10 Very 2020 Ways We'll All Be Celebrating Christmas
No more awkward family reunions!
(SPOT.ph) The Philippines has been in quarantine since March, and Metro Manila continues to be under general community quarantine until December 31. This means that family reunions are discouraged, going to church online is advised, and bazaars are to be avoided. This also means that Christmas, which is often a time of get-togethers and endless shopping sprees, is going to be a whole lot different this year, from the traditions down to how we give and receive gifts.
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A few Pinoy Christmas traditions that are likely to look different this year:
The online Christmas shopping spree
Mall sales, bazaars, and tiangges are big crowd-drawers during the Christmas season, especially if you want to spend less but still complete your shopping list. But they’re also high-risk spots during a pandemic, when social distancing is advised. Just imagine the possibly infected droplets lingering in the air in a crowded space. On the bright side, transitioning to online shopping means not having to lug heavy bags around the mall while trying to shop for the entire fam...or fighting someone over the last Among Us plushie in the store.
No more caroling
Guidelines for general community quarantine in Metro Manila prohibit persons under the age of 18 from going to the mall. There's also a ban on Christmas caroling for the whole of December, so you don't have to worry about kids singing outside your doors when all you want is just some peace and quiet.
Christmas aguinaldo through online banking
With the ban against kids going out, you can now avoid getting ambushed by your inaanak on Christmas morning. But that doesn’t mean their parents won't hint at the fact that you can send aguinaldo via G Cash. We already have all kinds of online banking, after all; you can’t even say that your accounts are inactive because it doesn't sound convincing that you spent the last nine months not using any of the cashless payment services out there.
Family reunion via Zoom
Since we’re in the middle of a pandemic, you may want to think twice about hopping on public transport and heading to your parents' place, who have been staying home and avoiding getting sick since March. There are a lot of video-call apps anyway for family reunions, with fun filters and background options to boot.
Giving away COVID-related gifts
Retail brands have integrated COVID essentials into their products, from cool PPE jackets to bucket hats that come with face shields. And since you can never have too many face masks, you may want to consider buying in bulk from local stores and giving them away to your family and friends.
Lots of outdoor (mini) parties
Open spaces are less risky thanks to the fresh air and better circulation. And if you really must see your friends and family during the holiday season, it’s best to do it outdoors. You can even make a big deal out of it and install nice lights, have a nice dinner set-up, and place IG-worthy decorations in your backyard.
Not-so-secret Santa via delivery
While you can’t come together for a monito-monita with your friends, you can always have your items delivered. It might be tricky though to make it a secret, but a gift, is a gift, is a gift. Order special gift boxes from your favorite online store and you’re done! Some online shops even offer personalization services or go the extra mile by writing notes for you.
No more office Christmas parties and group presentations
Office Christmas parties are the worst, especially for new hires. Let’s be real: Nobody wants to do a song-and-dance unless your biggest frustration in life is to become a performer, and it’s not like newbies in the company have the option to say no. Just keep your fingers crossed that your bosses won't see all those dancing videos on your TikTok and decide that a virtual Christmas party is in order.
Sit six feet away from relatives with whom you don’t want to be caught in a small-talk sesh
You probably have that one inquisitive uncle or that pesky tita that you can’t really avoid even if you wanted to. The next time you run into each other during a family reunion, you have every excuse to stay away; you now have a great reason to literally distance yourself and dodge all the usual reunion questions. What, no pesky repeatings of "May boyfriend ka na?" Music to our ears!
No more awkward hugs
For most, Christmas day is the only time of the year when you see your cousins, titos, titas, and other relatives you never knew existed. You’re supposed to be family, so you have no choice but to hug them as if they weren't practically strangers. Well, with virtual reunions, you can now avoid awkward hugs; but we can’t say the same for unbearable silences or the usual, “Can you hear me?”/“You’re on mute!”/“What do I press?”