25 December 2020

2020: a year for a kitsch Christmas

 This was going to be the first Christmas in the long time that I wasn’t going to go to the Netherlands. I regretted that; it’s nice to see family! But I wasn’t comfortable with travelling in the depth of a pandemic, and the thought of self-isolation afterwards didn’t attract me either. So I had to make my own Christmas!

I didn’t really have a habit of decorating my house for Christmas, but since I had my own house, and it actually had a functional living room, I had started doing it. The house had come with its own Christmas decoration, and it seemed silly not to use it. So I had only made the effort once, but this year it mattered more. And yes Christmas decoration is kitsch, but hey, it is Christmassy! I didn’t try luring in a plant to function as a Christmas tree this time, as I had the impression the plant that suffered that fate wasn’t very happy, but I put up the lights and just hung the tinsel from remotely suitable surfaces and structures. And the baubles could just be hung from the ceiling beam or arbitrary nails. I was happy with the result! It really looked Christmassy now.

And what to actually do? I had plans to just do my thing, but then a bit fancier; go for a walk if the weather permits it, do a run if it doesn’t, light a nice fire afterwards, and make an extra nice meal. I also wanted to video-call with some relatives; that way I would still feel connected to them. I figured I could make it lovely!

It looked like this was all going to happen, but when all the UK nations agreed on what to do with Christmas, and it turned out we could bubble up with two other households, it looked like I might actually see people in person too. I could have dinner with Jaco and Marjan! A real one, with all of us being physically present!

This also agreed to with all the nations, but it was evident that Wales had always been more careful than England. So quite soon the news reported that the rules would be stricter in Wales. Anything stricter and our dinner would fall through. But then I read the small print, and I saw that even though Wales now only allowed to households to combine, and I don’t consider myself to be high enough on the priority list of my friends to be that household, it was allowed to add solitary people! So I didn’t really count, and I could still have dinner with them, even if a household of relatives would do the same. And then the rules were tightened even more; you could only see one other household, and only on Christmas Day. But that would still work! My friends and I would just be these two households.

I also started making plans with my sister, who wasn’t looking forward to a COVID Christmas. We figured we could have Christmas dinner on a screen! And we decided to cook the same thing. Preparations are ongoing!

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