real life

'I just found out my entire family has to isolate on Christmas Day. In a weird way, it's a relief.'

We have COVID-19 at our place for Christmas this year. It has naturally reduced all the big and best laid plans to some over-excited chatter, texts and emails. 

We should have seen in the vicinity of 40 family members over two events, one for about 30 people at our place on Christmas Day

But earlier this week we hunkered down and started sending texts and calling friends to say, I’m sorry, but guess what’s happened? And I hope we haven’t kyboshed your plans too, followed by a variety of cringing emoji faces.

Watch: The horoscopes in isolation. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

So now, on Christmas Eve I have nowhere to rush. 

This is the first time in the last 11 years I have been in this situation. A new approach to Christmas has been thrust upon me, and some new traditions are required, because Christmas is not lost, it’s just stripped down to the bare minimum. 

The house will still be tidied and cleaned because it’s moping-around-messy now. I want it looking nice, but not host-level nice, just nice enough for me.

There will be no last-minute barrage to the shops with thousands of other women to buy extra gifts in case I’ve forgotten something. 

Usually I worry ridiculously about whether present piles will be even on Christmas morning and have a deep drive to get more small gifts to throw in their stockings because it’s SO fun on Christmas Day. 

Well, we’re going to test those ideas this year, because it’s not happening.

On that same last hope shopping trip, I would make a toy donation, but online cash donations to charities are probably just as – if not more – useful.


There will be no last-minute rush to the shops with millions of other women to buy ALL the food. I’ve ordered online shopping and we’ll eat whatever gets delivered today. 

Although my mum dropped off a ham at the front door, because is it even Christmas if we don’t risk food poisoning in the lead up to New Year?

I may go back to bed on Christmas morning. Actually, I will definitely do this. 

The kids will have us up early, and so they should, they are excited. But once the dawn gift exchange is over, I’m straight back to bed. 

I have wanted to do this every year for a long time, but always take the opportunity to start getting ready for Christmas lunch.

Cold lunch on Christmas Day. No roasting or baking. Just cold cuts and salad please. This is always the plan and I know lots of people achieve it, but inevitably some simple hot dish slips into our menu and then one more, and I’m watching times and listening for oven alarms and wearing a food-smeared apron all day.

There’ll be no calm (ha) logistics planning with the husband – rearranging furniture, buying too much alcohol, digging up tablecloths and napkins we haven’t seen since last December, strategically arranging ice buckets and bins, putting rugs out on the grass, trying to make more shade for a big crowd and checking whether the toilets are still clean. Actually, some of these things are making me a bit mopey for Christmas Day hosting, but there’s always next year. 

I will stop and watch the kids use their new toys and games. I’ll watch them try a trick on the new yo-yo or video a classic diving catch for a new ball or play a new video game with them. I won’t half-heartedly watch or put them off until later.

Wine and sun baking. I would never usually get a chance, or want to take the chance to get down to swimwear and sit poolside on Christmas day, but we’re fortunate enough to have a pool, be vaccinated and well, and it’s supposed to be sunny. 

So, this year that’s the plan, that’s all that’s on the list. But maybe I’ll put on my apron if I get mopey.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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