“Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!” I have always been excited whenever I hear those words during the Christmas season. But because of the pandemic, that feeling of excitement slowly changed. Do I have to say that this is probably the “new normal” Christmas? or is it already obvious?

I am aware that Christmas is the highlight of the year but for this year it feels so strange. I love seeing Christmas decorations go up but, it brings me back down when I realise we are still in a pandemic. I know that for the past few months, we have been adjusting to the “new normal” and following the restrictions given by our government.  But with the circumstances, I think I can still feel a little bit Christmas in the air.

Listening to Christmas songs brings my Christmas spirit to life. Just like how I feel the coldness of the season this time of the year. While walking on my way home, I could see houses lit up with Christmas lights and inflatable Santas everywhere… It gives me the idea that “Oh! So, people still remember to celebrate Christmas even though we were isolated for months!”. Not just that, I also couldn’t help but notice the shops still selling Christmas jumpers and people buying gifts.

Is this not so bizarre? Maybe its the social distancing, the masks, or the fact that we’re all a little on edge waiting for the vaccine to arrive. I never could’ve imagined this would all happen in a year.

Growing up to celebrate Christmas with my Filipino relatives is always my favourite. I enjoyed the feeling of opening the gifts, eating a wonderful meal, and singing karaoke songs after the Noche Buena. With all my memories of having a Merry Christmas, it made me realise how important Christmas is for families.

Christmas is the season for family gathering. Having a Christmas dinner with your Grandparents who you haven’t seen in years, meeting your cousins, and cracking into the gifts… isn’t that the ideal Christmas? But due to Covid I don’t think it’s probably not a good idea for a large gathering this year.

But thanks to the internet we can still celebrate a family Christmas online with Zoom. Crazy to think that this is the new way of celebrating Christmas!

Looking back now, a lot has happened this year. With everything that happened I can only describe 2020 as “life-changing”, and here we are now at Christmas. It breaks my heart to think about all the families that were affected by Covid in 2020 and that’s what makes Christmas merry for me. Gratitude. I’m grateful for my health and for my family I don’t think we should take what we have for granted this year when so many lost so much.