Streets, stores, buses and banks are jammed in December as people deposit or spend their aguinaldo. This is a country-wide, compulsory payment made by employers to their employees each December. The amount paid to each employee is determined by the amount they earned during the year from that employer. If a person has worked the entire year, they receive an entire month’s pay. If they have worked only a few months, their aguinaldo is equal to one twelfth of the amount they have received during their employment. Not only does the aguinaldo come in handy for buying Christmas gifts, it helps car owners pay their marchamo (car tax), which is due by the end of December. Pity the self-employed!