Every year, we plan what to do for Christmas and New Year. This year we are planning what not to do. And you know why.
There is no proof that Christmas trees transmit the coronavirus, but we are taking no chances – we have decided to decorate our rose bush instead. And since it comes largely decorated already, that will mean less work, which is a bonus.
Alternatively, we might decorate a distant uncle who dropped in last Christmas and hasn’t left yet. It might convince him to leave, or it might not. These are relative.
One of the things I hated as a child was eggnog, and in the past few weeks I have been subtly spreading a rumour that eggnogs ought not to be made or drunk or even thought of during this period because leading doctors have said so. You can blame most things on the virus these days because no one is exactly sure yet about what it can and cannot do.
So, no Christmas tree or eggnog – and by extension, no mistletoe, no gifts, no carols, no greetings, no cards, no boxing day. To celebrate, I plan to stare out of the window and remember Christmases past. Or better still, Christmases future. Eggnogs (past) versus parties involving more than one person (future). That’s no competition.
And what of the New Year? A year and more ago, we believed that 2020 would be special. It was, but not in the way we imagined.
We will have two advantages in the new year. One, we do not have to make fresh resolutions.
No giving up smoking (or whatever your sin is), no need to tell yourself that you will be more regular at the gym, or church or at your child’s PTA meeting. No pressure to think up new, personal resolutions. We will simply carry over the list from this year.
Except for one resolution, however.
If you are a non-wearer of masks (for philosophical reasons or political ones or simply out of stupidity), then there’s a resolution waiting to be made: I shall wear a mask this year till I don’t have to. This, regardless of when you get vaccinated, which most of us will at some point in the new year.
The second advantage is we do not have to send out ‘family news’ cards or pictures. If in the past we said, “Visited London, met the Queen, our son has won the Australian Open tennis” or whatever, this year it can only be “Sat at home, watched movies, did not learn to cook and had an occasional bath.” Hardly riveting stuff. Nor is the ‘showing off’ quotient very high. So on the whole, desist.