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NurSpeak: How will you spend Christmas this year after all that we've been through (aH1N1, Ondoy, Pepeng and etc.)?

Supposedly-gone stresses of daily living grow more intense. People try to scurry their way off to the malls to do some early (or on-the-last-minute) shopping. Families spend loads of time putting up their usual décor. People’s olfactory and auditory senses are set for the smell of roasted chestnuts and the sound of Christmas carols.

Truly, Christmas is fast approaching, and before we know it, it has already made its way ‘round the corner. Yet we all know that this season is just not all about the merry-making and the festive spirit that comes along with it—Christmas is celebrated because of its essence in our lives. When we look deeper into the spirit of things, we couldn’t help but think about ways on how we can spend it meaningfully.

NJ asks the College of Nursing: “How will you spend Christmas this year after all that we've been through (aH1N1, Ondoy, Pepeng and etc.)? How will you make Christmas 2009 different from the previous Christmas celebrations you've had?" Students and professors shared with us some of their spur-of-the-Yuletide insights:

"After all that our country has been through, I will celebrate Christmas by keeping the hope alive, through a word of encouragement, a heart-warming hug, or even a simple smile that could ignite a spark of hope in someone's life. It is true that those who have the most hope have the power—so is my belief that through aspiring for better things to come, one acquires the power to rise up to the occasion and ultimately change the course of his/her life." –Gindy Valdez, III-10

“I'd probably spend my Christmas in a way that I would spend less. Due to the recent calamitie, prices just keep on going up and having an eccentric Christmas is not the best idea. Simply put, I'll keep my expenditures to a minimum...yet it doesn't mean I can't enjoy Christmas! – Marco Manlangit, III-6
“It's really not about where you spend the holidays. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I believe it's all about enjoying every second with people who never fail to give you those warm, fuzzy feelings of love and belonging.” – Anna Tan, III-9

“I will spend Christmas this year stronger, more grateful and more faithful to the Lord than ever before, especially after surviving the A(H1N1) outbreak and the typhoon Ondoy tragedy, and witnessing the subsequent damage the typhoon Pepeng has brought to the country. It’s always our family’s tradition to celebrate Christmas in a simple manner because we believe that that day is not about the gifts or the material wealth we possess but rather it’s about the arrival of the most precious, most valuable gift He could ever give us: His only Son, Jesus Christ. Christmas 2009 is going to be different than the others because of the tragedies, not because of the devastation they brought, but because of the resilience and camaraderie that it has instilled in all of us.” – Kevin Merquita, III-7

“A lot of people were affected by the different calamities that had taken place, and this Christmas I hope that I will be able to help them by giving them some of my old clothes that can still be used, and prayers as well.” – Janua Lavarias, III-6

“I almost presumed that this holiday season would be less merry than the previous ones due to the recent tragedies our country has faced. Yet, on second thought, I realized that I, and most Filipinos, have already lived out and celebrated since the typhoon Ondoy the real essence of Christmas in the spirit of empathy and more importantly in the virtue of selfless sharing.” – Paula Kho, III-5

“’Parfait minutage’—a perfect timing for us to contemplate what has been and what would we be expecting in the next coming days…in the next coming years..
Spending this year’s season of giving for me would be different…a lot of blessings again this year, but way too different compared to the previous years. I may have a good health, career and family, but a lot has been affected by the numerous trials life has given us recently. I am thankful, yet ambivalent, because I know, that one way or the other, a family may have nothing to eat or nothing to wear...
Moreover, being forgiving is one trait I would like to develop more, for I believe that it is in forgiveness where the true meaning of Christmas lies, and it is in our hearts where Christ is present.” – Ms. Sundee Arroco

“I intend to spend Christmas at home. I plan to continue reading books I long to read, write literary articles for publication, re-arrange my small garden, and spend longer and intimate moments with the Lord. I’ll make Christmas 2009 different by being more sensitive and open to the challenge of the season – that is to reveal His love and mercy through my daily needs.” – Mr. Elmer Hibek

“Sharing the blessings that I got from God by giving presents to the victims of calamity, and spending the Yuletide with my parents are the things that I would be doing for this season. Moreover, I will continue going to the mass together with my family, exchanging gifts and praying before the day ends—to thank God for the wonderful blessings that He gave us.” – Ms. Melanie Turingan

“I want to make a difference this Yuletide season by joining as many outreach programs as possible and by trying to render my ‘TLC’ (total loving care) to our less fortunate brothers. Christmas this year would be no different from the previous years that I’ve spent it with my family, for we will still practice our family tradition—that is, every Christmas, our family would invite children from Payatas to render Christmas carols, and we would share with them a meal and some presents. We want to make them feel special and loved.” – Ms. G. Medrana

“I plan to attend the 9 early morning masses as much as possible, since I wasn’t able to do so for a few years already. Also, as my thanksgiving for being able to overcome life’s difficulties, I think setting aside a small amount to be given to the victims of calamities will make this Christmas different.” – Ms. Lisette Navarro


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