secondMy rights, this should be my hangover day of the year. If life were as it should be, I would be in bed until noon, which is seven hours later than my children usually grant me. I would collapse in the kitchen, go back to bed with some toast and Marmite, followed shortly thereafter by a Sali Hughes-approved roast potato with cheese and Marmite (see Potato-Based Reflections random), which is, and you may have already seen this cool detail, basically the same meal twice but with different carbs.
Then I would rush to clean up all the debris from the kitchen, in the manner of the young man in the seminal Yellow Pages ad of the 1990s on the heroism of French polishers, which remains the most powerful story ever committed to celluloid. . But unlike him, instead of cleaning after the party before my parents come home, I would be cleaning after the party before my kids came home, which they would do around mid-afternoon. Then we watched The Muppet Christmas Carol, the children exhausted from the excitement of spending the night at their grandparents’ house, my partner and I simply exhausted. And then we would go to bed at 7 in the afternoon, just as the Good Lord wants for all of us.
For the past five years, this is how I’ve spent the Saturday before Christmas, and that’s because the Friday before Christmas is when I have my Christmas party. The food is always the same (huge cakes, which give my kitchen, while charmingly insulting my guests, a Dickensian feel), as is the drink (barrels of wine, see above moodboard reference to Dickens). What is Christmas without tradition? And while I don’t want to denigrate my own party, the prospect of my other tradition, staying in bed the next morning and eating salty carbohydrates, is sometimes the only thing that helps me get through the year.
Except that’s not what I’m doing today. The kids haven’t seen their grandparents in months, let alone spent a night with them, so they will have woken me up today while it’s still dark, according to. As for the party, I’m not surprisingly a scientist, but I guess the dictionary definition of “superpreader event” is “lots of people huddled in an overheated kitchen, all breathing on a table full of cakes.” So no party, no lies. The late and great Alan Rickman finally got his wish: Christmas has been canceled.
Despite Boris Johnson’s desperation not to go down in history as the prime minister who canceled Christmas, his government’s degrees of self-sabotage at the Producer level mean that, as Spock probably never said, we are in the holiday season, but not as we know it. As I write, the country is not blocked (again) (yet), and those of us who did not know any of the 62,000 people in this country who died from Covid have much to be thankful for.
But, and consider that he is a BUT 60 feet tall, it has long seemed to this Jew that, for most of the people in this country, Christmas is about traditions rather than religion, and most of people cannot practice most of their traditions this year. Unless you’re willing to put the health of your family in Johnson’s hands, and since Johnson doesn’t seem to know how many children he has, I don’t know, then he probably won’t take his word for it that it’s magically cool to see. your relatives next week. On a much lesser note, the Christmas market you always visit is probably not open this year, your favorite gift shops may be closed forever, and the local ice rink is pitifully empty. In what is truly the greatest tragedy of 2020, the bubble bath that I order every Christmas is no longer manufactured. The Lord tests the righteous.
American Jews have already been through a Covid-era Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Thanksgiving, and Hanukah, and I will bless you with our hard-earned wisdom on what it’s like to celebrate a holiday without its usual traditions – not great. But! It is not as terrible as you might anticipate. Doing Pesach with my parents and sister at Zoom was strange at first, but also memorable. How often can you say that about an annual tradition?
Also, without disrespecting my colleagues, whom I obviously and universally adore, but managed without this year’s office Christmas party. I’ve also been fine without having to go into town to do my current shopping, instead restricting myself to stores that I can walk to and (well, I admit) others online. Plus, sadly lack of parties aside, I’m quite enjoying this feeling of being legally obligated to hibernate. Too bad, we can’t get a babysitter * to reach the TV remote and Quality Street *.
As for the things that I do miss, they will return (a bubble bath, tragically, aside): I will see my parents next year, I will be able to take my children ice skating and I will have my party. And how extraordinary will seem what once was habitual. Finally, I leave you with these timeless words of wisdom: We may be going through a global plague, but we still have The Muppet Christmas Carol. Christmas has not actually been canceled. May God rest all of you merry gentlemen, and you ladies, singing along to Fozzie Bear, with the plate of cheese resting on your belly.
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