By Karen Kendra
The mad rush is over for another year. Why were we rushing? Most of us weren't leaving the safety of our self-spun cocoons for the COVID Holidays. But sure enough, after the last of the turkey leftovers were gone, the frenzy began. I think it was more robotic---that drive to get shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking, and card writing done when most of us were not going anywhere. Traditions keep you focused on the season, not the constrictions, but they are straining to feel relevant.
No in-person parties are being planned within most social groups, nor is travel to see relatives in other states, and most aren't shopping in malls or department stores. A strong sense of self-preservation has won out over the seasonal mayhem.
But I decorated the house, baked cookies, wrapped gifts, and sent cards. We exchanged gifts in a drop-off manner with one son while distanced and masked, and without kisses or hugs. I sent gifts and cookies to my son and his family in GA. With the limitations and demands this year on the USPS, many of those gifts are still in transit---another reminder of the impact of the coronavirus and the toll it takes on many industries.
As a former nurse, I think of those healthcare workers who are exhausted and have no time for any holiday activities, and whose biggest worry is the health of their own family. Maybe the hoped-for miracle vaccines will mitigate those concerns.
And I fear for those whose financial situations are dire and have no promise of relief from the plague and its effects on rent, food, healthcare, and their futures. We pray for an end to this pandemic and next year, a return to holiday optimism. We should appreciate it all the more.