Xmas Just Isn’t The Same This Year!

Dear Woo Woo Girl: This is the loneliest, weirdest Christmas yet. Because of the pandemic, no-one in my family will come here, or have me to their house. I am covid free and very careful. I wear my mask, keep my social distance and stay in my bubble which is depressingly small.  I have done pretty well though, keeping myself busy, taking up new hobbies like painting, volunteering for a local charity, and walking my neighbor’s dog. It has been fun. But Christmas has thrown me for a loop. I haven’t been alone for the holidays since my university days, and I hated it. I am angry that none of my siblings have enough faith in me to believe I wouldn’t knowingly bring a virus home to them. They are married with spouses and children, and I am single. I was going to spend the day with my mother but  they have convinced my 70 year old mother to spend Xmas alone for her own safety. Have we all gone mad? I am really depressed and not sure how to cope. Shopping is an effort, and I can’t get motivated to order online. The thought of ordering take out on Christmas is just overwhelmingly sad. Never mind New Years. The wine in my cupboard is looking pretty good right now. Signed XMAS SUCKS

It is truly strange times. Dickens said it best, although he wasn’t referring to a world wide pandemic, rather the struggle between class wars and good and evil.:  
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness…”
It is as if he was speaking to the incredulousness of this time, the despair some of us feel; the fear and the loneliness, the Trumpness of it all. It truly is a dark hole, but only if you let it. Remember this is the Christmas that wasn’t. It won’t come around again, and it is a point in time in our history which for most of us have never experiences another earth shaking event to remember. In its own odd way, it is truly special. It’s not a world war, and it’s not a cultural revolution, but it is a turning point of sorts. For good or bad, it has reflected how interdependent we are on each other-how whether we like it or not, the world is really one. Marvel at that, because it is marvelous. Most of us were in lockdown across multiple time zones. This pandemic happened to all us and we all suffered in different ways.

At first, I too was ticked off that my yearly traditions were thrown a wrench. Our chaotic last minute shopping, stressful cooking and late night wrapping won’t happen this year as like you, I can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that I can’t walk out on Christmas  Eve day and do all my xmas shopping without having to order in advance. It’s discombobulating! Even the thought of Christmas turkey for four irks me when there are usually 22.
Everything is off kilter.
Then, after much thought, I realized I can stay home Christmas Eve. I don’t have to go anywhere exhausted. I will see a positive cash flows by missing all the parties, and not having to buy a truckload of gifts, and by golly- I really don’t have to DO Christmas. I don’t have to cook a turkey, but I can order Lebanese. I don’t have to worry about the tablecloth being clean from last year’s dinner-it’s the only time I use it-and, I don’t have to invite my brothers best friend because he has nowhere to go AND I can really sleep in on Christmas day. Christmas this year, for many of us is a none event. Another Netflick binge night.
Savor it.
But then there is the loneliness.
The sadness that comes from the absence of familial togetherness- whatever that looks like. And the anger that it’s not fair you can’t be with your mother; the feeling that your siblings felt you were not responsible enough to take your mothers safety into consideration. More truthfully, it is the anger that little thought was given to you and your aloneness over your mother’s safety. You were not set up. You were just not prioritized. Think of it as if everyone hunkered down in their Bunkie’s waiting for the last of the bombs to fly overhead. They hunkered down and so should you. Hang in for a little while longer. You could ask your mother directly if she would like you to come over. Or, you could take her out for a walk and order food for her. You could also cook a turkey and bring it to her. An act of kindness that would address your and her loneliness.

 It sounds like you were responsible, so act it. Organize a dessert zoom call, open up some bubbly and order in whatever your heart desires. Express your loneliness to your family. Let them know how hard it is for you. Record it and tell them you are going to replay it next Christmas. Then let it go. Many people are fearful, and it has left them holding on tight to their small world. They are not thinking straight. Fear does that. Remember, it’s not the end of the world. It’s the beginning of a new one.