COVID Christmas In England

Turn a negative into a positive. This is what I have looked to do this year

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Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

Look at tomorrow and not today, focus on what you can make from what you are given. This is a trend that I began in April, realising that the pandemic was here and was here to stay, altering the very fabric of reality around it.

April was the first full month of lockdown in England and for this, I gave up alcohol. With less temptation to go for that ‘cheeky pint’, it was a good time to take a step back. From this, I lost 5kg and saved £100. When lockdown 2 arrived, I utilised the same approach, losing 2kg and saving another £100.

My point in adding these examples is that whilst COVID-19 has prevented us from living the lives we wish to do, it will end. We will be able to re-build and see loved ones as we choose. In the interim, you can get yourself prepared for this post-pandemic world.

Christmas is the next challenge on the list and my fiancée and I have decided to spend it alone. With such a big family on her side and both families to please, this is likely to be the best year in which to spend it ‘alone’. We are, therefore, turning a negative into a positive.

Just Because You Can do a Thing

As an only child Christmas was something to look forward to but it was not a wild affair. It was me, Mum, Nan and Grandad growing up. A solid unit of four, when my fiancée was used to 20+ people each year. The point here is that Christmas is special, no matter how many of you there are.

In the United Kingdom, we have been informed that we have a five-day window for Christmas (Subject to change).

‘Between 23 and 27 December:

- you can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ composed of people from no more than three households

- you can only be in one Christmas bubble

- you cannot change your Christmas bubble

- you can travel between tiers and UK nations for the purposes of meeting your Christmas bubble

- you can only meet your Christmas bubble in private homes or in your garden, places of worship, or public outdoor spaces

- you can continue to meet people who are not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to the rules in the tier where you are staying

- you cannot meet someone in a private dwelling who is not part of your household or Christmas bubble’

Making a Christmas bubble with friends and family,

I would imagine that the three household bubble will cover the majority of families in the UK. This guidance has been released as I would imagine that people would travel regardless. Agreeing to this early makes it appear that the government has done something for the people.

It is a short term measure that will result in another potential lockdown in January/February.

Just because you can do a thing, does not mean that you should do a thing.

Is it Not Better to Wait?

For me, it is better to wait until infection rates are lower than they are now. The release of people for Christmas will result in New Year chaos when everyone gets home from travelling to see their family.

With so many rules in place and suggestions such as no hugging or playing monopoly, is it going to be the Christmas we want?

‘No touching, no games or rowdy singing

Don’t touch each other. Try “distanced greetings” when guests arrive, such as the “hand-on-heart”, SAGE suggests.

Children should meet their grandparents outside where possible.

If people are staying over, only members of the same household should share a room.’
COVID-19: SAGE Christmas guidelines include no hugging, singsongs or Monopoly, Sky News

For me, this does not scream, Christmas, it screams day release from prison.

There will be other Christmases and you can still have fun where you are. We will and we will still see our loved ones one the festive day.

A Virtual Christmas

There are numerous ways in which to still see loved ones. From the Zoom call to the Facebook video chat. Technology really is all around and even my Mum can access a video call these days.

Society has more technology at its fingertips than doses of COVID-19 vaccines. It is the technological age and with this in mind, we should have no fear of not being able to speak with relatives.

My fiancée and I have a Christmas quiz planned with her family and I will call my Mum on the day. We will not be alone and for me, this still personifies the spirit of the season. We will still be able to see and talk to our loved ones, with the view of having a face to face Christmas next year.

From all of this, I imagine that Christmas will be a huge affair next year to compensate for this year. A quiet one this year for a rowdy one next year.

The Spirit of The Season

The spirit of Christmas is to give and receive. For me, this will be personified through the giving of time to relatives on the day and for spending it with my fiancée. Yes, it would be nice to see family face to face but to do so in a manner that is unbecoming of society feels a little superfluous.

If something is worth doing, then it is worth doing well. This is something that my Grandad always taught me and something that I have taken through life. You want to give life everything and so why spend time on something that will just be disappointing and lead to potential heartache later? Wait until next year, wait until summer and then really go to town.

Is it worth the risk to have a Christmas that is half stuffed? I say not and I say that the spirit of the season is what you make of it. Focus on the positive and not the negative.

A Final Thought

Christmas is what you make of it. It is a day to celebrate and if, to keep your loved ones safe you need to ‘take a year off’, then so be it. You can still see them at the click of a button, then next year, when we are further forward in our fight, you can make up for the lost experience.

Sometimes in life, you need to pivot and with technology, you can pivot safely.

The quicker we get infection rates down, the quicker life can go back to normal. The Christmas that my fiancée and I will be having isn’t the one imagined at the start of the year but we will be together. This is what is important and turning a negative into a positive, we will be able to tick that Christmas together off the list. There really is no better time.

Just because you can do a thing does not mean that you should do a thing. With Brexit in January, a third lockdown and recession on the horizon, is it not better to think of the bigger picture this Christmas?

Written by

A writer of many things, all of which make him think or smile.

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