Planning  your  Christmas celebration in the ‘new normal’

Planning your Christmas celebration in the ‘new normal’

FOR FILIPINOS, the arrival of “ber” month is a sign that Christmas is already in the air. But how will we celebrate the holidays amid this corona virus pandemic?

In a news report, some people have started thinking of adjustments to the regular Christmas traditions.

For example, a Santa Claus figure was spotted wearing a face mask and a face shield, a practice that everyone is expected to continue through the holidays.

“As we reopen the economy, itong behavior na to will be needed hanggang next year, hanggang walang vaccine, hanggang walang mabisang gamot at treatment na sigurado,” (This behaviour will needed until next year, until there is no vaccine, until there is no sure effective medicine or treatment), Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

Christmas shopping in malls and bazaars will be allowed, provided that everyone takes the necessary precautions and follows the health protocols.

“Sa tingin po namin puwede naman ho ‘yan basta ho hindi sila magkakadikit at ang crowd kontrolado pa rin,” Lopez said. “Sa bawat tindahan meron tayong parang maximum number of shoppers instead at any given point in time para maiwasan ‘yung crowding.” (We think it will be okay as long as they are not too close to each other and the crowd is still in control,” Lopez said. “In every store, there will be a maximum number of shoppers instead at any given point in time to avoid overcrowding.”

Other traditions such as going house to house to sing Christmas carols and attending Simbang Gabi, however, likely have to be skipped to be safe.

“Siguro stay at home na lang ang mangyayari kasi base sa ating eksperiyensya puwede talagang sumiklab ‘yung epidemic anytime with social gatherings,” (Perhaps, stay at home will have to continue because based on our experience, it is possible that the epidemic will really blow up with social gatherings)”,said former health secretary Manuel Dayrit.

Family reunions and exchange gifts, meanwhile, can still be done via Zoom and delivery service.

What about asking for aginaldo from ninong and ninang?

While they can always transfer funds to our e-wallets or bank accounts, many people have lost their jobs and income amid the community quarantine.

“Sa mga inaanak ko utang muna, next year na lang pag ok na, wala nang COVID,” said one ninang, while others said they will still give something, even if only a small amount.

Whatever happens, Filipinos will still find a way to celebrate Christmas. 

“Kahit may pandemic sa paligid kailangan masaya pa rin tayong mga Pilipino. Siguro i-se-celebrate namin ‘yung Christmas na simple gatherings and simple food sa table.” (Even if there is pandemic, we, Filipinos need to be happy. Maybe, we will celebrate Christmas in simple gatherings and simple food on the table.)”—MGP

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