A Covid mask at Christmas

Christmas 2020 is cancelled – but there are still ways to have fun

Or #Youdoyou

Our Christmas dreams have been dashed because we dared to believe the Tories.

After months of them mismanaging the Covid-19 crisis we dared to give them one last chance, the chance to bring us a sense of normality in the darkest days of a year where everything else had been cancelled.

Banksy's Follow Your Dreams Cancelled
I was looking forward to seeing my family at their home for the first time since February but this dream will have to wait (“Banksy in Boston: F̶O̶L̶L̶O̶W̶ ̶Y̶O̶U̶R̶ ̶D̶R̶E̶A̶M̶S̶ CANCELLED, Essex St, Chinatown, Boston” by Chris Devers is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Christmas is cancelled by Ben Dylan
Santa Claus is one of the only visitors allowed to your house at Christmas, within the England Tier 4 rules (“christmas cancelled” by bendylan is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Christmas dinner table 2012
Tables like this will be a rare sight in the UK on Christmas Day after the covid rules were tightened (“lovely Christmas dinner table” by kara brugman is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Leaders of the other nations gave them a chance too because, in a rare show of unity, the rules for the five days of Christmas bubbles were largely the same across the UK.

But, coming from a government where Education Secretary Gavin Williamson hadn’t noticed or thought about the possibility of issues with A-Level exams until after the results were published, Boris Johnson wants us to blame the ‘cancelling of Christmas’ on a mutated strain of the virus, which is prevalent in London and the South East, he says people have only been aware of for a couple of days.

He doesn’t want people to think it’s because the messages from the government were wrong.

I’m not talking about how his failing to show leadership by letting Dominic Cummings keep his job in the summer after breaking the rules led to countless others breaking the rules.

I’m talking about how while cases were rising the government should have said ‘if everyone can abide by the rules then there may be able to be a sense of a family Christmas’ – and not mentioned anything about a five day bubble until the science showed it was safe.

Neil Gilbride puts the point across best on Twitter:

The Tories should have started off with bad cop and then gone to good cop if the number of cases began to fall

Martin Robbins makes a very good point about the lateness of the u-turn:

Nuff said

And Richard Herring hits the nail on the head:

Some great points from the comedian

But now, as always, we have (fairly) new Tory MPs crowing about how great their leader is and how he is making difficult decisions.

I’m never sure if they believe it because it never sounds sincere.

I beg to differ

I wasn’t going to believe a family Christmas was possible this year until I had been picked up by my dad just after noon on Christmas Eve and we were sitting in traffic on the M25.

This is why for weeks I’ve had “just in case it doesn’t happen” food in the freezer – including a spatchcock chicken, bolognese sauce and some mince pies (left over from a few weeks ago).

But I have been self-isolating in my flat since December 8th, and the only in person conversation (and it was a very brief one) I’ve had since then was with a stranger who told me I looked good running, and I was ready to take a Covid test before travelling to ensure I was as safe as possible.

(And now my mum’s suggestion from a few weeks’s ago of doing the self-isolation in a bedroom in their home “just in case the rules change before Christmas” is shown to have been the best one – always listen to your parents kids!)

I wanted to believe in the miracle of Christmas. I want to believe that one day we will be able to meet again.

But until then millions of people will be having a Christmas unlike any they ever expected to have.

A Covid mask at Christmas
Covid-19 has ruined lives and shattered dreams and now it’s destroyed Christmas too (“Frame made of Christmas toys and gifts and a medical mask with the inscription covid in the middle” by wuestenigel is licensed under CC BY 2.0)
Pigs in Blankets by Brian Fagan
Hopefully 2020 won’t stop you from enjoying some pigs in blankets this year (“Pigs in Blankets” by brianfagan is licensed under CC BY 2.0)
Lasagne - Da Giovanni by avlxyz
A different kind of year calls for a different kind of Christmas Day dish (“Lasagne – Da Giovanni” by avlxyz is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)

There will be those who are struggling because a loved one died this year so they find themselves alone for the first time. My heart goes out to them.

There will be those who are alone because their housemates have left for the holidays and they have no way of going back to their families. My heart goes out to them.

Thankfully this year, to save me from tears, I’m lucky enough to be spending Christmas with my support bubble – a friend who was there when my birthday had to be very different from previous year, who was there when Thanksgiving had to be a FaceTime affair and when Fiskmas could only be virtual.

We’re still sorting out the details but it looks like it will include pigs in blankets, lasagne and a salted caramel roulade (and I’m also trying to organise a worldwide running event).

Why? Well, it’s because if 2020 has taught us anything it’s #youdoyou.

You don’t have to have a traditional Christmas because the traditional aspects of family and gifts just aren’t there this year for many.

The best advice I can give is to follow the advice of Mitten D’Amour.

She’s a pro at spending Christmas Day alone and this year has put together some tips for anyone who is doing this for the first time.

If you follow Mitten D’Amour’s tips you cannot go wrong

(Note: I worked with her in a previous job at a time when she was having lots of adventures with Jay Rayner. They will definitely put a smile on your face.)

So, once the anger about the Tories mismanagement of the situation has lessened somewhat, make this Christmas about you (and Jesus Christ – if you believe) and just do you.

Stay safe for another week!