I will not be going home for Christmas this year.
It was a sobering decision that weighed heavily over me this last week as Alberta’s COVID number has skyrocketed and the province took stringent lockdown precautions, including a mandatory work from home order. My family, who live in Edmonton, were looking forward to my visit and my bosses at the Free Press were supportive of the trip, providing I quarantined upon my return.
However, if I’m to harp on about being responsible during these times and if I truly wanted to do everything I could to keep my family safe, I had to cancel my ticket and break a 23-year streak of being home for Christmas. It’s a hard decision many of us with family near and far are being forced to make this year as we balance our social needs with public health ones. It kills me to stay home alone but this is the right decision in these dark times when we are so close to the light at the end of the tunnel.
Looking to America, the world’s worst case COVID scenario, we’ve seen an uptick in COVID cases following Thanksgiving holiday travel. Their third wave is well and truly entrenched and while a vaccine brings us all hope, travelling this Christmas will only further spread this disease.
It’s not all bad though.
Christmas 2020 will be especially memorable for me and my family this year. While I may not be there in person my mom has made it clear she expects me to Facetime for present opening, meals and games of Lego DnD with my brothers. Indeed, I’ll have to decorate my little apartment this week and purchase the food my family has, so I can enjoy meals with them.
While it’s far from the Christmas I’ve been eagerly waiting for these last few months since I bought those plane tickets for cheap (thinking I was being quite clever, I might add) I’m not going to let COVID stop me from having a Merry Christmas. Nor should you.
Whether you’re lucky enough to have your family around you this year or are virtually sitting in like me, make the most of it. Make memories with your family, laugh, cry and be merry. Being human is so often about adapting to the times. It’s one of our most admirable traits.
If all that doesn’t cheer you up there are only two more weeks until 2020 is officially over! Out with the old, in with the new, I say.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all!