Christmas is celebrated by Christians on December 25 every year to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. The celebration is enlivened with decoration of Christmas trees with colourful lights among others.
However, Ipoh Echo’s brief chat with some Ipohites revealed that festivities this year are still toned down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Christmas this year is celebrated on a moderate scale and not as lively as before even though the nation is in the recovery plan with relaxed standard operating procedures (SOPs),” R. Selvi a/p Rahman, 41, shared during an interview via WhatsApp today.
R. Selvi stated that previously, there were many activities held at church and the tradition of visiting one another. However, today, she is only celebrating at home as she feels the situation is unsafe with daily cases in Perak still at three figures.
“The preparation at home is also done on a moderate scale even though this year, all family members can gather to celebrate Christmas and the new year.
“We make sure to prepare some food and gifts for exchange following yearly tradition.
“However, we avoid holding an open house as we do not want to take the risk, especially when there are elderly in the family. I hope Malaysia can quickly become free from the COVID-19 so that we can live safely and healthily,” said the resident at Panorama Lapangan Kinara, Ipoh.
Roselin Jebathai a/p David Rajan from First Garden, Ipoh also expressed her sadness as this year, her siblings’ families could not celebrate together.
“Like the previous year, all family members could not gather. My siblings’ families are still stuck in Singapore as the national border is closed due to the new outbreak of Omicron.
“As we could not exchange gifts with them, we can only communicate to deliver our wishes online. I only got gifts for my family, my mother, my neighbours and home helper.
“The merriness could only be felt when the government loosened the SOP to pray at churches and put up decorations there,” Roselin, who works as a teacher, shared via WhatsApp.
Roselin Jebathai also still feels that it is unsafe to visit houses of friends and does not encourage guests to come to her house as she worries about the spread of COVID-19, especially for her elderly mother.
“With the neighbours here, we only wish ‘Merry Christmas’ from outside the house. For me, this method is safer for my family.
“I hope the global pandemic will end quickly. I miss the carefree travelling with my mother and the family like in the past,” she added.