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Celebrating Christmas during the Pandemic

So much has changed due to the Pandemic. We have had to come to terms with our new normal. We are continually having to sanitize and always wearing a mask. It's been a tough year, and Christmas will be immensely different.

My most cherished memory of Christmas

Most of my best memories as a child are from Christmas time. And they are memories I hold so dear to me because of how content and happy I was at the time. There is a beautiful innocence that children have. It’s an unapologetic sense of gratitude they carry for even the little things you do for them.  

As a little girl, Christmas for my sister and me was a magical time. We would put out a tree and decorate it weeks before Christmas day. And then spend hours on end helping with the cooking and baking. I remember how the whole house would be buzzing with a concoction of laughter and love. When Christmas eve came, we would put out biscuits with milk for Santa and happily go to bed early. We had to give Santa a chance to deliver our presents uninterrupted. Everything was just so magical!

And then, on Christmas, we would attend Christmas mass followed by a lovely lunch. We had family members and friends come over, and it would be a house filled with laughter and a harmonious chorus of happiness. My highlight, of course, would be the food, salads and all the delicious desserts. I would eat till my tummy would hurt!

There is a beautiful innocence that children have. It’s an unapologetic sense of gratitude they carry for even the little things you do for them.

What Christmas time means to me today?

As I grew older, I understood that the season represents forgiveness, a giving spirit, family, love, and new beginnings. Santa and the elves’ magical feeling wears off as we grow and realize the truth about Santa. And over the year’s little things start falling off like the tree with all the decorations. Then some family members would decide to have their celebrations. Which meant they wouldn’t come to our home. Eventually, the idea of cooking a variety of food for a small number of people would become redundant. 

Just like that, Christmas time becomes a day like any other holiday. With a smaller circle of people, immediate family only. I am, however, glad that I experienced that feeling of possibilities and happiness as a child. It’s such a lovely memory to have as an adult. Even though I have grown, and things are slightly different. What I value the most around this time remains; being surrounded by family and having an influx of love.  

There is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now.

We have gone through a challenging year. People have lost loved ones to the Pandemic. Some people have had to abide by social distancing and remain far from family members. Companies have retrenched workers, and families have found themselves in difficult and painful situations. This year has had a lot of people anxious and in pain. With plenty of tears shed and unshed. We have buried family members and mourned with a handful of people because social distancing is something we needed to do. 

Parents have had to adopt teacher roles and facilitate online sessions for their children. While working from home has become the new norm for many. Yes, a lot has changed due to this dreadful Pandemic. We have had to find a new rhythm from what we had before. For me, when the year started, it was a year filled with promise and new beginnings – or so I thought! I will admit, though, I am grateful for the excellent health and stability despite everything.

Let’s create our unique Christmas during this Pandemic. 

It’s also important to remember the true essence of Christmas. Jesus Christ was born for the forgiveness of sins. And that by giving his Son, God showed us his undying love.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. -John 3:16.

This year has been something out of a horror movie. It’s not every day that the entire world faces a Pandemic. And then having to be on lockdown for months on end with no sense of security, it’s been a lot! We have cried for the loss of loved ones, and we have welcomed new members into our families. It has been a roller coaster of emotions with so much anxiety. 

Lockdown is still strong in other countries and parts of South Africa. We self-isolate from our families in case we are carrying the virus. It’s a means of protecting those we love in every way possible. 

Yes, things might not be the same as all the other years. And we might not have the people we wish to have around us. But I think we can all agree that it’s time we embrace our “new normal.” It’s a bittersweet feeling, but one we need to accept. 

We have cried for the loss of loved ones, and we have welcomed new members into our families. It has been a roller coaster of emotions with so much anxiety.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate what we have. There are still good memories to create with the people we call family. Even though we may be far from them, but the love we share can never waver. During these trying times, we have come to appreciate the little things we took for granted before. It’s crazy how a life-threatening situation can make us have a different perspective altogether. 

Please create your own unique Christmas for your family, fill it with all the magic of the festive time. Have a tree, decorate your home and leave cookies out for Santa if you have kids. Keep the spirit of love, of giving, and forgiveness alive! And do it in a way that will work for your family. We have been through so much. A little colour and joy is something we all need. 

My daughter is still two years, and we never managed to decorate or get a tree. It’s been a tough year! I might get away with it this year but come next year; I will do better. I will, however, cook up a storm for my little family. Even though the year was not as we had hoped it to be, I am grateful to celebrate with my family. The little hugs and kisses from my daughter are the reason I am keeping a level head. And my husband has been nothing short of amazing. 

Let’s remember to tell the people we love that we love them, appreciate them, and proud of them. They might know it, but nothing beats being told how much you mean to someone. 

Have a very Merry Christmas and a lovely festive season.

Love ArisMomie ♥