Thursday, October 28

‘Small details make a big difference’: Share your experiences of spending Christmas alone | Christmas


WWhile most people in Australia are preparing to celebrate smashing the Covid-19 curve by hosting relatively normal Christmases this year, there are many who will spend Friday alone: ​​those locked up or in forced isolation.

Emytha Taihutu never expected to be in Australia for Christmas, but after her partner’s medical condition prevented her from returning to Bali, she made the trip to care for him. Now she must spend Christmas Day alone in a hotel room in Sydney.

“It is quite difficult because Christmas is the best time of the year. I love spending time with the family, ”he said.

“I cried when I got to Australia.”

Christmas decorations in Emytha Taihutu's hotel room in Sydney.
Christmas decorations in Emytha Taihutu’s hotel room in Sydney. Photography: Emytha Taihutu

In fact, Taihutu has cried a lot since he came to his room. But the architect is determined to make the most of a bad situation, transforming scrap paper, magazines and even food packaging into beautiful Christmas decorations to light up her room.

“When I arrived they asked me what I needed and I said ‘could you send me some watercolors?’ I started with that, and with the scrap paper I started creating Christmas trees and angels and trying to make it as cheerful as possible to feel like I don’t feel alone, ”she said.

Her room is now decorated with hand-painted Merry Christmas signs, intricate 3D snowflakes, and intricate cardboard Christmas trees.

Cardboard Christmas trees made by Emytha Taihutu.
Cardboard Christmas trees made by Emytha Taihutu. Photography: Emytha Taihutu

“I’m making Christmas thank you cards for all the staff, so when they come to pick up the food, I put a little thank you card there. I love it, ”he said.

Taihutu will be video calling with her and her partner’s family on Christmas Day, and while she’s looking forward to it, she says it won’t be the same.

“I already cried this morning because Christmas Eve is the important day in Indonesia … But my partner was saying, at least we have New Years Eve together.”

On Sydney’s North Beaches, there are now thousands of people preparing for a closed Christmas. While slightly relaxed restrictions were put in place for the north side of the peninsula during the Christmas period, Rebecca Anderson’s family will not be able to take advantage of it.

Their children sneezed a few days before Christmas, which means the whole family has had to isolate themselves while they wait for the test results. Unfortunately, they didn’t buy ingredients for Christmas lunch beforehand.

“I was waiting until today to get paid to go shopping, but my kids got sick … You can’t get anything you can’t even click and collect,” he said.

“I have some rice, I have some oatmeal. We may have some frozen vegetables so I can make fried rice. “

But Anderson says she’s secretly feeling a bit relieved.

“I certainly don’t feel miserable about canceling Christmas,” he laughed.

“In fact, it’s such a relief not to have to prepare food, carry food, go somewhere and then, you know, drive home.

“I think there are a lot of people who feel like Christmas itself has been lost along the way and it’s actually a good time to, you know, make it simpler again. We are going to take the time to be grateful for what we have, not worry about gifts, not worry about food. “

The Bronwen Seal family is also trying to make the most of this Christmas, even though it has now spread around the world.

Seal and her husband Guy Clarke have lived in Jordan for six years, but as the pandemic dragged on in the Middle East, they made the difficult decision to temporarily separate. Seal closed his business and brought his two sons back to Australia while Clarke remained at his post in Jordan to provide income.

“Dividing the family was huge, huge for us, but I mean, we just had to do it. I was running out of medications, our children were basically at home all the time and that is not a childhood for children, it is not fair to them, “he said.

While they wanted to spend Christmas together, Seal said they had to get on a repatriation flight out of Frankfurt, which meant spending December 25 in quarantine at Howard Springs, Darwin.

Bronwen Seal with her sons Elliott (right) and Toby (left) at the Howard Springs Quarantine Facility in Darwin.
Bronwen Seal with her sons Elliott (right) and Toby (left) at the Howard Springs Quarantine Facility in Darwin. Photography: Bronwen Seal

Honestly, the stress of this past year and all the worries and anxiety. There is nothing worse in the world than being told that you definitely can’t go home. So to be home, for me it doesn’t even matter, we can celebrate Christmas with my family on December 28th. Now we are home, ”he said.

And they are trying their best to have a holiday in your room.

“They gave us a bag of decorations to hang in the room when we arrived. It’s really thoughtful little touches like that, but they made a big difference. “

Unlike other states, the NT has allowed Howard Springs guests to order at Kmart and grocery stores and have quarantine staff members deliver goods to their rooms, meaning children Elliott, 9, and Toby, 6 they will still be able to open presents on Christmas morning. .

“That makes a big difference anyway, so we have no complaints,” he said.

“Now the kids are just waiting for Christmas and they know it’s almost over.”

Have you ever spent Christmas alone? How did you do it? Tell us in the comments.


www.theguardian.com

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