I don’t know how you’re doing in your part of the world, but this is a really different holiday for me. Exactly a week before Christmas the area where I live in Australia (Northern Beaches) went into lockdown because of a COVID outbreak. That was a real shock because we’ve been pretty safe here for most of this year.
I had travel plans to visit relatives in Brisbane, but Queensland closed the border and NSW put heavy movement restrictions on the Northern Beaches (basically they said stay home). All sorts of local get-together’s got cancelled and the gifts and cards I was giving sit in their wrappings on my bedroom desk. Yesterday (Dec. 23rd) the Premier lightened some of the restrictions so people could have a few guests in their home for Christmas, but we still can’t leave the area nor can anyone enter our area. Anyone I might want to invite over isn’t allowed into the COVID hotspot.
But today (Dec. 24th) I decided to venture out with my mask to do some last minute shopping. I’ve never been a Christmas Eve shopper before and this was a little surreal. To suddenly be in crowds of masked people who are trying to social distance while making up for lost time, was not as bad as it could have been. I thought the atmosphere was pretty calm and respectful. Like we all know we’re doing the best we can despite a worldwide pandemic, and despite suddenly being in a hotspot.
I can’t complain because it’s still a lot safer to be in Australia than anywhere else in the world. My son is here, I have a couple gifts for him, and he’s going to cook Christmas dinner. It could be worse, but it’s still definitely different. Looking at the beach instead of snow, the whole family being in several different places in the world. Not being able to see friends, and the second Christmas without my husband. I didn’t even put up a tree.
I decided I have to be festive in my mind. I bought a Poinsettia plant. I’m remembering Christmases’ past. I’ll watch a Christmas movie tonight and I’ll dress up a little tomorrow. I’ll even play some Christmas music when we have our family Zoom time. After all, it’s Christmas no matter what else is going on.