SCENE CITY| The Christmas list

THE CHRISTMAS list is out and it’s a few entries longer than last year’s. New acquaintances and business partners are perhaps the new addition to the list. Yes, it’s getting longer by the year.

But it doesn’t stop there— even your kids’ lists have been incorporated into yours. It’s become the family’s Christmas list.

Such is the case with Vanessa Ong and husband, Randal, both working for the family business while running their own restaurant business, Basti’s Brew.


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.

Seventeen years into the marriage gave them three daughters—Eliano Zoe, 10, Caelie Samira, 7, and Ylisha Isobel, 3, who just handed them their own Christmas lists for their own friends.

“The key phrase is “smart gifting”, everything has to work within the budget and be sure to keep the gift exciting. One has to be very innovative these days, and practical,” shared Vanessa.

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.

Here, Vanessa shares her gift- giving ritual for the holidays.

How early do you make the list and buy the gifts?

The list is on my notes in my phone permanently. Every year I plan to start buying the gifts early, but I always fail (laughing with her admission). Usually I get to start early November, which I consider late, and I always manage to finish everything on the list.

What do you think is the perfect time to deliver the gifts?

“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.

Is it a husband and wife tandem when deciding on the gifts to give?

Well, I decide on the gifts to give out to our friends, with my side of the family and godchildren.

Randall does get involved. He wants to have a free hand on choosing the presents for his side of the family. He knows best what will make them happy. But if he gets confused, I step in.

Fashion: Marks & Spencer’s 2016 Winter Collection & Christmas Food Gifts are available at the M&S stores in Abreeza Mall & SM Lanang Premier

Photography: Brian Dexter Medija

Make-up & styling: Otoy Mercado

Posted in Lifestyle