The Grinch will not steal Christmas

In these challenging times, I consider the Grinch, COVID. How will Christmas celebrations look like this year, amid a pandemic?

I am thinking of our two adult sons, who love everything about Christmas, and our three young grandchildren, who love Christmas even more. These are challenging times, indeed, but calm heads will have to prevail. We are all tired of COVID, but we will pose the question to the family. We do have a choice- inconvenience or health. Naturally, we choose health.

In my family, health takes precedent over anything else. It is safe for me to say that this Christmas will be very different from all the past Christmases. But it will be safe with a twist!

In my immediate household, there are just two of us – my husband and me. It will be extraordinary and sad not to have the family gather at our home as usual, but we will still connect with every family member through Zoom or FaceTime. The Grinch cannot steal Christmas from us. We are more resilient than that! We will make the most of the blessed season.

We will decorate our eight-foot tree; place all the presents under it; and we will set up and plug in the Christmas train which keeps us amused for hours with the friendly voice and the good wishes of Tom Hanks, the cheerful conductor. We will also participate in a virtual Christmas Mass streamed from St. Michael’s Cathedral while listening to the delightful carolers. We will enjoy a simple Christmas breakfast and later a small turkey dinner, all the while chatting on the computer or the telephone with our family. While we won’t physically be together, we will be connected in our thoughts and spirit that even distance cannot diminish.

According to the numbers and the health guidelines, we will leave the unopened presents under the tree until it will be safe enough to gather. I promised our grandchildren that we will leave the Christmas tree up until we see them in person. This new celebration of Christmas may occur in the middle of February or March. Still, it will be all the more remarkable because we celebrate a difficult past left behind but looking forward to many more celebrations to come!

The Grinch “inconvenienced” us, but we will still have our health intact.

I have much faith and optimism that the New Year will bring us closer to a “normal” year as we know it.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and, above all, a healthy, safe, and peaceful 2021.

Éva H.

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