The glitter and sparkles on fir and pine trees, the fuss and mad dash to complete our gift list. We see festive lights. We feel the excitement. We smell the scent of Christmas in mid-air. And yes, we yield our business-as-usual column to the magic that is Christmas. So, let’s ponder with careful reflection: how can we truly make this Christmas magical amid the pandemic?
Christmas in the time of Covid may not be a season of merriment for everyone. Some of us may have lost a friend or family member. Some may have lost their jobs and deprived of their means of livelihood. However, let us not be swept away by the dark grips of the pandemic. Instead, be encouraged to put on our Santa hats, live the true meaning of Christmas and find ways to make Christmas this year truly magical:
Let us be part of something bigger than ourselves. Give back to the community by offering to help in a homeless shelter, food bank or community kitchen. There are endless volunteer opportunities to lend our hands and share our time. Why not make volunteering a family affair and a yearly tradition? The heart of Christmas, after all, is in the faces of the under-privileged, lighting up with a smile when we hand them thick coats or hot soups to warm their bodies against the chill of December.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
It does not take a lot of effort to be kind to someone. We make an impact with simple gestures that say we care. Offer our seats on public transportation. Drop off a food basket at the doorstep of a neighbor who just lost his job. Pay for the person behind us in a grocery line. Give warm food to the homeless on the street. Leave a thoughtful note on someone’s windshield. Offer a hot drink to the gardener, mailman or garbage collector. Say something nice to a friend or stranger. We never know how the day is going for someone. A simple act of kindness can make a difference.
Giving donations provide for those who have less, especially this season. We can make Christmas memorable for others by donating toys for the kids who have none, food for the impoverished or coats for the homeless to warm their backs.
There are countless charities where we can send our contributions. The more popular ones are food pantries and thrift stores. Food pantries run by local churches are open to accepting non-perishable food products. Thrift stores run by charities raise funding for their causes from our clothing donations.
HOST A VIRTUAL GATHERING
Maintaining the protocol of social distancing should not deter us from celebrating Christmas with the people dear to us. With distancing imposed upon us for the last three years, we yearn even more to be closer to our family and friends. Take heart in knowing that the pandemic has no command over our celebratory mood. Thanks to virtual technology, we can still gather while far apart in a zoom get-together.
GIVE A GIFT FROM THE HEART
Sometimes we immerse in the commercial aspect of Christmas, we lose sight of its true meaning. Generous by nature, we choose to give something grand to make someone dear to us happy. Perhaps it’s time to pause and contemplate: generosity also comes from a place beyond our deep pockets. Why not give something from the heart: a poem we wrote, a simple scarf we knitted, a basketful of fruits and jars of jam we put together, a memory scrapbook of photographs we collected and compiled through the years. Gifts from the mall cannot measure up with the value of a handmade gift made from the labor of our love.
Be your own Santa. Look back at the true meaning of the season and make Christmas truly magical.
From the Substrata family to yours, we wish you all a meaningful Christmas!