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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?

Mey Chansakol
Mey Chansakol, 16, a grade 12 student at Indaraktevi High School

“​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.” 

Eung Channa
Eung Channa, 16, a grade12 student of Hun Sen Bunrany Phar Deum Thkov High School

“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.”

Meth Rothana​
Meth Rothana​, 21, a law student at the Royal University of Law and Economics

“​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.” 

Sun Khundy
Sun Khundy, 19, a grade 12 student of Kbel High School​ in Kampong Thom province

“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.”

Suon Samphos
Suon Samphos, 15, a part-time student in English at the American-Intercon School

“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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