It is December 25th 2020 and I am experiencing the strangest Christmas ever (and I had a few very weird ones in my life). Everything is and feels very different this year.

The first and most relevant difference for me is that my little family is not complete. My daughter, who lives in England, could not come home to Germany to enjoy our wonderful Christmas rituals as a family.

I absolutely love Christmas with my children. It is a simple time with fabulous food, fun, great conversation and just quality time. We usually put up and decorate the Christmas tree on the 24th but as this year all is different, we put the tree up on the 12th. Do you know that feeling when want to surround yourself with beautiful things, things that bring you joy in this time of restrictions and total control by our governments (no worries, I am not going into any details – not today)?

My son and I drove round to friends yesterday afternoon, with a very funny and special gift to his friends. He allowed each of his friends so shave off a bit of his hair and it was a blast. We all had so much fun and he looks great, btw. The first thing I checked when he was born was the shape of his head – in case he ever grew bald – to see of the would look good with little or no hair, and he certainly does.

Another ritual is to have a fondue chinnoise on Christmas Eve and this year it was just my son and me and my daughter and her room mate were with us via FaceTime the whole time. After an extensive meal we open our presents (as is typical in Germany). We sang Christmas songs, we danced and it was a truly wonderful evening, even if it was “only” all via FaceTime. It was not the same and I must admit that my daughter was missed terribly, especially not being able to give her a big hug (my son had to take it all and he was very gracious about it).

It was the first Christmas in 21 years without my daughter (and yes, you may have guessed that she is 21). It is not right to keep families apart. I am not one to complain and I know that I am one of the very lucky ones in these times. I live in a wonderful place (where others go for their holiday), am surrounded by wonderful nature, I have my 17 year old son with me and we have a great relationship, I have my daughter that is thriving in England, we are all healthy and I have wonderful and loyal friends in my life. Yes, I do feel blessed! And we had the best possible Christmas Eve together as a family anyway under the given circumstances!

I just spoke to one of my best friends a couple of days ago and she is sad and agitated – as are many of us – and she is also becoming more and more aware of how our society is changing. People are becoming more aloof, everyone is only looking out for themselves, they are becoming more unfriendly and also more aggressive. It seems to have turned from a togetherness into a coexistence. That which makes us human is lost to a certain extent but as I am a hopeless optimist and romantic, I believe in the good in people and that there are enough people out there that still care for others – please don’t disappoint me…

Christmas for me is always a time when I especially miss the people who are no longer a part of my life. My brother who left this world over 13 years ago with only 27 years and whom I miss so dearly. And I also think of the person with whom I could never spend Christmas and whom I think of even more today because my heart is still with him and still misses him. But I also think of the people who are not as well off as me and my family. I think of the people who have no one and have to spend this – actually wonderful – time alone and lonely. I am sure that we will never forget this strange Christmas 2020 and I hope that we will not lose any more of our humanity. So if you see people, just smile at them, help them if you can and be kind – not only for Christmas!

❤️🎅🏻🎄Happy Holidays! 🎄🎅🏻❤️

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