This is a random part of the post that I want to emphasize.
I am a procrastinator and slow in getting in the flow.
But when I start it’s hard to get out of the zone and do mundane task for survival like eating and washroom break.
A watch reminds me to use time wisely.
Before going to bed, I was searching for audiobooks and found a book by Seneca. On The Shortness of Life fits well with my blog post about time.
Life is long if you know how to use it.
It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.
You have all the fears of mortals and all the desires of immortals.
But learning how to live takes a whole life, and, which may surprise you more, it takes a whole life to learn how to die.
The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.
Time is something that I value yet squander mindlessly. I want to change for the better and always remember that time well spent will lead to financial independence.
I encourage you to watch or listen to the video and ponder the words of wisdom of Seneca.
Am I spoiling my family with watches?
Not really. It’s a one-time gift that can last at least five years. I buy essential things for them like the stuff I put in a balikbayan box.
For me sharing what I get to enjoy and afford in Canada gives lasting joy. I get to accomplish my dream of helping my loved ones and others (like helping Filipino entrepreneurs on Kiva).
I have to mention that this is also one of the benefits of becoming a minimalist.
Buying high quality stuff that I mostly need for myself is rewarding and satisfying. And I am applying the same principle in gifting.