The 22nd of December has rolled around again, no sooner than a new strain of coronavirus has ravaged its way through London and forced us in the South into Tier 4 – a tier which no-one knew existed until two days ago! Christmas is well and truly on its way – but not as most of us know it.
It has been around a year since Covid-19 first made headlines and I remember at the time thinking rather foolishly- and partly wistfully – that it was ‘just a cold’ and that we shouldn’t worry. I was wrong. Oh so very wrong. This virus – which is certainly not just a cold – has shaken up the very fabric of our society . The havoc that has ensued as a result of it has truly made 2020 one of the hardest years of many peoples lives and so many people have been affected by loss, trauma, ill-health and loneliness.
And now Christmas. What the hell are we supposed to do with Christmas this year? Well, as 2020 fate would have it, it’s pretty much cancelled. This decision comes, as usual, at the very last minute. The Government announced yesterday (19th December) not only the new Tier 4, but also that the Christmas mixing period would be reduced from the previously promised 5 days (22nd – 27th) to just one single day. Except us folks in tier 4 don’t even get that.
This means that people have had to change their Christmas plans just days before the big day and although, as I personally believe, these changes have been made for the better, it’s left many feeling disappointed that they can’t spend one of the most anticipated holidays with their family. Plus, some now have to spend the day all alone.
Honestly, it breaks my heart to think of people shut up in their houses, all alone on a day that is supposed to be filled with so much joy, laughter and company. I know that I would be inconsolable in this situation and feel so lucky that I am able to spend this Christmas with my family as usual.
All things said and despite how horribly the government have handled this whole situation, I do believe that these new restrictions are for the best – especially with this new variant that seems to be spreading up to 70% faster than our old pal, original ‘rona. If we don’t want to welcome the New Year with an even more dire set of circumstances than we currently find ourselves in.
This will be one of the strangest Christmases many of us will experience. Something that began as a Christian holy day honouring the day of the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas has become a day of celebration for many people of different cultures and religions but I think it is important that we remember that, especially this year, Christmas really is just like any other day.
Although over the years Christmas has become a commercial holiday where people are encouraged to spend money, buying gifts and decorations and food and great lengths of time preparing a great feast for their close ones to enjoy. This, has of course, not been discouraged by shops and the big conglomerates of our world who begin preparing for our Christmas spending, it seems, earlier each year.
Don’t get me wrong, I, just like everyone else, am an absolute sucker for Christmas and it is my favourite time of the year. My family and I always have our traditional Christmas roast with all of the trimmings and love nothing more than to see each others’ surprised – even if its feigned – faces when we exchange gifts by the tree that’s been up since the 1st.
But this year I have come to realise how unimportant all of this stuff really is. After such a terrible year and such a huge build up to this year’s Christmas, I have realised that it is just like any other day. The sun will rise and set as it always does and the clock will tick at the same speed that it does each and every day. Perhaps it is okay if your Christmas this year isn’t as it usually would be.
Let’s all be thankful for what we have, as there are many who have much less, and take time to think of those who have suffered loss, pain and illness this year. Let’s remember those who must spend this Christmas on the cold streets and of course those who must spend this day alone.
But I really hope that whatever you are doing and whoever you are with – and I hope that it is at least someone or some furry friend – you have a lovely time filled with joy and love. As I think we all need a little bit of joy and love after a the heck of year we’ve just been through.
Merry Christmas to everyone. Hopefully by this time next year (or wayyy before then hopefully) we will be back to normal.
Congratulations for completing 2020.
All my love,