Thinking back to Christmas 2019, it is hard not to feel at least a little down at the drastic change in the 2020 Holiday. No parties of any kind, no traveling for any reason, no visiting family and friends, no huge family dinners, no kisses and hugs, no watching children open their gifts. Don’t hang the mistletoe this year!!
Worse than the Grinch who stole Christmas, COVID-19 lockdowns have really destroyed the holiday that most people really enjoy. Hopefully it will return next year.
Some people will ignore all travel warnings and some people will ignore masks. Speaking of masks and with so many seeming to prefer wearing the disposable ones, I am amazed that the country is not littered with them. In honest truth, since mid-March, I have only ever seen two lying on the ground! I consider this to be nothing short of a miracle considering the fast food containers and drink cans and bottles that are usually lying around.
Countless houses have already put up outdoor lights by the third week of November. Decorations brighten up the night and put a more festive swing to things. Many also did the same at Halloween. Some, like us, go a bit over the top with a drive-thru for the kids. It was fun and greatly appreciated, as are all the lights.
Another change that this pandemic has brought is the increased use of online gatherings and conference calls. I love them!
Council meetings, commodity group gatherings, auctions, seminars, courses, breed associations. The list never stops. No need to get dressed up or drive anywhere, sometimes for an hour or more, to sit in uncomfortable chairs, strain to listen to speakers with inadequate microphones, then drive back home again.
No, just sit at the desk or table at home in your everyday clothes, with a steaming mug of your favourite coffee at hand and listen to the proceedings. What could be better? Since COVID-19 appeared, I have attended more meetings than in the past 10 years. This is terrific! It took awhile for the average organization to get it sorted out and able to do their meetings online, then it probably took a fair number of people (like me) to figure out how to listen and/or watch, but now there is no stopping any of us.
Auctions online are just wonderful. No standing around all day either freezing, getting wet or baking, waiting for that one specific item the men want. I just look at the end time and set the clock to be back at the desk in five or so minutes before it ends. Make a bid (or bids) and it is yours for pick up. We have made some terrific buys this way in the past few months.
As horrible as this pandemic is, there are some positives too, and I really hope these trends continue in future years.
And to those people we know who have decided to travel to Alberta and BC to visit family over Christmas because it has been a long time, we seriously hope you are making the right decision. Remember distancing, and masks over the nose. Hope to see you healthy and safe in the new year.
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you can stay healthy.
Angela Dorie is an agricultural writer and a Jersey farmer near Cornwall.