By: Joe Mauricio
With Christmas being expected around the corner, we are also expecting the traditional celebration plannings in many Filipino American households. But with the current Covid pandemic that has been going around and attacking many people around the world, we are all alarmed to plan for a celebration gathering for Christmas 2020 with our family and friends. Words from the authorities, particularly from the Communicable Disease Center (CDC) experts and government officials are to be heeded in these times of crises. Always remember the tall order of wearing your masks, six-feet distancing, and washing your hands these days.
What is left for many of us to observe this special holiday occasion to impart our thoughts and love to our loved ones? Maybe just through greetings and salutations in a festive tone delivered either through a traditional (but dying) sending/mailing of Christmas cards, telephone calls, and through a more popular way these days, via social media greetings like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
For many Catholics and/or Christians like us, the use of broad, nondescript terms of saying the traditional greeting of “Merry Christmas” or “Maligayang Pasko” will work out, but to be politically correct and to avoid marginalizing other people outside your congregation, “Happy Holidays” greeting has been getting its popularity ratings these days.
What is important is that you offer greetings, and expressing yourself that you mean what you are conveying, with an additional smile on your face. It must come from your heart.The holiday is festive so be festive or merry in your words and deeds. Most importantly, be sincere in expressing your holiday greetings.
The beautiful Filipino Christian tradition of “mano po, ninong, ninang” (receiving blessings from godparents by visiting them and kissing their hands on Christmas, December 25th, Jesus’s birthday) is one habit or custom that has been going down the drain for years now. Meantime, we can also forget the exchange gifts and dressing up in new attires. Can you imagine doing that these days amid the Pandemic scares?
Let’s reach each other’s heart this Christmas, whether you believe in the story of Jesus Christ being born in a manger or not. The Christmas celebration is good for the peace and unity among the people of the world, whether knowingly or unknowingly.
Please accept our traditional greeting of MALIGAYANG PASKO, from the VIA TIMES family, to our readers, advertisers, family and friends. See you in 2021 and goodbye 2020! Happy to see you go. As we all say, what a year!