How will you spend your Christmas in the time of pandemic?
And just like that it’s Christmas season already! The year 2020 could be the most extraordinary and challenging year for most of us.
Jobs were lost, businesses closed shop. Some dear family and friends were also lost in this COVID-19 pandemic. And we don’t know when this will really end.
We have been in this unusual lifestyle for almost a year now. Work, studies, and leisure are all done from home. No parties, no big gatherings, no Christmas shopping at crowded malls and tiangges.
For the Christmas-loving Filipinos, this is a sacrifice. But let’s try to look at things from a brighter perspective. For one, this is an opportunity to save as we don’t have to incur all the usual Christmas expenses. (More on this in a future article)
The absence of all the Christmas parties and other activities means that we will be able to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. There won’t be monstrous traffic jams (I hope), stressful preparations for Christmas programs and parties, and hopefully, gift giving will decrease, saving each of us not only money, but also saving us from receiving way too many sweets and other Christmas gifts that end up as clutter at home.
Hopefully, Santa Claus will not be the center of the celebration, but the rightful bida of the season.
I wish to share with you a story about my sons while they were growing up. Since my husband and I were not raised believing in Santa Claus giving us our Christmas gifts, we did the same for our children. In fact, our most prominent Christmas décor at home in bright Christmas-colored lights says “Happy Birthday Jesus!” (Oh no, this reminds me, I have to start decorating soon!)
One Christmas when they were still very young, I asked them, “What birthday gift will you give Jesus this Christmas?” Since He doesn’t need anything material, my three young sons ended up writing letters to Jesus promising to be better in the coming year. I remember my oldest son Martin reading his letter to us,
For this Christmas my birthday to you is to be a less masungit kuya to my younger brothers Enrique and Anton.”
This went on for a few years and later evolved into our Family Yearender or what we oftentimes call Family Goal Setting. After Christmas and before New Year we go to a place we have not been to together as a family. We discover the place and allot one half-day to discuss our family goals. We start with a prayer followed by an assessment of the year. We give ourselves individual self-ratings from 1 to 10, 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest in accomplishing the goals set for the year. After which, we share our individual goals for the coming year.
What this has done to us is to be more aware of our goals and dreams, making sure that they are aligned with our individual and family values. It has made each family member accountable to his/her dreams. It has also made each family member aware of the others’ goals making it easier to help one another. It could be as simple as passing on an article that’s helpful, referring a client, giving a gift that’s relevant or helpful in achieving the other’s goal.
Let the challenges of Christmas in the time of pandemic be an opportunity for all of us to celebrate the season more meaningfully. Try the Family Goal Setting with your family this year no matter where, even just at home. Tell me how it works. Don’t you think planning your coming year with your family, making sure your goals are aligned with your core values, is the greatest gift you can give our birthday celebrator? I do. In fact, it’s also the greatest gift we can give to ourselves.
Cheers to high FQ!
1. I will give an introductory talk to Shell Philippines employees on Friday (Nov. 27, 2020). This is in preparation for their in-depth workshop early next year. I’m excited for their financial transformation.
2. I will give an FQ Talk for Zonta Philippines on Dec. 2, 2020. There will be young students in the audience which makes me very hopeful. This event is happening through the kindness of Insular Life.
3. How do you rate yourself when it comes to FQ? If you want to find out, take the FQ test and see where you stand right now. Scan the QR code or click the link http://fqmom.com/dev-fqtest/app/#/questionnaire.
4. Have you visited our new home recently? Please do, click http://fqmom.com and let’s continue the conversation.
5. If you want to enhance your FQ through stories, check out FQ Mom books, available in print (with autograph) and ebook versions.