Christmas in the Philippines is very festive. The Yuletide season starts as early as September when some homes play Christmas songs. And in December, you can see Christmas decorations everywhere.
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But if you are based abroad, your host country might have different ways to celebrate. If you are in the Middle East, such as Qatar, you won’t see any traces of the Christmas season. Instead, you will celebrate with your kababayans.
A Very Filipino Christmas
Christmas is the time to be with our loved ones. But if going home is not feasible, then there are ways to feel festive even if you are miles away. Who knows, you might be able to join your family next year?
Here are some ways that you can celebrate:
- Invite your kababayans for the Noche Buena. Most housing facilities group their residents according to nationality. Why not invite some of them for a potluck dinner? Or you can ask some of your friends at work for a small celebration. The Christmas feast is the time to share your cooking prowess.
- Have a small party with friends. A simple get-together will not be complete if you do not have parlor games or talent competitions. Assign a host to keep the party fun. Let the best singer take over the microphone. You could also give a prize to keep the guests motivated.
- Video call with your family back home. There are so many available apps that allow you to make a video call with your family. Choose the app that works best for you. Call home and take part in family festivities virtually.
- Put up some decorations around your house. If you are the crafty type, you could put up some ribbons or wreaths in areas where guests converge. DIY some Christmas lanterns and hang them by your door.
- Attend Simbang Gabi. Check the mass schedule of the Church of Our Lady of Rosary in Abu Hamour. Or you can also attend virtual masses in the Philippines. You need to adjust for the time difference to catch the live Mass. Let us remember that remember the birth of Christ during Christmas. So why not spend a few hours praying and being thankful for our blessings?
- Join local events. Some Filipino communities have programs and get-togethers as part of their Christmas celebration. It would even be more meaningful if you participate in fundraising causes or volunteer your time. You might also learn a thing or two about your host country.
- Spend time outdoors. Most of our kababayans like to spend their holidays in parks. After all, these are clean and spacious. Corniche is a favorite destination because of its accessibility. Hanging out at the park allows bonding time with fellow Filipinos. When you think about it, Filipinos back in the Philippines also go to Rizal Park to celebrate Christmas.
Time for Self-Care
Remember to catch up on sleep. If the few days before the holidays have been hectic for you, then you can take the time to rest. After all, the holiday break is your time to unwind. Before you know it, you’ll go back to work again.
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