Where I live in the US (I live in Utah), the week between Christmas and New Years is relaxed.
People are off work.
People get together with family.
People stay home.
I go skiing.
Generally, traffic is less because offices are closed.
Unless of course, you’re going to a Mall (who does that anymore???) or to Walmart (who doesn’t do that?!?!).
In the Philippines, it’s different.
Something weird happens in the Philippines between Christmas and New Year.
We experience something that we call ‘Carmageddon Christmas’.
Traffic is not unique to Manila or the Philippines. It seems to get worse though around the week between Christmas and New Year. I think it’s because almost everybody is out and about. That week is when we catch up on everything we couldn’t do for Christmas and weren’t able to schedule in by the New Year.
- Visiting extended family (go or risk the wrath of family)
- Last-minute Christmas parties
- Last-minute Christmas shopping
- Visiting Christmas displays for photos
- Grocery shopping for what you need to cook for Media Noche (New Year’s Eve feast)
- Going to the malls to take advantage of the ‘Buy Now, Pay Next Year’ shopping deals. The deals you can get during this time are really good. We actually mentioned it in our laptop buying guide for Filipino virtual assistants.
- Cleaning up the Christmas mess and prepping up the house for the New Year.
These are just some of the things I know most of us do. I haven’t even taken into account the local traditions that would cause traffic during this time.
Like in Bulacan, the traffic would be caused by people going to Bocaue to buy fireworks. Here in Davao, the traffic would be caused by people going to the beach. There are cities in the Philippines that have festivals around this time too. I’m sure the festival parades would be back now that many of us have been vaccinated.
The week between Christmas and New Year is when you visit extended family. Either you have one big reunion where everybody comes together or visit/meet up with aunt/uncles/cousins individually. I had to mention this twice because visiting extended family is probably the main reason I had to endure Carmageddon almost every year (except the past 2 years).
Oh well, everything for family.