The Virus that (Almost) Stole Christmas

Read Time: 8 Minutes

Well hello….
Fancy seeing you here.

It’s been a month and a half since I last published on my blog. One day became two, two days became one week, then one week became six weeks. Not to mention, I hit a bit of a writer’s block. Eek. But here we are. I wanted to publish one last post before Christmas, because I shan’t shirk my writing duties and not give the people what they want. Because what they want right now 1 day before Christmas is to read my content – not Christmas shop, not cook food, not wrap presents – they wanna read my content. And I deliver.

I’ve found myself feeling like someone’s kidnapped Christmas, replaced it with an imposter, and is holding the real one hostage somewhere in an undisclosed location (plot twist: Christmas is actually COVID-19 in disguise. I‘m just waiting for the big reveal, the mic drop if you will).

It doesn’t feel like Christmas, okay? I don’t feel it in my bones, no matter the decorating, the snow outside, the cookies I bake, the markings on my calendar. Something feels like it’s missing.

The obvious hole in my family’s life this Christmas happens to be my brother, who is staying put in Alberta, rather than traversing provincial lines to be with us. It’s the most respectful and logical thing to do, of course – travel bans are in place, and Alberta’s COVID-19 numbers are sky-rocketing at the moment. I know that there are many families out there going through the same ordeal, the same sad bit of emptiness by missing someone they love on Christmas morning (my brother usually plays the role of “Santa” and passes out our presents), or around the table at Christmas dinner.

It’s one of a few times throughout the year where a majority of the population gets the chance to feel grateful for our families, our health and our togetherness (unless you practice an alternative religion wherein Christmas is not observed or perhaps are estranged from family, I see you). But it’s hard to feel all of that when someone you love isn’t there. I suppose there is something to be said about feeling grateful that your loved one is being wise, and protecting the rest of the family by staying away. It doesn’t make you feel a whole lot better though, when all you want is for them to be there with you.

I mean … I could look at it another way and say … more rum nog for me?

*Sigh* Not even gloating over more of my share of a tasty beverage (how my brother refers to alcohol) makes me feel better.

Of course, there are families who always miss someone at Christmas time (no matter a global pandemic taking place) and they should be acknowledged too. We’re talking absence due to long distance, travel, sickness, or general estrangement. There is also no denying the death of a loved one leaves an even bigger hole in the lives of the living. This year there just happens to be more of those holes.

2020: Groundhog Day In A Year

I think another reason i’ve got less of an oomph for Christmas this year is because I want 2020 to be over already. Was I personally inconvenienced by COVID-19? Did I lose my job, get sick, have to give up my apartment, move back home with my parents? No – none of those things happened. In fact, I flourished this year more than previous years, both on a personal and professional level (professional flourishment in that I changed jobs for the better and am much happier where I am now, and personal level YEET THERAPY). I am grateful I had a home I could work from. I’m grateful I was able to afford to go to therapy throughout this time. I’m grateful everyone in my life is healthy. I’m grateful my brother is staying away.

Despite COVID-19 not interrupting my livelihood too much, I’ve joined the collective mentality that 2020 is an apartment building ready for demolition, and anticipating the construction crew arriving on site to finally blow it up. It’s been a slog, it’s someone kicking humanity in the gut while it’s already keeled over and bleeding. Can we cut the tape now? Stop the camera rolling?

On the flip side, something I have become very conscious of is that 2021 might not be any better than 2020.

Huzzah! New year, new me. Sleek, vaccinated, glorious.

Yes, we have not one but two vaccines (at least in Canada), but are we really thinking the New Year is going to suddenly be different? Who’s thinking that, show of hands. Look, we don’t know that. For all we know, the new vaccine could turn people into zombie creatures similar to I Am Legend. That blew up in their faces.

Will Smith. His dog. Dear God.

As pessimistic as it sounds, we are not out of the woods yet, and talk of “a light at the end of the tunnel” is something I have a hard time listening to and/or believing in. With everything that has occurred, I have developed a bit of an I’ll believe it when I see it mentality, too.

Perhaps that makes me come across as insensitive, from atop where I sit in my very cushy tower. I don’t know anything about medicine or vaccines, I don’t know the effectiveness of it, I haven’t had family members die, I have not been placed and am not currently in a place of desperation. People are trying their hardest to cure this thing, and while criticizing it from my little nook of the Internet might seem productive in the moment (to who, me?) it creates more break-down than anything else. Besides, it doesn’t take a genius to recognize there’s enough of that going on in the world at the moment without me adding to it – from COVID-19, from unrelated matters, from the comment section on Facebook. I’ve occasionally gone down the rabbit hole of Facebook comment sections (Why? Boredom? Torture?), and am never surprised when they turn out to be cesspools of boomers who don’t know that caps lock in internet speak means yelling.

Christmas Pivots
Believe me – I know what you’re thinking about the title: “Lindsay … this virus has stolen everything else good and fine and joyous about this year, how has it not already stolen Christmas too? What do you mean it’s “Almost” stolen Christmas? Does not compute. Stahp.” Let me just wrap this up quick, okay?

So moving forward and back to Christmas before I get on another rant (apologies). Maybe it’s less COVID-19 has stolen Christmas and more so that COVID-19 has stolen my Christmas spirit (rude). Perhaps it’s the feeling of oh, let’s not get too joyous and spirited and happy – wouldn’t want the rug pulled out from under our feet yet again. More than likely, it’s because people are missing the ones they love this year, creating a somber mood.

So if the Grinch is COVID-19 – is COVID-19’s heart gonna grow 3 sizes?
It’s a virus, I don’t think it works that way.

If one thing is certain, this whole year has been about pivoting. Christmas is not yet here, we’ve got 2 days to sort our shit out (Christmas humbuggery). Maybe, just as we’ve all been pivoting throughout this entire year (okay but when does pivoting become vogueing? Am I vogueing yet?), we need to pivot on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, too. Let’s eat turkey over Zoom (or if you’re my family we’re having steak), let’s open presents over Facetime.

Let’s not let the fuckery of this year, overtake what I concretely believe to be the most wonderful time of the year. I believe it to be magical. I believe it to be peaceful.

And yes, not every individual feels magical or peaceful around their family over the holidays. I would never condone someone to spend time with their family if it’s a toxic, negative environment (I have experienced that, and am glad it’s no longer in my life, so trust me I get it). The point is that you create your own magic and your own peace, whether it be spending time with people you love in your bubble, spending time with your loved ones over Skype, Zoom, Facetime, or spending time with yourself on Christmas Day.

This post was just as much for me as it is for you. We have the potential to let a virus ruin and steal Christmas, or we can make the most of it through whatever healthy and safe means we can. Just because it doesn’t feel like Christmas, doesn’t mean Christmas is lost for good.

Peace be unto you, no matter how or if, you celebrate or observe Christmas. Happy Holidays from my little nook of the Internet to yours!

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