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Christmas is different this year: Does it really matter?

Yes, this Christmas is “different.” To start with, for the first time since ever, there was no smiling, bold or shy child at my door step singing the Christmas carols. Blame the lockdown and the pandemic. And I must confess: this morning in deafening silence spoiled the whole mood for the day. Where did the Christmas atmosphere go?

I never liked to celebrate the Christmas Eve but always saw it as the preparation day for the big Christmas Day lunch with family or friends depending on the country I was living. A tradition I loved to keep every year.

This year, I had to push myself hard to organize something.

I set up the Christmas tree with lots of lights quite early in December and after a few days I was fed up with it. I even didn’t turn the lights on for a few days. And there was this dark tall something, close to my office desk to remind me of the pandemic misery. To hell with it. I came back to my senses and started turning on the lights each evening – sometimes even in the afternoon. But I didn’t manage to take a picture of it. As said: Christmas is different this year.

The crucial question remained: what to do on Christmas Day?

I have a special, fix festive menu which I don’t change for one simple reason: I’m too lazy to try new ideas and recipes and combinations on these days that are usually combined with stress. So we stick with stuffed turkey, and side dishes, and classic starters and desserts.

But this year, Christmas is different. We will not invite our relatives, not even some friends because they work outside their homes and are in contact with other people. We will not see at the table those who came from abroad. Neither the cousins who cannot travel from their home to ours as it belongs to another regional unit. And some we “avoid” because they recovered from Covid-19 a few weeks to a month ago. So we stay cautious. And at distance. Nobody is offended – I hope.

We do not want to sit next to each other and opposite to people we are not in close contact with. So, I cook again for an “army” and those who are all alone will come to pick up their share of festive lunch. We’ve arranged it so: they ring the bell, we send the bags down with the elevator.

It’s all somehow complicated and needs good timing and and half a store of tupperware in different sizes.. Am I nuts? I couldn’t help it, though.

I thought to bring some joy to those that have to spend the day all alone, on a chicken leg and rice or something.

Is this Christmas? No, it’s not the Christmas we have been known, but it is still Christmas, the day we traditionally share.

We can adjust ourselves, be patient, work through and look forward for next year and next Christmas.

Some of us may have experienced  “bad” Christmas in previous years, through losses and sickness. Some were discharged from a hospital on the very Christmas day to return to an empty, cold home, others knew they could be evicted at the end of the year, some sat in the dark due to unpaid bills and long-term unemployment.

So everything is an “idea” that gives us the opportunity to repeat every year. And what is Christmas anyway?

A chance to step back for a while, enjoy food, drinks and sweets with the people you love and care for, to forgive and forget and do a bit more charity than usual.

With the lockdown and the wide-spread fear of death, we can do it anyway, and organize online lunches, dinners and parties, meet our friends on skype and make use of all this devil’s modern toll to be with the people we love and at distance.

Of course, we miss a hug, a pat, a kiss. Believe me. We can survive it.

It is a matter of setting priorities and self-discipline. Difficult tasks, I know.

In this sense… – and as my wise cat says:

Chances are very high that we will be here again, next year, on December 24th, healthy (and why not …wealthy) wishing each other Merry Christmas!

And remember no Grinch or Godzilla can steal Christmas because we have it in our heats.

PS On the bright side, the lockdown, the reluctance of some companies to serve the click away and the overwhelmed courier companies have set me free me from this presents exchange tradition.

If you feel like take the poll, please.

How do you spend Christmas 2020"

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  1. Merry Christmas!
    Thank you for sharing this blog post. It warmed my heart how you cook for people you care about and are alone this year.
    It might be different this year, but we will get to celebrate together next year. The most important is to reach out to those who are alone. Give a phone call. Offer to bring something.

    And, thank you for your amazing job with this blog. You deserve some vacation and think of something else.

    Christmas hugs!

  2. Thanks for writing your thoughts at this time and for all the work KTG does through the year keeping us informed of what is happening in Greece.

    I haven’t done the poll because I am not sure what to answer. I will be eating Christmas lunch at the home of some some friends. Two households and only three people so well within the rules. Also all three of us are keeping as isolated from the rest of the world as we possibly can so a pretty low risk event.

    My family are over 2,500 km away so no chance of seeing them. I haven’t met up with them since October 2019 but we talk regularly on Skype and will be doing so today. Hopefully we can get together again in 2021. Not ideal but not the end of the world.

    The rest of the time I will be alone, as I am most days, but not in any sense lonely. There is a big world out there, so much to learn about it and today a plethora of tools to allow you to do so from your own home. All you need is the desire to find out. Every time I hear or read something I didn’t know before it triggers an immediate and intense need to find out more. Off I go down another rabbit hole. Who knows what I will find.

    I hope everybody enjoys their Christmas despite it not being what they really wanted. I know I will – as long as the gin doesn’t run out.

  3. Thank you KTG for your wonderful blog. It is full of information – laced with humour that I really look forward to. I hope you had a good Christmas – sounds good to me!