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Δευτέρα, 22 Απριλίου, 2024
ΑρχικήEnglish EditionA very COVID Christmas: The Pandemic’s impact on celebrating “the most wonderful...

A very COVID Christmas: The Pandemic’s impact on celebrating “the most wonderful time of the year”


By Nikolina Koulouri,

In honor of the Christmas holidays, which for some have already begun and for others are just around the corner, it is time to reflect on the events and circumstances that have influenced the way we celebrate the birth of Christ and the coming of the New Year. Until recently, or at least until 2019, Christmas celebrations meant family dinners, quality time with our loved ones, lots and lots of food made with unconditional love, and most importantly, gifts from Santa Claus or gift exchanges among the family. But all that has changed.  

The COVID pandemic that first made its appearance in March 2020 brought changes to both everyday life and how important holidays like Christmas are celebrated. Of course, we cannot forget the odd Christmas of 2020 and the following years when we were forced to change our habits and come to terms with new facts that… were not accepted by everyone in the same way as there were reactions and opposition from people. Family reunions were canceled, events could not take place, and many people found themselves in the tragic position of saying goodbye to their loved ones. Indeed, Christmas 2020 is remembered as not the most wonderful time of the year but just a joy at the passing of such an unhappy and unrepeatable year. 

But even now, almost 4 years after the outbreak and after almost all the measures to protect against the pandemic have been lifted, some habits have not been erased from our memories and seem to remain in the organization of our plans for the holidays. So let’s see and identify ourselves in different habits that we have embodied through this process even without realizing it.  

Αn important “key” measure that has changed compared to the pre-pandemic situation is the choice of guests at gatherings and celebrations. Under the scare of the virus, all families have been forced to adjust the number of guests, prioritizing their most loved and close people. This is likely to happen as these people have shared similar thoughts and concerns about both the pandemic and various issues in general and may even prevent any possible arguments that might disrupt the festive climate. 

Image source: pixabay.com. Credits: Skitterphotos

On the other hand, organizing a party becomes more complicated and stressful for the hosts. With the anti-virus measures in action, it was forbidden to organize gatherings. Still, nowadays everyone has a different attitude towards the subject and it can be not easy to please all the guests. People with underlying illnesses, the elderly, and young children are still vulnerable to all diseases. The difficult part for the host is to combine as smoothly as possible those who are comfortable in a closed space, without for example a mask, and those who avoid crowding. But even in that case, Covid’s impact will sometimes cross our minds during the event. 

Another phenomenon that has been observed because of the changes of recent years is the turning away from tradition. The unprecedented experience of 2020 brought about changes with the cancellation of all the events that were planned. Even the church services were performed virtually or via the internet which was completely different from what the average person was used to. Faced with this new situation, many people entered into different and innovative thoughts about the celebration of important holidays which they seemed to like more than the typical annual celebrations. Of course, this is not the case for everyone as many people, having returned almost entirely to their normal rhythms of life, plan activities as they did in earlier years when everything was normal. 

Observing all the above, it is clear that the pandemic has invaded all aspects of our lives, but we should not treat it with terror and panic. The guidance of the competent authorities and empathy are enough to protect both ourselves and those around us. The usual warmth of holiday gatherings is tempered by a backdrop of caution as families navigate the journey of safe celebrating but this era’s holidays serve as a reminder that there will be healthier times as long as we follow the suggested protocols and the recommendations of the experts.  


 References
  • Constantino, A. K. (2022, December 22). The holidays may feel “normal” again this year—but Covid has changed them in 3 ways you might not expect. CNBC. Available here

 

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Nikolina Koulouri
Nikolina Koulouri
Born in Aigio, Achaia in 2004. She is a second year student of the Department of Philology at the University of Peloponnese, while writing is a new occupation for her. In her free time, she enjoys gymnastics, cooking, and listening to music. In the future, she would like to work in education and the study of Linguistics.