Christmas 2020 will definitely be more austere
Nutcracker-inspired Christmas tree in Robinsons Galleria.
Christmas 2020 will definitely be more austere
RAZZLE-DAZA - Pat-P Daza (The Philippine Star) - October 26, 2020 - 12:00am

Two weeks ago, I took out the Christmas décor from storage and began to decorate my home so I could start feeling the holiday spirit. Christmas is undoubtedly my favorite season and this year, more than ever, I wanted to make it extra special to shoo away the negative vibes this pandemic has brought into our lives.

For my tree, I decided on a white, silver and black motif with red accents, and recycled the décor I had in storage. I was quite pleased with the result but needed a topper to tie it all together. I also wanted to add some new décor so I went to Megamall to check out their Christmas items. And boy, was I surprised to see so many people in the mall that Saturday! I went straight to the home department and was happy to see it glistening and spilling over with colorful Christmas items. I bought a few holiday throw pillow covers (buy one, take one), and a few household items.  Since I was just walking home, I restrained myself from buying more even though I wanted to.

The Robinsons Galleria's Christmas tree also features a mechanical ballerina and giant toy soldier.

The late afternoon breeze made the walk home a pleasant one. How I wish the Philippines could enjoy that kind of cool weather all year long to encourage people to walk more without having to worry about getting all sweaty and smelling like car exhaust fumes!

The next day, Sunday, I went to Rustan’s at Shangri-la Edsa Plaza mall to look at their Christmas displays for inspiration and hunt for my tree-topper. At Rustan’s, the Yuletide spirit is always abundantly alive and magical, and being inside the store is like being in Christmas Land. The many Christmas trees I saw were either whimsical, traditional, opulent, pastel, or any charming combination of these themes. I also found a perfect topper, a snowman which sported the colors of my tree.

And then just days ago, I was at Robinsons Galleria to do some errands. What a pleasant surprise it was to see their towering Nutcracker-inspired Christmas tree with a mechanical ballerina and giant toy soldier at its base. Of course, the tree was surrounded by the selfie-snappers who couldn’t resist such an “Instagrammable” opportunity.

Speaking of Christmas, MMDA Council chair Edwin Olivarez came out with guidelines for those planning to have parties in Metro Manila. It was disheartening to hear how he encouraged only virtual Christmas parties for both the public and private sectors, and how gatherings would only be allowed to have no more than 10 people present. Similarly, a caroling group would only be allowed 10 singers, their ages ranging from 18 to 65 years only. They’d also be allowed to sing only until midnight during the season. There was also a warning that companies which hosted parties would be closed by the local government if they were caught. Likewise, government employees caught violating these rules would also be suspended. This will probably be one of the saddest Christmases ever. What’s a Holiday season without parties, reunions and get-togethers? This pandemic has really changed our lives drastically.

Giant Christmas tree with old rose motif in SM Department Store.

Because of these guidelines, I think we should already start planning our celebrations and having them early. Since huge parties are prohibited, we can just have small pocket celebrations that won’t conflict with the health protocols. In November, maybe you can have a really early Christmas meal with nine or fewer friends in a favorite restaurant that allows up to 50-percent occupancy. If you’re not yet comfortable about leaving home, you can always resort to “e-numans” via Zoom. I’ve had a couple of such meetings where friends who are celebrating their birthdays send food over to the guests. At the designated time, we begin the Zoom meeting and start eating at the same time. It’s quite chaotic because everyone is talking all at once and it’s hard to hear what anyone is saying. But it’s better than not seeing them at all.

Christmas 2020 will definitely be more austere than we’d like it to be, but I believe that its simplicity will remind us that giving thanks for our blessings and sharing these with those who have less are the true hallmarks of Christmas.

Fun and playful themed Christmas tree in Rustan’s Shangrila mall.
Snowman-themed Christmas tree.
Whimsical Christmas tree.


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