Monito Monita is a popular Philippine Christmas tradition. It is gift giving with a twist! It is for both the young and the young at heart.
More people associates this tradition with Kris Kringle, and in a way it is related because Kris Kringle or “ Christkndl” is the German word that when translated to English means “Christ Child”.
“Kris Kringle” it’s also a popular name for Santa Claus. Santa Claus of course is known the world over as that happy guy in a red suit bringing gifts and traveling on Christmas with reindeers. And Monito Monita is all about gift giving too.
The following are the mechanics of this traditional Pinoy Christmas gift giving activity:
1. All names in the class or in the office are written in small pieces of papers and placed in a box.
2. Each one would pick a name the box weeks before the scheduled Christmas party, usually when December starts.
3. Each one is responsible to give small gifts and tokens on a weekly basis, the most valuable gift will be given on the day of the Christmas Party itself.
4. Everyone must agree on the price ranges for the weekly tokens as well as the major gift on the day of the party; this is to keep things fair.
5. The weekly gifts are place in a box or near the Christmas tree secretly so as not to reveal who your monito or monita is. And at the end of the week everyone will gather at the tree and pick their gifts from the pile. Watch as your monito or monita’s eyes light up in appreciation of your creativity.
6. The one important rule is never to reveal who your monito or monita is before the Christmas party and to take precaution to guard your secret. You can’t enter the room declaring what your gift is as this will alert the recipient.
Other versions would only give you a number and the gender of the person and you will give gifts that you think is best for the ‘secret’ person. Or it can also be pseudonyms to create more mystery. You yourself will only know who picked your name during the party when every one would reveal and search out and give their gift to their Monito or Monita amidst the singing of Christmas carols.
To give this Pasko ng Pinoy gift giving tradition an exciting twist, a theme could be made for a certain week, like bringing “something sweet”, “something hard”, “something sticky”, “something colorful”. There are more creative weekly themes that you can explore.
The guessing game excites everyone, and every succeeding week is something that is look forward to with enthusiasm. The search for an item or tokens that is in-line with the week’s theme is also exciting or can be frustrating as you have to be very creative with your token choice so as not to disappoint your monito or monita.
A certain price range is also identified at the start, just to be fair to all participants; it is now up to you if you will give your monito or monita gifts of higher value. Common weekly gifts price ranges could be anything from 5 pesos to 50 pesos. Gifts for the Christmas party usually range from a hundred to 500 pesos.
The effort and the time everyone spend in thinking of great weekly gift is also another thing that makes this Filipino gift giving tradition truly special.
Popular themes and gift ideas for Monito Monita Gift Giving Tradition this 2018 are:
- Something sweet: Candy and chocolates
- Something hard: Candy, pencil and ball pen, ceramic figurines, coffee mugs, toys
- Something soft: Stuffed toys, pillows, marshmallows
- Something sticky: Gummy bears and gummy worms
- Something wet: wet ones, cologne, perfume
- Something colorful: Christmas candy cane, Rubix cube, kaleidoscope bracelets
Monito Monita highlights the gift giving nature of the Filipinos and not only that; this Pasko tradition brings forth the creativity of every Pinoy as well as teaches responsibility to others.
You can of course not give your monito or your monita their weekly gift but can you risk disappointing anyone especially that Pasko or Christmas is fast approaching? We don’t think so, Filipinos values camaraderie and friendship and it is even more so during the Christmas season. And this special gift giving tradition celebrates Christmas more meaningfully.
Have fun with Monito Monita, Kris Kringle, Exhange Gifts, and all!
Visit the community on Facebook to know more about how Filipinos Celebrate Paskong Pinoy.