How can it be Christmas??? There are no carols because singing in church is banned. There are no greetings, no cheeks kissed, no hugs, not the usual shoulders presses that our shyer members use by way of greeting. That applies to the churches, the shopping centre or wherever friends meet. No contact and social distancing has an impact on all of us do more people are depressed and seeking medical help for it now. There are fewer decorative Christmas lights, only two houses in my street have done their usual display. There have been a spate of missing parcels so it looks like there are opportunists stealing parcels out of letterboxes or off verandahs. I don't remember that happening in years gone by.
In years gone by a crisis like Covid would have brought out the best in people. Remember movies like "Little Women" where those who had little themselves strobe to look after the poor and the helpless, that doesn't seem to be happening now. Because of Covid a lot of organizations like the Lions Club I belong to have been unable to fundraise so unable to support a lot of community groups who supply Christmas hampers to those who through the circumstances of their life have not been able to save for those little extras that make a big difference to families. Our church has not distributed food hampers either. So many will feel less secure.
I don't think this is anyone's fault. I think somehow fear of the future has crept back into our lives and so we are less likely to be generous. We have just had a few new Covid cases in Sydney and so our State borders closed and the result was another run on, yes you guessed it, toilet paper! Really? Didn't we learn from the last time this happened? What is wrong with us? Aussies used to be more resistant, more sensible, they would have shopped for the essentials in case of a lockdown, items such as flour and tea, coffee, tins of food, frozen foods etc that would be more appropriate surely? Dry goods, long life milk etc are still sitting on the shelves but the toilet rolls have vanished. Come on people, what are you thinking?
I have just had my sweet sixteen grand daughter Naomi here for a few days, she wondered why I went shopping most days. Sometimes it was to meet up with friends, sometimes to add to the pile of family Christmas presents or to top up the supply of food and drink that will disappear so rapidly on Christmas Day. I think she maybe hasn't taken note yet of how a housewife of my era operates, looking back on my life I never had the money to pay out all at once so extra shopping was done as I had money to spare. That may still be my default setting. Besides there is a lot of pleasure still for me in looking for a bargain. For her generation it is eBay or Amazon I suppose.
We are in a La Nina period which means rain and high humidity and I can hardy hear myself think for the sound of cicadas. And the lawn is growing at three times the normal speed. Not complaining as this time last year our State was ravished by bush fires. At least this year the farmers have crops and fruit is fresh and juicy and vegetables crunch instead of wilting. I have been amazed at how the land has recovered. But I know many people who lost their homes are still waiting for their insurance or tradesmen or some sort of recovery group to help them out. Trauma doesn't just disappear, it lingers on in so many different ways. As the upheaval caused by Covid will in do for many families who have lost income or a business or even a mortgaged home due to the lockdowns.
I feel lucky. Living with Ray with the strokes that happened out of the blue taught me resilience, taught me to expect the unexpected, to do whatever needed to be done in whatever form circumstances demanded. For this reason looking back on this year I think I have come through it better than a lot of people. Sure there have been difficult parts and I've written about the side effects of that here But with friends as cheerleaders those problems have mostly been overcome. Life is not perfect but it is doable. I think with this new Covid cluster this side of Sydney it is too early to make plans for 2021. That will have to wait. It is try to get through Christmas, New Year and the summer holidays and then see how easy it will be to plan short trips etc.
On Christmas day I am expecting Shirley and Christopher, Pam and her three children so four out of six grandchildren plus two old friends who will all be here for lunch. Hence all the shopping witnessed by Naomi. Dinner at night probably just for three of us
will be leftover meats plus new salads, that should be sufficient after a big lunch. Rain is predicted so we will be inside, unless it is fine there is no point in wanting to be outside. The grandchildren are all teens or older now so they can entertain themselves. I'm wondering if there will even be many church services with the new restrictions, back to masking etc. And no singing?? How come express our joy at Christmas without singing? I have to keep remembering that this too will pass, all I have to do is live through it.
And so I will still wish you a merry whatever it is you celebrate, for me it is Christmas. Wherever you are on this planet called Earth keep well, keep safe and we will enjoy the next exciting adventure together!