Photo Credit: Mackenzie Gerry
This holiday season I am spreading cheer from afar by safely and cautiously making time for my family. My family and I are doing a much smaller gathering, with only my immediate household. Despite the circumstances we are under, I am still looking forward to the Christmastime feast my Mom makes every year. I love sharing Christmas Eve dinner with my family, even if it will just be my siblings and parents this year. Although my siblings and I are all adults, my mom still makes us take a cheesy Christmas photo and unwrap presents one by one on Christmas morning. As silly as it might seem, I look forward to traditions like these.
Our family Christmas is going to look a lot different this year. The only people I know I will be able to see for sure are those in my immediate household. But since this whole pandemic thing started, there’s been a handful of other holidays and birthdays where we’ve been able to work out the kinks when it comes to video calling. I’m sure we will at least be able to do that with everyone, which will be nice. If the weather holds up and we have another green Christmas, then we might be able to see each other outside.
My friends and I have been playing games online to stay together when the restrictions on indoor gatherings have tightened up, so we will likely bring those out again over the winter break.
All in all, while it’s a very different and not ideal year, I am still optimistic that I’ll be able to enjoy this winter break with my friends and family, just in a different way.
The holidays won’t be much different for me this year in the sense that I won’t be doing much of anything outside the confines of my home. In a typical year, I spend my holiday season with family and most of what we do includes cooking together, setting up lights and decorations and enjoying each other’s company. While I won’t be able to have any family over this year, I will still be able to decorate the house and cook. This year I’ve been doing a lot more healthy takes on typically unhealthy foods, so the highlight of this season for me will probably be turning holiday junk food into something healthy(-ish). Outside of that, I want to do a lot more giving and volunteering this season.
TBH this year really won’t be all that different for me, as us Jews do not take Hanukkah as seriously as people take Christmas. Hanukkah has pretty much all the same elements as Christmas: the lights, fires, presents and the unhealthy but delicious food, except we have to drag the whole shtick out for eight days. It sounds appealing when you’re a kid: “Eight nights of presents, wowie!” That’s how they rope you in. Then as you grow older and more grizzled you realize that three days is probably enough. That’s something I’ve learned over the years celebrating the various Jewish holidays — repetition is one of the main pillars of the religion. There’s never just ‘one’ of anything. Eight nights of Hanukkah, Passover lasts a week, 40 days and 40 nights, 10 commandments, you see where I’m going with this?
I’m going to be doing an obscene amount of baking this year, which is honestly not that much different from any other years. It’s a Morrison family tradition to clean the house one day early in December and bake literally hundreds of cookies and dessert squares that we then freeze for Christmas. I make sure to continue that tradition even though I don’t live with my family anymore. This year is no different; I fully plan to spend this week covered in flour and icing sugar (while I ignore any impending academic deadlines) so that I have plenty of cookies to deliver to the friends and family I won’t be able to get together with.
This year is going to be extremely different from years past. I currently go to Niagara College as well and I go to class Monday and Friday every week. Even though they follow the safety procedure, I am a worrywart! I am living here in St. Catharines but I have my dad, brother and grandma’s house in Hamilton. Obviously, COVID-19 is more dangerous for older people (aka my grandma) so I will be going to get a test before going back home for Christmas. You never know if you could be asymptomatic or whatnot, so I’d rather be safe than sorry. Like I said I’m a worrywort, so I’d rather get a test, be negative and not have to worry about it. Then I’ll be able to enjoy the holidays with my little family bubble.