With snow on the ground this week, Hubby’s and my thoughts have turned to the upcoming holidays. We have decided to play it safe this holiday season, be cautious, and stay home. Just the two of us. Yeah, it will be hard. But I’m not going to dramatize my situation. Or even call it a sacrifice. I’ll go so far as to say that it’s simply Hubby and me being sensible. It wasn’t even much of a decision. Just seemed to be the obvious choice, one that will benefit us down the road, and hopefully those with whom we might otherwise have come into contact. The hardest part for me is keeping my big mouth shut when I see others making different, and what I consider risky, choices. But their plans for the holidays are for them to decide. I do know that.
Hubby and I will attend no big holiday parties this year. Or any holiday parties. Of any size. In fact I very much doubt that any of our friends will be having holiday get togethers. We’ll miss seeing our friends. Of course we will. We haven’t seen most of them since this time last year because there were no summer dinners or parties.
I will miss our big “hockey party” in particular. I call it the hockey party because the hosts and most of the guests are our friends because of hockey. The guys played hockey with Hubby at one time or another over the many, many years that hockey was a big part of his life. This was always the highlight of the party season for me. Held in our friends’ beautiful log home with the whole hockey gang. These people have been our friends for so many years they’ve become like family. The food is always wonderful and plentiful, the wine flows, and there is carol singing, and just general conviviality. I’d have had my outfit planned for that event already.
But, you know, there will be other hockey parties, I’m sure. Other dinner parties. And summer potluck events at someone’s cottage. And think how great it will be to see everyone after such a long time. I’m sure I will be hoarse the next day because I’ve talked and laughed and never shut up all evening.
I won’t be meeting my girlfriends and former colleagues for our dress-up dinner party this year. One year, when we were bemoaning the lack of a staff Christmas party, which our husbands never really wanted to attend anyway, we invented the girls-only dress-up event. Which we’ve had every year since. But not this year. And that’s okay. I saw these girls a few times over the summer for physically distanced drinks and nibbles. The last time we sat on my deck laughing and watching the moon rise over the river. And we’ll do that again, I know, in the future.
This holiday season, we will not be sharing my homemade tourtière with my sister and her family at our house on Christmas Eve. Or enjoying a big turkey dinner with her family and friends at hers on Christmas Day. And this is definitely not the year to head home for the holidays. So we won’t be attempting the long drive down east to spend Christmas with my mum and visit other family, none of whom I’ve seen since last November. In fact there have been two new babies born in the past year, one into Hubby’s family and one into mine, that we’ve never seen. One little girl named Rachel born in New Brunswick is Mum’s great-great-granddaughter. Making me a great-great aunt.
This part of our decision is a bit harder, I’ll admit. My sister’s husband has Alzheimer’s disease, so Christmas will be lonely for her. And my mum, well, I’ve talked about that situation before. My mum, back home in New Brunswick, waits and waits for us, any of us girls, to be able to visit safely. But with all of us in Ontario where covid-19 cases are rising alarmingly, and my sister Connie in Toronto which is back in lock-down again, that won’t be happening soon. Every once in a while I have a little melt down and worry that she won’t be around when we are able to visit. But that doesn’t help anyone. She tells me on the phone that Christmas is only one day, one meal, that she is content, and except for her arthritis is healthy. But I know she’s very frail. And, well, I worry. And send books. Ha.
But we’ll hang tough. Make hard choices. And hope for good news in 2021. We really don’t mind too much. We’ll wear our masks, and cut out non-essential travel, and try to limit our contacts even more than we already do. We are trying to shop less, or at non-busy times, and even with masks on to avoid crowded places. We won’t be meeting friends or family for Christmas, or for any other holiday celebration. Not inside, and not outside without physically distancing and masks. Not unless we live with that person. Which of course, means that all of our dinners and celebrations will be for two. Just Hubby and me. And we’re lucky to have each other, I know.
We’re not alone in doing what we’re doing. All of the measures we’re taking have been asked of all of us. At least here in Ontario. I can’t speak for where you live. And I don’t see it as being too big a price to pay for curbing the spread of Covid-19. Not too high a price for the health of someone we love. And not to get dramatic about it because I said I wouldn’t… but… I don’t think staying at home during the holidays is too high a price to pay for the life of someone else. Maybe someone we love. Maybe someone we’ve never even met.
Yesterday on Facebook I read a health advisory about the current state of the pandemic issued by the government, and then stupidly stumbled into the comment section. The spouting of misinformation in the comments was astounding. But the comment of one person who quoted some ridiculously low number as the percentage of covid cases which resulted in a fatality, and said, in a cavalier tone, that travel or seeing family was “worth taking a risk with those odds,” shocked me. And it was really hard to click away and to not lash out in a comment of my own.
It was hard to keep my mouth shut and not try to reason with this person. Hard to not refer to crowded hospitals, and ICU units filled to capacity in many places. Hospitals that have had to delay other important treatment for people who don’t have covid to be able to treat the covid patients. Okay… I’m ranting, and I didn’t want to do that. Besides all this information is out there. Lots and lots of information from reputable sources. And it’s so easy to find, if people want to find it.
I know that we all live in different places in different situations. That it’s none of my business what you or anyone else does. Except, except… if it has an impact on my ninety-three year old mum. My friends, or their children, who have diabetes. Or the friend who is currently in cancer treatment. Or, well, you get the picture.
Okay, I’m done. It’s sunny outside, and there’s snow on the ground, and I’m going to go for a walk in my new winter boots. The sunshine and fresh, really fresh, air will be good for me. I will listen to a lovely podcast from Slightly Foxed. And breath deeply. Then I’ll come in and call my mum and we can talk books.
That won’t be hard to do at all.
As usual, it’s your turn, my friends. Your thoughts and ideas are always welcome here.