The Ber Months are almost upon us, and you know what that means! Christmas is just around the corner too! Usually, you would already hear Jose Mari Chan and Mariah Carey in malls and establishments as early as September. If you think of it, this early anticipation is probably a good idea. Do you want to go for late Christmas grocery shopping along with the sea of people all rushing to get their hands on hams, queso de bolas, Del Monte fruits for salad, and other Filipino Christmas essentials? Nope. See, it is not a wise decision anymore, especially with the spike of Covid cases each day.
“But I’m a working mom, and there’s hardly time to go out.” Understandably, this is due to the limited hours of shopping malls and groceries to prevent more viral transmission, so moms often wait until the weekends or even the holidays to finally do the groceries.
Even more so, no one can tell how the weekends are going to be. Most of the time, adults want to rest and have peace of mind. Others have chores to do, and some still have emails to answer. The point is when you are working from home, the boundaries of work and personal life blur, and it is more challenging to unplug from work.
If you are familiar with the struggle, here are friendly tips to help you get ready for the Christmas season without risking your health.
Plan your Noche Buena earlier
One of the hardest things about being a mother is planning for family meals, but with limited movement this year, you will only have your household to feed. It will allow you to plan your Noche Buena earlier than before. There is no harm in listing down the recipes you wish to try for this year’s Christmas, and by doing this, you can be more invested in the dish.
You can try to cook new recipes you got from YouTube or Tiktok! When you plan to prepare what you need, you can also find better alternatives for some ingredients. For example, if you want to make grilled burgers this Christmas, you can try tofu instead of beef patties. You can learn how to make homemade tofu while you are at it.
Have an early budget.
After planning the meals you want to prepare for this Christmas, it is time to have a specific budget for them. Many people wait on their Christmas bonus first before doing the groceries, but that was before the pandemic attacked. If you want to get your hands on the ingredients you need, you need to allot a budget for them as early as possible, and you can already go and shop for them one by one.
You can also start with the rarest ingredients or the most pricey ones to make things easier for you as the official Christmas season approaches. You do not have to wake up on the morning of December 23rd to race for a precious and traditional ham.
Follow through with your weekend plans.
Going back on the weekend subject, if you want to get ready early and skip the sea of customers, you need to stop hitting snooze on the weekends. If you are working from home and you still got two days off, you are already lucky. Although we understand that you want to sleep in and stay in bed all day long, time is gold.
Should you continue enjoying (wasting) your weekends this way, you would wake up one weekend, realizing it is already the last Saturday before Christmas. You would question yourself or maybe not, but you would surely find yourself cramming like crazy.
Don’t forget to check for online deliveries.
The last item on this list is the most practical one yet. It does come with a huge disadvantage. If you are thinking, “Why would I need to go to the grocery if there are online deliveries?” Well, you make a good point, but there are meal ingredients that are not available online, so you still have to make time for early grocery shopping.
However, there are things you can order online. There are malls with online delivery options and even brands that offer same-day deliveries too. Use this to your advantage. If you can find online alternatives to other ingredients, you might as well do it.
It is already the second Christmas during these trying times. While it is already difficult being a working mom, let this one be different and better than the first. You deserve it best.