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TDY 9 Days of Christmas Challenge: Day 1 – Discover

It’s just a week and a half before Christmas, and here at TDY, we strive to make each day count – to make living a truly good life a lifestyle, a mindset, a second nature.

Roman Catholics in the Philippines have what we call “Simbang Gabi” (Night Mass, literally) – a novena of Masses held at night or in the early hours of the morning in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as we prepare for the big coming on Christmas Day.

As such, we’ve thought of¬†our own “Simbang Gabi” starting today –¬†a series of nine daily “challenges”¬†or things you can do on your own to begin living a more purposeful, more rooted, life. After all, change begins with the self, so these little goals are meant to open you up and, as the coming of Christ heralded a new age, so are these challenges meant to help you¬†live a new life.

So, today’s first challenge is…

Discover Local.

We are all familiar, and perhaps sick, of this scenario: It’s two weeks (or one) before Christmas, and the roads are clogged, unmoving, almost – here in Metro Manila it’s the norm, outrageously¬†– and almost everyone’s going to the same place after work: a giant¬†mall, perhaps having declared a weekend sale, where you can hardly breathe due to everyone scrambling for Christmas shopping.

What does it make you feel?

I’m not fond of this experience, having had to squeeze myself through throngs of eager givers in bazaars years ago – thankfully I no longer get dragged to the malls at night, when I could either eat and work, or eat and rest.

But I accept that of course we give gifts for occasions. The secret lies in your strategy: where, when, what.

Naturally, the mall, which covers almost all, if not all indeed,¬†categories of retail, would be¬†the first thing on many people’s minds as a go-to place for Christmas shopping. Gourmet food? Check. Books? Check. Toys? Check. Clothes and shoes? Check. Home items? Check. It’s all there.

But the question is, how is the integrity of those items? Where were they made? How were they made? With what were they made? Who made them?

With all the rush today, I’m sure many of us want to balance these three criteria for the gifts we give:¬†it’s a nice idea, the recipient would like it, and¬†it’s convenient to get.

But here’s a different way of looking at it.

Instead of buying commercial, perhaps imported, where the materials may not even be safe for you or the environment, where all the money goes to huge companies who may or may not give a damn about their stakeholders…

Why don’t we support local enterprises who bridge the gap between rich and poor, who strive to minimize their carbon – and poison – footprint, who are doing their best to live a truly good life through business?

Individuals who want to make honest livings doing what they love, are good in, and are called to do.

You don’t have to look far. There are many of these brands and stores nowadays – offline and online. It’s so easy to order over the Internet nowadays if it’s not convenient for you to go to their store, if they have one. You just need to start looking.

This Christmas, #DiscoverLocal.

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Aloy Chua is the Co-Founder and CEO of TDY. His column, Today, discusses everyday living in relation to TDY’s philosophy of Higher Purpose Through Love. He’s also the co-founder of the Roots Collective, a community hub for entrepreneurs, and a freelance systems consultant and writer/editor, and loves reading about fashion, technology, travel, entrepreneurship, and healthy living. His first love is Pokémon. Find out more about living The Daily You on our About Page.
Follow Aloy on Instagram at @royaltruchua and Twitter at @TheDailyAloy.
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