By Jay Ledesma
IT'S just a few days before Christmas! Filipinos are known in the whole world to have the longest celebration of the Christmas season which usually starts in September, the first of the “ber” months. This is the merriest and most anticipated season in the Philippines.
While the Christmas spirit is in the air, for most Filipinos, Christmas this 2020 will not be the same as usual. The pandemic will definitely paint a different and unusual Christmas celebration for us.
For some, there will still be the Christmas parties or family reunions, Christmas shopping, and gift-giving, though on a smaller scale. While for others, it will just be a very simple Christmas meal with the family...no shopping, no gift-giving.
Still for some, having a meal and a place to call their home for Christmas is still a basic concern. How about the Christmas of those who are in the hospitals either as Covid-19 patients or medical workers, who won’t be able to celebrate with their families because of their current situation? And how about the families who are still mourning the passing on of their loved ones?
Just look around you and it’s very easy to forget about Christmas. But is that how we want it to be? Do we allow ourselves and others to be drowned by these negativities around us? Or we can make ourselves the source of “everything that is good and positive”!
Be the source of KINDNESS. Everywhere we look, there will always be someone who is in need of help. The street children, the homeless, those who lost their jobs, the orphans, and many others. We don’t need to help everyone, but help anyone. We don’t need to be rich to be able to help. My friend Larry Cleto shared that for P10, you can already give bottled water and a pack of biscuits. Your P10 might have bought that person his meal for the day.
Donate to charities. I recently launched a toys and books Christmas drive for two local Orphanages, and I was overwhelmed by the number of donors that came forward. Truly, when given an opportunity, people will always want to help. We can always find a way to be that instrument of kindness from others. There is kindness in each one of us.
Be the source of INSPIRATION. We don’t always need money to help or influence others. Our works, actions, and words can provide inspiration and encouragement for others who may be feeling low and frustrated during this challenging time. Send those random inspirational quotes through your social media for others to read. It may not hit everyone but someone will be touched by it. Share your inspiring stories and those of others you know. Post the good deeds you’re doing not to brag but to inspire others to do something similar. Sometimes, one just needs a little fire on his belly to act. Be that fire!
Be the source of HAPPINESS. With all the bad news we hear and read, we all need a little smile from a friend... and from a stranger. A smile will not cost us anything but it may mean a million to someone who is unhappy. Surely, with the face masks and face shields on, we cannot see those smiles. But I tell you, those eyes will give you away. So keep smiling. And those simple good morning/afternoon, please, thank you and welcome can always lighten a mood.
I recently joined this secret sister Santa which is meant to spread the feeling of joy and happiness by giving to and receiving simple gifts from strangers. Am sure a number of ladies were smiling. It surely put a smile on my face each time I receive and open those gifts. My sister Natie and I love to remind each other this, “it’s not the gift but the thought that counts”. Think about how you can put that smile on someone’s face.
Be the source of STRENGTH. Nowadays, it is so easy to give up and lose hope. To have that willpower and determination amidst challenges and uncertainties are what our brothers and sisters need. If you are a leader, parent, or business owner, be that pillar of strength and support to your people and family. Be at the forefront. Let them know that you are there for them and that you understand their concerns. If they see that you’re giving it a fight, they will fight with you.
If you are a follower, employee, or family member, show your willingness to support, cooperate, and do the extra mile.
We need to be strong for each other. One can easily break a single bamboo broomstick. But put those broomsticks together and you will need an ax to break them. In unity, there’s strength!
Be the source of LOVE. When and where there is love, anything is possible. When we do things out of love and concern, they become special. We salute all our front-liners who risked and even lost their own lives performing their duties because of their love and concern for the people they serve. We don’t necessarily need to be a front-liner to show our love for others. In our own unique ways, we can express our concern, care, and love, especially for the needy.
We are kinder, inspiring, happier, and stronger when we love, and when we are loved. Love is the greatest gift we can give to each other. Be that gift of Love!
We don’t need everything to be perfect in order that we can be a source of something good. Let’s just make the most of what we have and do the best we could to make a difference.
As we celebrate Christmas, let us be mindful that this Season is all about the birth of JESUS, who is the ultimate source of KINDNESS, INSPIRATION, HAPPINESS, STRENGTH, and LOVE for all of us!
A Blessed Christmas to all!
About the Columnist
Ms. Jay Ledesma writes about local tourism and business bits that delve on investments and insurance.