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COLUMN: Despite pandemic, magical morning, great food, laughter are on the menu

COLUMN: Despite pandemic, magical morning, great food, laughter are on the menu

Christmas traditions typically involve excited kids opening presents, a huge dinner, festive music and maybe a midday nap.

This COVID Christmas won’t be any different.

My wife and I have a house full (all legal, Mr. Ford) for Christmas. Her two teens, my two teens and our two-year-old daughter will be enjoying the magical morning at the tree.

Nothing will have changed from years gone by as everyone will pick a spot on the floor as one of the teens plays Santa and hands gifts to their siblings.

My wife will be her ever-chipper morning self and provide lots of happy encouragement.

I will do something closely resembling that from behind a coffee cup that will eventually bring me to life.

The only thing different this year in that scene will be our little one being able to really enjoy the gift-giving and getting. Our whole house has been full of excitement in anticipation of watching Ainsley open her presents. 

Despite me trying to keep up with the wrapping paper being flung to the floor, I’ll do a thorough cleaning as my wife starts the amazing breakfast and gets the turkey ready (more on the turkey soon).

Christmas music is a must, until approximately 11:50 a.m., when it will be stopped and the channel is switched to listen to The Queen’s Christmas message. That is more of my rule rather than a tradition and this year, no doubt, Her Majesty will speak of the challenges we’ve all faced.

Those challenges won’t be on the menu for today though. I know many people are upset with not having family and friends gather, but our family hasn’t really done that to begin with. 

My mom and step-dad will drop gifts for the kids this year at a safe distance, which will be a change.

In the past, my wife’s family (aunts, uncles, cousins included) has had a big get-together on Boxing Day, but that has fallen off to the side as people move away and life changes.

They’re Scottish so it would have been pretty entertaining/concerning to see by-law try to break it up.

The smell of turkey will fill the house as my wife is unmatched in her cooking of the big feast. I’m an absolute turkey fanatic and not a bite goes to waste with sandwiches being made all week.

By my fourth or fifth coffee, toys will have been put together, teens will be posting their gifts on social media, my wife will be relaxing with one of the books she will have opened as I check out the scores in the World Juniors hockey games for the day.

Still, not a lot will have changed.

Our dinner will be a meeting at the family dinner table that will begin after saying Grace. The only mention of COVID that day may be a thanking for getting us all safely to Dec. 25.

The eating, the clean-up, the “just going to close my eyes for second” on the couch traditions will be the same.

Then, when the little one is in bed, the kids are scattered around the house (two of which will be practising their new ukuleles), it will be time for my wife and I to relax.

The big changes talked about to this Christmas Day haven’t hit us like they have hit others, and we feel lucky for that. 

But this Dec. 25 is what it is; it is unavoidable. Find what you love that is right in front of you. Make new traditions or really embrace the things you have always done. 

Call someone, don’t text. Call them and have a meaningful conversation.

Make Christmas 2020 a Zoom Christmas.

Or, just get back to basics, which I realize after typing this, we do every year.

Magical mornings, great food, laughter, hugs and evening reflections.

2020 will never be forgotten, but how you remember it and all that it didn’t take from you, is the key.

Merry Christmas from my family to you and yours.

Published at Fri, 25 Dec 2020 17:00:00 +0000

What do you think?

Written by Riel Roussopoulos

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