Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Economy

Christmas in the New Normal

UNLIKE Scrooge of Charles Dickens’s “Christmas Carol,” we should not need ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future to jolt us into celebrating this season, even with social distancing.

Yes, the Christmas rules apply regardless of the GDP levels going down.

It’s the special cuisine that defines Christmas, like the turkey in some other celebrations. Still, food consumption is bound to go down with the lack of redundancy from attending several Christmas parties in the month of December, sometimes on the same day. With the ban on in-person gatherings of over five persons (expected to be breached with caroling instead of birthday singing), sitting around a table with frequent buffet visits is to be skipped this year.

Office parties have been banned, a practical excuse for cost-cutting. There are cases, however, of using restaurants up to their allowed capacity to hold socially distanced parties. Nobody said anything about the patrons not knowing each other when they enter the premises allowed to seat up to 50-60% capacity.

Certain food items mark this time of the year.

Edam cheese which in other countries — like the Netherlands which makes it — does not always come in a red ball of inedible but non-toxic wax. This item makes a prominent appearance for the season in the gift grocery basket and the dining table. (Now, not all red-balled cheeses are edam.) Softer cheeses, like Camembert or brie are not as photogenic. They blend with the napkins.

Food selection defies all prescribed dietary rules and focus on high carbohydrates (pasta, paella), high sugar (leche flan, food for the gods), fatty (oxtail in peanut sauce, callos, lechon), salty (ham, cheese), and irresistible (all the above). The deleterious effects on the aorta and vena cava of the food intake are psychologically suspended. Even this list of forbidden pleasures will be trimmed down with fewer mouths around the table.

The guest lists for the seasonal meals are fixed and may be added to, but not subtracted from. Anyway, the invitations will be virtual with an agreed-upon time. It’s strictly consuming your own food and wine, no sharing required.

Gift-giving is another cultural requirement for the season.

Food again makes its appearance. It is considered the most ideal gift for passing on to others since it has an expiry date and is often too much to consume in the narrow time window when it comes in a flood, delivered by motorcycle messengers. (Though this time, the food may not come at all.)

Gift-giving does not get affected by the rules of the new normal. Though this will be lessened. Some companies have sent out e-mails to their suppliers to forego gift-giving to their executives (unless you insist and send it to their homes) and donate the intended budget for relief work instead. (The sum of P2 million has been donated to the typhoon victims in your name — please don’t check.)

Still, the gift list for this particular year is apt to be shorter with lost jobs, closed companies, and the sober spirit for the season. Will a vaccine trial certificate make a good gift? (You have been designated in the trial group as the recipient of the placebo treatment.)

It seems necessary to believe that gifts are bought with an intended recipient in mind — that when one receives a gift, she is convinced she is its originally intended recipient. It is breaking unwritten social rules to pass on as original a gift one has received for herself. Still, the recycler is forgiven if the gift, even if second-hand, is nonetheless useful to the second recipient, whether it was as useful to the first. (I already have a Birkin Bag.) Cash, which is fungible, is an example of a recyclable gift with no onus attached, but it cannot be in very shiny coins — unless of the rare variety measured in ounces. An expensive watch is another.

Certain items cannot be recycled. These include monogrammed shirts (unless the intended recipient has the same initials), dusty books, used clothes, oil portraits (unless the recipient is a twin of the same sex), and shoes.

Food and gifts (whether original or recycled) characterize the season. Sometimes, we forget that both forms of sharing are meant to be expressions of affection. In the effort to make good social impressions, this celebratory message of love and peace can be lost.

In the new normal, Christmas is still a season of love… from a distance.

 

Tony Samson is Chairman and CEO, TOUCH xda

ar.samson@yahoo.com

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us and our affiliates. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

Economy

MORE than half of students in the Philippines consider temporarily dropping out of school until the coronavirus pandemic ends mainly due to difficulties in...

Economy

The Public Works department has ramped up the completion of projects such as the Sta. Monica-Lawton Bridge also known as the Kalayaan Bridge. —...

Economy

THE BUREAU of the Treasury (BTr) raised its planned borrowings from the local market to P235 billion in July, as it seeks to offer...

Economy

By Jenina P. Ibañez, Reporter MANILA is the 78th most expensive city for expatriates to live in according to Mercer’s 2021 Cost of Living...

Economy

LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS (LGUs) could boost their real property tax (RPT) collection by P113.4 billion with the implementation of a project that will digitize...

Economy

THE Department of Energy (DoE) has ordered National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) to speed up the acquisition of the required ancillary services...

You May Also Like

Investing

Having a good Instagram marketing agency to back up your Instagram account is an absolute must going into the new year. With competition stronger...

Investing

As a traditionally rigid insurance industry becomes bogged down by antiquated processes and operations, a handful of industry leaders are seeking to shake things...

Economy

US President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., will rely on ally countries to supply the bulk of the metals needed to build electric vehicles and focus on...

Economy

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned the public from investing or to stop any investment in a group named Maxxprofit Computer Trading...

Disclaimer: SmartRetirementReport.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 SmartRetirementReport. All Rights Reserved.

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.



Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us and our affiliates. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!