This Year’s Christmas is One for the Books
By Jeff Salter
This week’s topic is certainly timely: how will we spend Christmas this year?
Gosh, folks… there’s hardly any aspect of our lives that the CoVid-19 virus – and/or our political / scientific / personal reactions to it – hasn’t affected dramatically (for the past 10 months).
So it is with these year-end holidays.
We’ve already gone through a Thanksgiving season for which the national and state pundits warned us – or in some places actually FORBADE us – about assembling in certain numbers in certain conditions. Good grief! I refuse to turn this blog into a political rant, but I certainly believe families are educated enough to make their own decisions about travel and family events… provided they are armed with the best available – NON-political – scientific and medical information.
That said, my wife and I are both in the so-called “high-risk” group – meaning “old people” – so we’re being very careful anyway. And we’re masking where and when we’re told to — not trying to make waves and not wanting to endanger any other citizens. But whether we choose to assemble with our own family members is – or should be – our own decision.
We’ve made what I believe are prudent choices.
For Thanksgiving, we had two family households (7 people, total) assemble OUT-OF-DOORS to eat our dinner. We kept several feet apart, and I stayed close to the fire because it was downright chilly out there.
The plans for Christmas – tomorrow – have changed significantly and often. As it stands currently, we will assemble the same two family households (4 adults + 3 grandkids) but it will have to be indoors… since the outside temperatures are forecast to be around 20 degrees (our coldest day this season, so far). We’ll keep distances in mind… and likely won’t linger for a long afternoon.
Just to be perfectly clear: I DO take the CoVid issue seriously. Not only have I had friends hospitalized with CoVid, but our own son has had it (and, thankfully, came through okay). Plus my 98-year-old mom (in a local nursing home) tested positive and was quarantined for some 17 days. So, yes, I take it very seriously.
I’ve already been through some unusual Christmases… so I feel able to cope with this one. For Christmas 1972, I was a world away — stuck in the sunless Arctic Night of Thule Air Base in N.W. Greenland, hardly 900 miles from the North Pole. No family whatsoever, and only the friends (& co-workers) I’d made for the periods our tours intersected up there.
In Christmas of 1973, my wife, young son, and I were in Sacramento (where I was stationed) and had no contact with other family… except for a phone call.
In Christmas of 1975, my wife had just been released from the hospital maternity ward, and our infant daughter was still in the hospital nursery being treated for complications.
There were other odd Christmases during some of those intervening years. But I recall at least one – either 2017 or 2018 – where I was here (in Possum Trot) alone, with my mom in her cottage down the hill. My wife had traveled to Louisiana to visit with our son and his family; my daughter had traveled with her family to visit her in-laws in Texas. I took a prepared meal over to my mom’s place and gave her the gifts we’d gotten for her. Other than that, I was alone (except for Bojangles). I survived. Even though it felt a bit unusual, it wasn’t the end of the world. I can cope.
For a look at some of my childhood Christmases, check out this blog from a few years ago:
What about YOU? What was your most unusual Christmas?
[JLS # 520]