A Virtual Christmas Story

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for my mouse—the masks were hung on the curbside with care, in hopes that St. Bezos would soon be there. Yep, the Coronavirus is going to shake up Christmas this year. Better tell the kids that Santa is self-isolating at the north pole and Jeff Bezos is taking his place.

Of course, I completely understand why things are, the way they are but as a type-A personality who enjoys being around lots of people, this isolation has hit me pretty hard. Not everyone feels the same way I do—some people have relished the opportunity to binge-watch Netflix or read every book ever printed—but I do believe that the general consensus is that isolating sucks! Regardless, this will be a year (and a holiday season) nobody will ever forget.

Many of us (who are fortunate enough to be working from home) have adapted easily to virtual collaborations/meetings—but a virtual Christmas is a totally different thing. Whether you’re religious or not, for most people, the Christmas season involves getting together with family and friends to exchange gifts, drink eggnog, and watch Christmas movies. Looking at pictures of decorated trees on Instagram and singing 15-second carols on TikTok doesn’t really convey Christmas spirit. So, while those of us (who are following the rules) plan for a virtual holiday season—I can’t help but wonder if our newfound reliance on virtual socialization will have a lasting impact on the way we socialize/celebrate post-Coronavirus?

Have we become too comfortable with using tools like Zoom for interacting? Will we prefer to continue working/socializing this way when this is over? For many people, not having to commute to work has been a time (and money) saver and having virtual cocktails means not worrying about people getting home safe—also, let’s be honest, wearing sweatpants to a virtual meeting sure beats wearing a suit. There are some perks to this new virtual life we lead—but in my opinion, virtual socialization can’t hold a candle to real, human interaction.

The good news is that Canada has approved a Coronavirus vaccine and public health officials are projecting that everyone (who wants to be) will be vaccinated by the end of 2021. That means we could be looking at a traditional holiday season with friends and family next year. It’s very exciting to think about!

So, Christmas 2020 isn’t going to look the way we wanted—but maybe this Christmas will serve as a reminder that the simple act of meeting up with friends or hugging loved ones should not be taken for granted in the future. Here’s hoping next Christmas will be merry and bright (and in-person).