The Filipino holiday spirit lives on despite the ongoing pandemic.
When the pandemic started in 2020, all of our regular and daily activities were affected. Holidays like Christmas and New Year were mainly celebrated within households only to avoid the spreading of the virus. Christmas shopping in malls was limited, and online shopping took over. There are things that we can’t do the same way again, like celebrating special occasions with many of your friends and relatives.
We hope that the upcoming holidays and new normal Christmas celebration will be better since many are getting vaccinated, but with the threat of the Delta variant, the pandemic is far from over. It will take more years to return to the old normal completely, so the rest of the society is now adjusting to the new normal.
As we’re about to celebrate our second Christmas under the COVID-19 pandemic, how do we make the holidays fun and safe for our loved ones?
1. Continue small holiday traditions or create a new one.
Even if everything is still not back to normal, you can bring back certain holiday traditions with your family, like setting up home decors or baking Christmas cookies. Cooking your favorite Noche Buena (midnight feast) together will also bring certain comfort even in trying times. If you have kids, you can also start planning fun activities for them during the holiday seasons to continue yearly.
2. Pre-order Christmas gifts months in advanced
Due to the global health crisis, fewer people are shopping for gifts in physical stores. With more people resorting to online shops and apps for their Christmas gifts, delivery delays are bound to happen if you decide to buy during the last minute. To avoid shipping delays, you can start pre-ordering your gifts as early as September. Just make sure to hide your presents well!
3. Make use of modern technology.
Even when many are vaccinated, gatherings and parties are still limited. It’s a good thing that we’re fortunate enough to live during a time where virtual meetings and parties are possible thanks to technology. So in the meantime, take advantage of Zoom calls while we still couldn’t hold big parties.
Contactless gifts like vouchers and coupons are also popular gift options if you can’t give your gift in person. Traditions like caroling, Christmas parties, and reunions can also be done online if quarantine protocols prevent physical celebrations.
In case your area or if the government allows limited capacity for your celebrations, prioritize outdoor settings. Experts prove that al fresco setups lessen the spread of the virus due to open-air circulation. Make sure that guests are still practicing physical distancing and hand washing while at the party. Also, follow the suggested venue capacity as stated in the protocols. It is also better if guests are vaccinated. Daytime celebrations are also preferred to avoid curfew violations. Do not host parties if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19.
If you also decide to eat out on Christmas Eve, Christmas, and for New Year celebrations, opt for restaurants with open-air dining.
5. Do small acts of kindness.
Christmas is not just about the festivities, lavish gifts, and scrumptious food—its main essence is sharing joy and love with others. It applies to everyone, even strangers. Everyone needs kindness, most given the situation we’re all in, so a small good deed or act of kindness could make someone’s holiday extra special. If you have extra money, you can donate to charities or order food for someone you know. You can also send meals to medical frontliners who are working even during the holidays.
And yes, getting vaccinated would already make a big difference. Getting hospitalized due to severe COVID-19 infection will be lessened even if you’re exposed to the virus. If you plan on going to a small intimate party, getting vaccinated will protect you from getting the virus. You can ease your worries if you and your loved ones are fully inoculated.
Holiday traditions might have changed in the past year, but keep the spirit of the holidays alive and stronger than ever. VisitYoorekka Consumer Magazine for more Christmas tips and guides in the metro!
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About Denisse Shawntel Tan
Denisse Tan is currently a work in progress: she’s an aspiring writer, artist, and fashion designer! She’s trying to figure out how to manage her time in achieving all of her goals while also taking in life as humanly possible. Aside from art, she’s a big fan of the color pink, disco music, Bratz dolls, and Genshin Impact. By age 35, she plans to travel to New York City 🗽.
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