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As the remnants of Indian summer fade away and the weather turns colder, we Filipinos turn our focus toward the upcoming the holidays, specifically Christmas. We hold Christmas very close to our hearts because it’s the time when all our loved ones gather together and reunite with families and friends. That being said, we can’t wait to jump start and celebrate this joyous occasion.

So what better reason to send your balikbayan box early to arrive in time for the holidays? On that note, here are 5 things to see in you balikbayan box:

#1 For the Noche Buena feast (and potluck gatherings)

We are all in agreement when we say that celebrating Christmas isn’t really Christmas without a Noche Buena feast. Everyone looks forward to enjoying an extra special and sumptuous meal after Mass (midnight Mass for traditionalists). It’s not just the meal itself that makes it special, but also the Thus, include those ingredients that will create a festive and an unforgettable meal.

Ensure that the type of food that you send are non-perishable and within its expiry date, packed well to withstand the long travel by sea, and are allowed entry by Philippine customs. Check with us or your local freight forwarding service provider prior to shipping your balikbayan box. Some examples of the ingredients include but not limited to: olives, capers, raisins, dates, prunes, dried spaghetti and other pasta, canned vegetables, canned fruit, canned goods, herbs and spices, to name a few.

Don’t forget about Christmas morning breakfast/brunch as well. After all this is considered part of post-Noche Buena, right? Think pancake and waffle mixes, maple syrup, jams, jellies, and marmalades, peanut butter, and Nutella hazelnut spread.

#2 Clothes

It’s tradition to dress well and to wear something festive, especially when attending Christmas eve and Christmas day/evening Mass. Clothes are thoughtful and practical gifts to loved ones which they will definitely appreciate and feel grateful. Moreover, many of us receive invitations from extended family and close friends for other celebrations either at their homes or at restaurants so wearing new clothes is timely and appropriate.

#3 Chocolates and candy

This could be a close #1 too! Having chocolates and candy and giving them as gifts are always a crowd pleaser especially with the younger folk (and the young at heart). For those early shoppers who take advantage of sales deals in your Target, Walmart, and other favorite retailers, buying chocolate in bulk is a value and time saver, particularly for those who work full-time jobs. Chocolate and candy always make great last minute gifts. As with #1 and a quick reminder, ensure that the chocolates and candy are well within its expiry date.

#4 Small Electronics, Appliances and accessories

This is always a big hit nowadays especially with your loved ones who are millennials and younger. Make sure that these electronics are in their original packaging to prevent inadvertent damage during the shipping period, and of course, fit inside the balikbayan box. Some examples include earphones, headsets (wired and wireless), Bluetooth speakers, Fitbits and smart watches, cell phones, TVs, docking charging stations, to name a few. For the cooks and foodies in your families, you can send Vitamix blenders, hand blenders, hand mixers, electric knives for carving the hamon, baking pans, pots and pans come to mind.

#5 Toys

Finally, toys are definitely one of the things your loved ones expect to see in your balikbayan box. As long as the toys can fit inside the balikbayan box and you retain most of their original packaging, you can pack a lot of toys while maximizing the balikbayan box space. By sending the toys this way, you don’t pack them inside your suitcases and/or carry-on luggage thereby avoiding unnecessary expensive over-the-limit baggage charges especially when you will be traveling to the Philippines for the holidays.

Summary

In conclusion, sending your gifts and contributions to the Christmas festivities and gatherings via a balikbayan box or two is highly advantageous and provides a practical solution for you. One, you can send a lot more items like those for Noche Buena and for gifts to your loved ones without worrying about over-the-limit baggage charges. Two, you can get more bang for your buck when you shop when there are sales and deals from retailers (think Amazon Prime day every July and at every end-of-season sale) during the year. Lastly, you can alleviate the stress of going home to the Philippines during the holidays, that is, you can travel light and hopefully arrive safely and get through customs relatively quickly so you can enjoy your holiday with your loved ones.

So send your items early since who doesn’t want to start Christmas early, right?

Happy Holidays everyone! Maligayang Pasko sa inyong lahat!

Metro Box Cargo is a freight forwarding services company established in 2013 with two main offices – at Hayward, CA in the United States and at Teachers Village in Quezon City in the Philippines. Founded by Egay Tajonera, and his wife Mabelle, they are passionate in providing exceptional service to the Filipino community. Our company provides personalized, reliable, on-time customized door to door service for balikbayan boxes, container shipments, loose cargo and odd-sizes shipments. We also offer vehicle shipping services for cars and motorcycles.

Our friendly and helpful staff, as well as our authorized agents, are available to assist you and answer questions you may have. We have locations in northern and southern California: our two main warehouses are located in Hayward and Santa Fe Springs, and our six drop off locations can be found inside Island Pacific stores. Feel free to call or stop by. Please visit our website at www.metroboxcargo.com for more details.