Grace Campbell's Coronavirus Christmastime Tips
In my estimation, this year Christmas will be a lot like the time I lost my virginity; strange and underwhelming. What is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, in true 2020 style, Christmas this year will sadly be robbed of all its usual wonders.
This isn’t to say that Christmas this year won’t be fun. I am a firm believer in the ‘Only boring people get bored’ sentiment. I think Christmas this year will be whatever we decide to make of it. But one thing is true; it won’t be the Christmas we’re all used to.
Usually, when the world isn’t riddled with a deathly virus, my favourite part of Christmas is Christmas Eve. On the 24th of December my friends and I have a tradition of going to the Boston; an old mans pub in Tufnell Park, North London. Everyone I know from this one pocket of London I grew up in goes to the Boston on Christmas Eve. It is the biggest night on the social calendar, mainly because its a night which is bound to produce gossip. People snog, they break up, get back together, and there are just so many fights. On Christmas eve I personally drink so much booze, and chat so much shit, that's when I roll home at 3 in the morning on Christmas Day I’ve lost both my voice, my dignity, and my mum’s approval of me.
This year, Christmas Eve will likely not be spent in a rammed pub because well, that would be Covid central. Christmas Crackers will be swapped for bottles of hand sanitiser, and kissing strangers under the mistletoe will seem like a pipe dream for single people. So how do we cope with such a dramatic shift? How do we get through Christmas time with our families, some of whom we’ve spent the entire year locked inside with? Here are some of my top tips:
Try not to talk about the pandemic.
I know that our lives have been dominated by a pandemic, or as I call it, the pandem, for short. It’s hard not to talk about it when it’s the main event of the year, but on Christmas day I think we should feel we are safely escaping the pandem for a day. With your bubbles that you’re spending Christmas with, try not to bring the vibe down by talking non-stop about the pandem, and how much of a downer this year has been. No one likes a Debbie downer on Christmas day so make this day more Christmas and less corona.
"If a family member questions why you’re going back for another pig in a blanket, tell them it’s because food is blanket that’s helping you get through the rest of this wild year."
Don't let a family member fat shame you or themselves.
Christmas is all about food, and for too long it’s been a time where we fat-shame ourselves, and others. This year diet culture has tried to aggressively attack us while we’ve been dealing with an intense and arduous pandemic. And you know what? I’m sick of it, because we all deserve better. This year our main focus is to survive, if you eat for comfort, do it. And take that into Christmas with you. On Christmas day, if a family member questions why you’re going back for another pig in a blanket, tell them it’s because food is blanket that’s helping you get through the rest of this wild year.
Make your grandparents something sentimental.
The elder generations have lost out so much this year. Being particularly vulnerable, most of them have lost their connections to the outside world. They’ve become anxious about death, loneliness, and whether or not Strictly Come Dancing will go ahead. It is important this year that we remind our elders that they are still a part of our world, so give them a gift that will remind them how loved they are.
Being single at Christmas is great.
Christmas when you’re single can often feel like a failure. Christmas movies tell us Christmas is the time for love. Christmas songs put on pressure for us to ‘find the one’ by the eve of Christmas. This is total bullshit. It’s an idea sold to us by the patriarchy. Being single at Christmas doesn’t mean that it’s a loveless Christmas, it just means you can give all of that love to your friends and family. Make this Christmas a time to appreciate the ones who have been by your side this year. And, obviously, if you are in need of some attention, why not download some of the dating apps?
Christmas; it’s really just a day.
My family aren’t huge on Christmas because, as my dad reminds me, ‘We aren’t fucking religious.’ While I don’t endorse his sentiment, I do think sometimes it’s good to remind ourselves that Christmas is in fact just a day. If this Christmas isn’t the one you had imagined, or hoped it would be, remember it will pass, just like every other bad day does.