If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of being adaptable (and resilient, self-sufficient and pragmatic – not to mention hygienic).
It’s hard to get our hopes up for a ‘normal Christmas’ when there’s a chance the COVID-Grinch will drop down the chimney and cough all over the tinsel. So, in the spirit of ‘hoping for the best but preparing for the worst’, I present to you: An Optimist’s Guide to a Merry COVID Christmas.
Yule be self-isolating
Usually, it requires a logistical genius to manage Christmas. How to make it to the beach for coffee, your aunt’s house for eggnog, lunch at the in-laws, afternoon drinks at your old neighbours’ new (and unreasonably distant) place before nudging the speed limits (double demerits!) to race home to prepare a hot dinner for your side of the family plus ring-ins? Well, relax: this year, you can leave the car in the garage and stay firmly in the comfort of your own home, catching up on Netflix, slipping into a post-turkey coma and snoozing without guilt. Thanks Santa!
We can all eat what we want if we dim the lights. And when we’ve had enough, we can blame NBN for the poor internet connection and simply drop out.
Speaking of St Nick, let’s give him a break too. A medically enforced one. Chances are the elves haven’t been social-distancing and it’s no secret that Santa is an unhygienic character at the best of times: that musty red outfit; the dubious facial hair harbouring spilt milk and biscuit crumbs. Let’s be honest – he’s not the kind of fellow who’ll be stopping to wash his hands upon entry and exit of every house inhabited by every nice boy and girl in all the world. He’s a busy man, and he’s on a schedule. Corners will be cut. Frankly, it would be irresponsible not to close our borders to St Nick. He could singlehandedly create a global Santa-Claus-cluster as he moved from house to house, enthusiastically ho-ho-hoing over every surface. If Santa sanitised properly, his 24-hour circumnavigation of the planet would blow out to a week – by which time we’ll all have moved on to the Boxing Day sales.
Zoom Christmas dinners
As someone whose immediate family is spread across five states, I suspect I’ll be logging into a virtual Christmas feast this year. Sure, I’ll be missing out on Mum’s amazing gravy and Christmas pudding (not usually on the same plate), but it also means I won’t have to partake of my sister’s parsnips or brussels sprouts. There’ll be no pressure to eat anything festive at all, which must be a relief for vegetarians, who are encouraged every Christmas to ‘just try some turkey roll; it’s not real meat’. We can all eat what we want if we dim the lights. And when we’ve had enough, we can blame NBN for the poor internet connection and simply drop out.
How about giving the gifts that COVID has gifted you: like your new proficiency with sourdough bread?
There’s a chance we could all be spending less time in department stores, which means less panic-buying, and less risk of hearing Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You for the thousandth time. I suspect 2020 will see an upswing in gift vouchers and books (hooray!). But, for those wanting a challenge, how about giving the gifts that COVID has gifted you: like your new proficiency with sourdough bread? Just garnish a loaf with cranberries and leave it in the neighbour’s letterbox. Those funny-looking beetroots and tomatoes that somehow survived your COVID garden? Try your hand at pickles and relish. Those jigsaw puzzles that got you through the darkest times? Re-box them, wrap them in your unused emergency toilet paper, and send them to your favourite niece (complete with that one missing piece, naturally).
Yes, 2020 has been a trial. But maybe this Christmas won’t be all bad. So, put your feet up, enjoy the small things, and promise Santa you’ll be extra nice in 2021 (as long as he keeps his distance).