5 ways to show your love from afar this Christmas
MANILA, Philippines – For overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the best gift that they could give their families this Christmas is to go home and spend the holidays with them.
Sadly, this isn’t always possible as they are saddled by obligations to their employers or do not enough money to shell out for a plane ticket going home.
According to the 2017 Survey on Overseas Filipinos, an estimated 2.3 million OFWs worked abroad at any time between April and September last year. We often hear, if not have personal knowledge, of stories about OFWs expressing homesickness and disappointment at being away from their families during the most important occasions throughout the year. Can you imagine how many more from this number won’t be able to go home this Christmas?
"mga OFW na uuwi sa pasko"— luna (@veronsprt) September 18, 2018
nope, not my dad
yong bigla ka lang napakanta ng "pasko na sinta ko"tas naalala mo malapit na ang pasko tas wala ka sa pamilya mobr>shaklap ng buhay ofw !!!— lyn (@lyncake05) September 12, 2018
OFW feels iba parin talaga ang pasko at new year sa pinas NAKAKAMISS pic.twitter.com/QprUexMRlQ— (@pusong_bato888) December 31, 2017
Bilang OFw npaka lungkot po ang malayo ka sa mga mahal mo sa buhay,Lalo na po nag PASKO AT mgneNew na dmo cla kasama...Pero ok lng po para namn po ito sknla! Happy New year po pic.twitter.com/08NNMiFYFQ— cherylfloreslacosta (@cherylfloresla1) December 30, 2017
Despite the distance, there are the next best things that OFWs can do or give to show some semblance of “being there” and alleviate yearning. Here are some of them:
Write letters with a personal touch
Letter writing has seemingly lost its allure with the arrival of chat and video apps that provide instant connectivity for little to no cost. Tech advancements are great and all, but this old-fashioned way of communicating offers a kind of personal touch that apps don’t.
For the person receiving it, it’s more meaningful and heartwarming to get a tangible, handwritten letter full of comforting words that’s not often said out loud. Your families could keep your letters, too, and go back to them any time they need to.
Share memories and experiences
As you listen to your family’s stories about things back home, don’t forget to share some of your own experiences, too! You could take lots of photos of the ways the country where you are in celebrates Christmas, or film yourself as you cook a traditional meal, and share it with them through a messaging app or through an album on Facebook with a note that says you’d love to show or make these things for them the next time you are together. Show them that they’re on your mind always in everything that you do.
Put up decors together
There’s a nifty app called ChoreMonster that parents can use to make chores fun and rewarding for their kids. But instead of using it to just assign everyday chores, why not set it up so that this Christmas, the chores are all about putting up decors around the house? As your kids tick their finished chores done through the app, you get notifications – it’s as if they’re reporting to you, too!
Do things together – virtually
Who says you can’t bond with your family anymore while you’re away? One way to do so is through watching a TV series or movie “together” through a video streaming service. For example, Netflix offers premium subscription that up to 4 members of the family can share at the same time! Go on a video call while you watch and it’ll feel like you’re enjoying the movie or series together.
Send gifts to show you care
Nothing can ever replace your presence, but well-thought out gifts could make up for it. Even though you’re in a far place, it’s still very much possible to give them something nice this Christmas, whether it’s a toy your bunso has been bugging you about for so long or a camera for a niece who’s just discovered a newfound love for photography, or cash to help fund your eldest’s first out-of-the-country trip or your parents’ sari-sari store business.
Moneygram, a money transfer company, recently forged a partnership with Gcash that now allows its customers worldwide to send money to over 10 million Gcash mobile wallets in the Philippines 24/7.
All they need to do is log on to Moneygram online or visit a Moneygram agent outlet, and transfer funds directly to a Gcash mobile wallet anywhere in the Philippines. For security and convenience, recipients will receive a text notifying them of the incoming transfer.
This Christmas, don’t let the distance dishearten you from celebrating with your family. Show them that you care by making the effort to have your presence felt.
To our OFW readers, how do you show your love for your family in the Philippines during the holidays? Share them with us in the comments! – Rappler.com