January 29, 2023

There is a conglomerate composed of well-known personalities who organized a movement known as “Tuloy ang Pasko.” They are advocating the celebration of Christmas during these most trying moments. They are assuring us that notwithstanding the pandemic, the spirit of the Christmas season must go on as tradition dictates. I am not at all sure if this is even necessary.
With or without the “Tuloy ang Pasko” movement, Christmas will come to pass. We will surely celebrate the birth of our Savior, not in the material ways that we did so during the pre-Covid times, but, in a more significant manner that gives a better meaning and spiritual growth to all of us.
The avowed purpose of the “Tuloy ang Pasko” movement is quite noble. It is to encourage every Filipino to celebrate Christmas with passion and fervor. To enjoy the season and live it with Christmas lights, lanterns, Santa Claus, reindeers, mistletoes, and wrapped gifts underneath the Christmas trees. The movement wants Christmas this year to be bright and magical.
Though we enjoyed this in the past, it can no longer work with the same fervor this year. Much as the Covid-19 altered our way of life, it, too, shall alter the way we celebrate Christmas. Perhaps, it is a blessing in disguise.
Christmas has become too materialistic. It evolved in a manner where the centerpiece of the celebration is for pleasure. It is stripped of its sentimentality. Its spiritual meaning is lost forever.
The celebration of the birth of Christ is a mere lip service that is supplanted by the desire to indulge in food and wine. There are lesser religious activities. In lieu thereof are parties, gatherings and celebrations. A happy thought but obviously a wrong notion.
If there is something positive that came out of this pandemic, it is that we have to reexamine our concept of Christmas. If we pursue it the way we did so in the past, we may get frustrated because we are not allowed to celebrate. No gatherings or parties. No hugging or kissing. But if we look at it in a joyous way, opting to give praise rather than feel festive, Christmas will always be special with or without Covid. As the song goes, “Christmas is always in our hearts.”
So, there is no need to foster a “Tuloy ang Pasko” movement. Pasko will push through. It is, after all, an occasion that confirms our affinity with Christ. If you want to be happy and joyous this Christmas, forget about Santa, forget about Rudolph, forget about the fairies, the supernatural and the superficial that make us happy only for a fleeting moment. Think long term, think about Christ. It is the root word of Christmas. You know what I mean.