Is Christmas Cancelled?

December 10, 2020

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As countries continue to update us daily on the number of cases and deaths due to COVID-19, the sad truth only becomes more and more obvious to everyone: we will have to stay at home this Christmas. Especially for communities like ISL, wherein almost nobody has family in Switzerland, this is particularly devastating. After all, we are all used to being able to take a flight to our countries of origin, or a holiday destination during the three week Christmas holiday, but instead, we all have to stay at home. It is impossible not to feel rage and helplessness when faced with such a situation, especially when the fact that this could have been avoided simply by governments and people taking better precautions and simply caring more about this issue. This lack of preventative measures against COVID is like constantly rubbing salt into the wound. As tempting and, frankly, as easy it is to be angry at everything and everyone in the next few weeks, we have to be better than that.

 

As preachy as it sounds, this is a unique opportunity for us to re-evaluate our definitions of what Christmas means for us. Sure, the dictionary definition of Christmas is“the day when Christ was born”, but realistically speaking, given that most people in ISL who celebrate Christmas aren’t Christian, it’s a day to buy and receive gifts for and from those who you love. Of course, there are other aspects to it, such as spending time with loved ones, and just the general vibes of Christmas. The hot chocolates at midnight, the frantic shopping for everyone while wrestling hundreds of others who are also trying to get a gift, and just the feeling of loving others and being loved back yourself.

 

We are fortunate enough to live in Switzerland, where COVID, in general, hasn’t been as disastrous as other countries, and the people are also generally better than most places at protecting themselves. A good majority of the world cannot say this, which in itself is something that we should be grateful for. Once again, this does NOT mean that our sadness is invalid since we have all been affected one way or another, but, we cannot just dwell on such feelings for long, not if we want to have fun and relax this holiday before the second semester begins. So this Christmas, call your relatives and friends abroad through WhatsApp, meet with your friends, spend time with your family, and just enjoy this holiday season. Here’s to hoping that next 2021 doesn’t make us miss 2020.

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