As the 2020 December holidays approach, everyone realizes that we will have a different holiday celebration this year. Whether you celebrate Hannukah, Christmas or Kwanza, the second wave of COVID-19 affects how you celebrate and with whom you celebrate.
It’s a weird December. After months of lockdowns and isolation, people have pandemic fatigue. Many feel lonely, tired and afraid rather than joyful and happy. Adding to the angst, the Premier of Ontario, where I live, announced another lockdown to try to limit the spread of COVID-19 effective on Boxing Day.
Because of pandemic restrictions on travel, and limitations of numbers allowed to gather in public places or in people’s homes, all of us will have smaller December celebrations in 2020. This is the year to forget having the ‘perfect’ holiday celebration and focus instead on what matters most. It’s also a year when social coercions evaporate.
Our family celebrates Christmas. Through the month of December, we observe advent as a run-up to Christmas and a time to think about the promises of hope, peace, love, and joy. We usually fill the days of waiting for Christmas with parties, lunches, and dinners with family and friends. We shop for gifts and bake all kinds of high-calorie treats. We decorate our house with plants, lights, wreaths, garlands and Christmas trees.
In 2020 we shopped online for gifts. We decorated our house to give a seasonal feel to the main rooms. My husband plays Christmas music every day to create a festive atmosphere. Christmas potpourri on the stove has created a lovely smell whenever I enter the house. I’ve done some baking and cooking but in small quantities.
What’s missing is the doorbell ringing with the happy faces of friends coming to visit, eat goodies, and drink a cup of cheer. We’ve identified those who will be missed and reached out to them. For those who aren’t on social media, that meant writing a letter and enclosing it in a Christmas card. For others, it was email or telephone.
Creating a smaller holiday celebration means looking in unexpected places for the magic of this season. We can create magic in our homes with kindness, caring for each other, and showing up as our best selves.
My wish for every reader is that you find hope, beauty and love over the holidays. Certainly, the arrival of vaccines for COVID provides the best hope for our tired world. Eliminating this virus will be a game-changer for 2021! I wish each of you a happy holiday. Merry Everything!