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.