Make This Christmas Count
5 ways to get the best out of family time this holiday season
The Christmas tree is up, and the Noche Buena is set, with the smell of hamon and queso de bola wafting in the air. What else could be missing in this picture perfect holiday scene?
The sound of children laughing and playing as they excitedly open their gifts, the cheerful banter among family members, the pamamasko that every inaanak, ninong, and ninang are accustomed to – these sights are all too common in the Filipino household during this time of the year. Undoubtedly, they are also the ones that give the most meaning to our holiday celebrations.
As families gather together this Christmas, how else do we make these precious moments count? Here are some great ideas on how to make the most out of family time this season. No need for grand parties or an elaborate setting – just you, your loved ones, and the place you call home.
1. Make a date to share a meal – any meal! Find a common time when family members can gather to eat. If your individual schedules don’t allow you to meet for the traditional Noche Buena, you can time it on Christmas morning (who can resist brunch where you get to eat yummy leftovers?), or you can even gather for coffee at the end of the day.
2. Bring your all-time favorite Christmas present to a party. Is it a sweater that lola knitted for you, or mom’s vintage necklace which she passed on to you as a Christmas gift when you were a teenager? Or maybe a money clip from dad when you celebrated your first Christmas with your own paycheck? It would be interesting to exchange stories on these prized gifts!
3. Go old school and write a Christmas message! (No typing allowed.) With the advent of mobile phones, e-mail, and social media, people hardly find the need to write down anything with a pen, least of all a Christmas greeting. When family members gather in your home, have a stack of blank note cards and envelopes ready, and ask everyone to write down a Christmas message for one another. Have colored pens on hand, too, so kids can join in on the fun! A fishbowl by the door can hold all the cards so that guests can simply grab their special Christmas greeting card on their way out.
4. Set a movie night. You can go traditional and watch movies like What The Grinch Stole for Christmas or Miracle on 34th Street. But if you’ve got a collection of old family movies such as ate’s first birthday or kuya’s graduation, why not dig them up and watch them on the big screen?
5. Go for a storytelling session – minus the storybooks. What could be better than mom and dad’s own version of their love story, or lola’s own account of how life was before phones and tablets were invented? This is something the younger generations will surely appreciate.
Away from the fireworks, glittery gowns, and the glamor that usually accompany any holiday gathering, the home is still the best place to spend Christmas with the family. Here’s hoping that you all take the time to have the most meaningful celebration this year. Let the dirty dishes in the sink wait for a bit, postpone the refrigerator cleanup, and leave the laundry for later.
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This season, let's all remember why Christmas is best spent at home.