When our office went to remote working in March, it was supposed to be for two weeks. You know, just enough time to let this corona bug pass through and then we’d get back to normal. So yeah, it’s two weeks away from 2021 and here we sit.
And here we sit in a holiday season that sucks for many people and yet doesn’t for the rest of us. Who are we grinches not crying at the cancelation of a bajillion holiday events? Us introverts… and we’re (not loud and) proud.
Decorating the house for Christmas was nice enough—whether you love being surrounded by gaggles of people or find your peace in alone time, everyone can agree a cozy home with some lights and nice smelling balsam candles is enjoyable. My family belongs to the “This is not a hoax, don’t mess around with this, suck up your whining and moaning about your ruined social life and filling your bellies at restaurants and working out at a gym; put your mask on and shut up,” camp. No exceptions. And thank you God, we have young adult children who get that and aren’t buzzing around town to see their friends and catch COVID like clueless fools. So, at least the space we have to occupy is festive.
In this spirit of everyone working from home and doing school from home, we could have also been shopping from home, kept going like business as usual in that regard. Lord knows Amazon has certainly seen us through the last nine months. But for the last four weeks, when I could have been shopping for Christmas gifts in earnest, I haven’t. And I don’t feel pressed in the least.
Perhaps my lack of motivation stems from the fact that the postal system (God bless ‘em) is absolutely struggling right now. Forget forking over the extra cash for priority shipping—it’s not going to get where you need it to go when you want it to. As this meme so wisely put it, “Stop tracking that package. It’s in God’s hands now.” Also, who are we seeing to exchange gifts with? No one. Our family bubble is certainly not going to cry if there is anything to open on Christmas morning or if they have to wait for presents on New Year’s Eve (a far more likely scenario).
Honestly, I also feel like holiday revelry is out of place this year. You may or may not believe this, but we are in a much worse situation in terms of infections and deaths than when we first shut down in March. Lockdowns are back all over the world and travel is greatly discouraged (not that that gets in the way of many ‘Muricans.)
Since we still have maskless bandits running around refusing to do the right thing, it is indeed truly safest to hunker down at home. And yes, that is making us introverts feel just fine. I’m not missing the exhaustion of wrapping up 2020 at work while holiday shopping on my phone during long meetings and running to pick up ordered items at lunch time. I’m not feeling bad about missing the frenzied rush of getting enough wrapping paper, gift bags, boxes, and scotch tape (which always runs out when you need it most), and then packaging up all the goods.
I am however, missing my nearest and dearest and just being able to get together at a cozy restaurant for a double date or even to have coffee and sit by the fire somewhere. Large holiday parties for work, school, church or otherwise? I’m fine on sitting those out this year.
I am looking forward to the opportunity to try and help out someone this year. And yes, I know with less than a week before Christmas I am going to have to brave Target just once. That to me is worth it if it means I can get a gift or two to a family that is really struggling this year. Because so many are.
I hope the dire situation of the pandemic and the economy are real enough to you to warrant some action in terms of staying and home and safe and trying to donate/give of your resources to people in need. Perhaps the blessing to be found in this introvert’s paradise of the holidays is the chance to extend something good to someone who could use it.
By this time next year, with most of us vaccinated (I hope), it’ll be back to the normal mayhem and we’ll look back at this time fondly for different types of memories. We can only dream.