We are known to have the longest Christmas season, and we have the merriest, too, with all our signature Holiday traditions that are unique from the rest of the world. Even just thinking about Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year, conjures images of families having fun while putting up the Christmas Tree, exchanging gifts, homecomings, and sharing decadent meals on Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
We are all getting feverishly sentimental about how to celebrate the Season this year because of the pandemic and restrictions. Almost everyone is rethinking their plans for any festivity. Large family reunions and other festive parties need to be halted, or at the very least, dramatically modified. This doesn’t mean, however, that we can skip the traditions we grew up with. NESTLÉ® All Purpose Cream cites 7 unique time-tested Filipino traditions and ways we can keep them alive this Christmas in the comforts of our kitchen:
1. Simbang Gabi
Simbang Gabi is a series of dawn novena masses that commences on December 16 and ends on the 24th. But even when mass gatherings have been discouraged, it’s not an excuse to miss out on this family tradition. Since 2017, YouTube has been live streaming Simbang Gabi, and some churches even go live now for those who could not make it to church. This is the best option for us as we can still wake up at dawn and hear mass together with the whole family, safely inside our own homes.
After Simbang Gabi (and especially if you have completed all 9 mornings), a special breakfast will always be a good reward! A nice creamy egg sandwich along with a bowl of piping hot Creamy and Cheesy Ramen would be a great perk-me-up breakfast! Why not, you all deserve that!
Caroling means going house to house and belting out Christmas songs in revelry. In exchange for the regale, families give them snacks and money. But with the current limitations, why don’t you start “cyber caroling” this year? You can still reward them for their performance, so a quick Creamy Vanilla Roll that uses NESTLÉ® All Purpose Cream, would be best for a quick dessert. It’s light but filling, and its taste will always remind you of Christmas sweetness and warmth. The kids will love it, they’ll maybe even sing:”Thank you. Thank you. Ang babait ninyo, thank you”.
3. Putting up the family Christmas Tree
No Christmas is complete without a Christmas Tree propped inside the house. It’s also a ritual in every Filipino household that all members participate in putting it up, followed by some light snacking. Embellish your Christmas tree with a new motif, color, or theme this year then get everyone to decorate. While putting it up, it would be good to have something to eat, and this Creamy Egg Sandwich https://www.createwithcream.ph/recipe/creamy-egg-sandwich would be a perfect munch-on. When you are done with all the work with putting up a tree, a good load of carbs is definitely what you need to make up for all the energy spent. NESTLÉ® All Purpose Cream can actually help you whip you up your favorite food, such as this creamy Tuna Carbonara. Check out the recipes here.
4. Holiday Shopping and Aguinaldo-giving
You don’t have to leave the house and brave the traffic to shop, thanks to today’s technology. There are a lot of e-commerce and online shopping portals that offer gift items at competitive prices—whether you’re gifting a DIY-er dad, a baker mom, your techie sibling, an artsy-crafty friend, and every lucky person in your gift list. If the lockdown unleashed the baking god/goddess in you, sending homemade dishes that you created as Aguinaldos to your godchildren and loved ones is a better idea and NESTLÉ® All Purpose Cream has some suggestions for you. If Leche Flan is too old-fashioned for your forward-thinking friends, bring the flan game to a whole new level with this Creamy Ube Decadence recipe, and for something unique, there’s the Creamy Calamansi Pie your mom or colleague would appreciate it. Who doesn’t love cheesecake, although the Creamy Durian cake is made from Durian (WOW!) That sounds like a great present for your foodie friend with adventurous taste buds. There’s also the NESTLÉ® All Purpose Cream-based Tres Leches in Tin can , the sweet and indulgent Brazo de Mercedes Cup, and the popular Ube Cheese Pandesal. Nothing beats a homemade, baked-with-love present.
5. Eating Puto Bumbong and Bibingka
Nothing spells Christmas better than the cold breeze and the taste of freshly cooked Bibingka and Puto Bumbong from our favorite vendor by the entrance of the church. You may still enjoy them without having to go out. You will be surprised that your favorite Puto Bumbong and Bibingka vendors have their own Facebook pages now, where you can simply message them, place your order and have it delivered at your doorstep. But if cooking Bibingka has always been a plan that is awaiting realization, NESTLÉ® All Purpose Cream has these two ways: The Bibingka-style Graham Ref cake, which the younger kids might find more relatable, and if you couldn’t seem to find the Puto Bumbong of your choice, there’s always the ever-dependable Kutsinta made creamy by NESTLÉ® All Purpose Cream. Now Christmas mornings will never feel (and taste) this good!
6. Preparing and sharing Noche Buena spread
One of the highlights of every Christmas celebration is the preparation of the dishes to be showcased in the Noche Buena feast. Lechon or Ham, cakes, and Queso de Bola usually take center stage, along with traditional family recipes. If you cannot make it home to help your mom or aunts prepare Noche Buena dishes and are forced to make your own Holiday spread, it’s time to check out NESTLÉ® All Purpose Cream’s website where you can find specific recipes on how you can create recipes with cream and replicate all Noche Buena dishes you grew up with. First, check out this Banana Cake recipe from NESTLÉ® All Purpose Cream and test how far you could go in replicating your mom’s all-time classic recipe. Also, can pork ever escape our Christmas spread? Not this Pork Humba made creamy by NESTLÉ® All Purpose Cream. And of course, the Tuna Rice Casserole, one of your clan’s favorite must-try recipes for all occasions! Don’t miss out on the shrimps, too with this Creamy Shrimp with Alavar Sauce recipe. And if you want to try something trendy, follow this Burnt Basque Cheesecake recipe from NESTLÉ® All Purpose Cream. With NESTLÉ® All Purpose Cream, you can recreate your traditional family dishes (and try new ones!) then “Tele-celebrate” with the clan through video conferencing, Messenger, FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom and be with each other, even just to virtually bridge the distance, for a Noche Buena to remember
NESTLÉ® All Purpose Cream has been a great partner of culinary experts and homemakers in making creamy creations with a twist. Its versatility allows you to make delightfully sweet and savory dishes. It can be whipped to create swirls, dollops, and soft peaks to add excitement to your creamy delicious creations. NESTLÉ® All Purpose Cream believes everyone can create food that will uplift and delight others with every creamy spoonful. Every food we prepare, together with our family—even online—is a bonding moment too, made special as an expression of love by NESTLÉ® All Purpose Cream.
Every Holiday Season evokes a unique kind of warmth and nostalgic feelings. It’s one of the few times during the year when we press the pause button on the hustle and bustle of our typically frenzied schedules, and just sit down and share unhurried meals and special conversations with the ones we love. This pandemic doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker when it comes to these special moments as long as we are creative enough—both in whipping up delectable dishes using NESTLÉ® All Purpose Cream and in finding ways to reconnect and continue reinventing delightful moments like Christmas (and our time-honored traditions that go with it). For better or for best, Christmas for the Filipinos will always be about togetherness in whatever form. It’s about these little family rituals that add an element of intimacy, whether we are together or apart. It’s about sharing stories over sweet and savory dishes as we recreate delightful moments of our beautiful Christmas past, and planning for better days ahead.