A Different Kind of Christmas

For many of us, this year celebrating Christmas was a challenge. We were unable to get together with our friends and families the way we’ve done in the past, but that’s forced us to become more creative in the way we do things.

With COVID 19 still playing a huge role in our lives, we are at the mercy of the virus, and none more so that our seniors, especially those in long-term care homes who’ve been cut off from face to face contact with others. The last time I hugged and kissed my mother goodbye was March 15, 2020. Mom was in the hospital waiting to be moved to a long-term care facility. The next day she was moved and the national lockdown began. When the first wave of the pandemic hit, we were able to go and visit with her at the front doors of the home and speak to her over the phone. We could see her, and that assured us she was as well as could be expected. By the end of the summer, things improved enough that we could take her out for coffee or home for a meal.

But that all fell apart again when the second wave hit, and the pandemic worsened. We’d hoped to be able to take her home for Christmas dinner. Sadly, it didn’t work out that way. COVID made its way into the home and the facility was shutdown, forcing her to not only remain inside but stay in her room. She has tested negative all along, and we hope the outbreak will be officially ended on Tuesday, but that didn’t help with Christmas. So what’s a caring family supposed to do?

On Christmas Eve, the grandchildren went to church, a much smaller congregation than normal, while Grandpa and I watched them via You Tube. They read and were the puppeteers for the Christmas story.

They did a wonderful job, and while it wasn’t the same as being there, singing the hymns, and absorbing the wonderful atmosphere that has always been part of my Christmas, we made do.

Afterwards, they came to the house for a socially distanced Christmas Eve feast and the first round of opening presents, but this year, Nana wasn’t able to share in that.

Mom sitting in her bedroom window, blowing kisses to the rest of us outside.
My side of the family, minus those living in Norway. I’m in the blue and white jacket.
My sister’s family looking up at Nana. My sister is the one waving.

So it was a very different family visit, but it made Mom’s day. At 93, with the Coronavirus still killing people every day, her life has changed as has ours, but she’s as safe as she can be, and that’s all we can hope for.

Mom wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Christmas is all about family. There are several ABB box sets that you can choose from to keep the feeling alive a little longer.

And, if you’re looking for something quick to read,check out New Year’s Eve Shorts.

So, no matter the challenge, we can get creative this year, do things a little differently, and look forward to 2021 when hopefully things will get better.


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About Susanne Matthews

I'm a retired high school English teacher turned author. I'm Canadian. My husband and I have been married 48 years and have 3 children and 5 grandchildren, as well as 2 step-grandchildren.  I enjoy traveling, especially somewhere warm in winter.

6 Replies to “A Different Kind of Christmas”

    • Thanks, Susan. The outbreak status was lifted so we were able to do a door visit on New Year’s Eve. Sadly, all the time alone isn’t helping her stay in the here and now. Wishing you and yours the best in 2021.

  1. I’m feeling a lot more blessed for being able to spend Christmas Day with my loved ones after reading your post, Susanne. It’s been a terrible time for so many, and I’m praying that the New Year will bring an end to the suffering and… the horrible distance.
    Big hugs,
    Mimi

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