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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - How meaningful are the presents you give on Christmas’ Day?

How meaningful are the presents you give on Christmas’ Day?

“​Usually on Christmas Day, I exchange presents with my friends just for fun, usually just small souvenirs only. For me, the act of giving presents is to make someone’s dream come true, so before I go out to buy someone a present, I pay careful attention to what they really need and what they would like. The act of giving is meaningful- it’s fun to receive a present and is something that can be cherished forever.” 

“Christmas Day is not a tradition or ritual for me, rather it’s just for giving presents with friends. I think presents can improve our friendships and relationships. I have had boys give me presents before, but always just as friends. I also sometimes exchange gifts with my mum, which is really special and important to me.”

“​I’m not really worried about it all- Christmas Day is not a special ceremony in Khmer society. I do love giving presents though. I always think hard about their character and what they would like and what would be special to them. It’s good to give a heartfelt gift that means something. But I think more important than buying gifts or receiving gifts is a person’s character. We can gauge someone’s honesty more by their actions and their speech.” 

“I like the idea of giving gifts on Christmas Day, I think it can be really heartfelt and meaningful, but I’m a student right now and don’t have the money. I wouldn’t want to waste my parents’ money either. My duty right now is studying, but when I have a job and can earn my own money I’d like to buy presents for those close to me, especially my parents.”

“I always exchange gifts on Christmas Day, although the presents are not necessarily related to the true meaning of Christmas- it’s more fun here, it’s a form of entertainment. I like the idea that presents can keep the memories of a certain time or moment alive, a tangible reminder. This is especially important when we’re young and at school- we always change classes and meet new friends and other friends may change schools. I also love receiving gifts! ”

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