A Christmas In Quarantine: A Teen’s Perspective

When you’re a teenager stuck in quarantine, is Christmas still worth celebrating?

Christmas is different this year. The pandemic has really messed everything up, and I never expected all of this to last until the end of the year. There’s a lot of things that we can’t do, but we’re not totally helpless. I think we can still enjoy Christmas in 2020 because we can celebrate it in many ways. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t miss the good ol’ days…

I miss the old Christmas

Everyone in my family loves this holiday, and we normally have three big family reunions that we attend, zipping across town singing carols in the car, gearing up for another chance to catch up with the people we mostly see only once a year. It’s really fun, because we get presents and catch up with our loved ones while eating awesome food. During Decembers past, we would wrap gifts for all our friends and family, drop them off in person and sometimes hang out for a while at their houses. We’d normally go to the mall, look at the Christmas decorations, and shop together for people’s gifts.

Is Christmas really cancelled?

This year though, we’re just having one party online, and the other two, we’re not having at all. Obviously, we can’t gather this year; and giving anything to each other is now a bit more complicated.

Shopping for gifts online is harder than browsing a store, because you have to use their search engine instead of simply coming across something on a shelf. The not-seeing-friends part sucks particularly bad for me – I’m a hyper-extrovert and I think this pandemic is especially hard on us. Video calls are just not the same as talking in person, and sometimes you feel like the walls in your room are closing in on you, waiting to eat you up. I’m sure we could all go on and on with our lists of what we’ve missed and will continue to miss because of the global pandemic.

Making lemonade out of lemons

Something that did not change this year was our ability to decorate the house, and we went all out this year. I cut paper snowflakes for the windows, and my sister decorated the tree while my mom played Christmas carols. Before this, we were keeping busy with this family gallery that my mom thought of around March.

Every week, we group call on WhatsApp with all the grandparents, and we show them artwork that we made based on a theme that we decided on together—we all have to make at least one piece (but we often make more). Then, after we’ve shown everything, we decide on a new theme and then work on it the next week. Since we started school, we have our exhibit every other week instead. We can’t have big gatherings, so the best we can do is call and check in on the people we love while keeping busy and productive.   

Although we have learned to have fun and enjoy our time in isolation, it’s only because we’re making lemonade from lemons. It’s definitely not ideal, and I hope we won’t have to spend another Christmas like this again. Nonetheless, this is how things are as of now. We shouldn’t crumble, give up, or simply wait for a vaccine before we start enjoying ourselves again. We still have control over our perspective of things, and we are in charge of our own happiness. Merry Christmas!

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