Dear family,

COVID-19 might not let me home for Christmas, here’s what I’ll miss . . .

You see this virus just won’t let up. When we heard rumors about it last Christmas, we thought it would be contained and disappear easily. But it didn’t do that, did it?

Instead, it toured the world and left us locked away inside for weeks on end, navigating a new way of working whilst juggling family life.

I wasn’t under any illusions. I knew that moving abroad would mean missing out on making so many memories with you all, but I didn’t bank on it being this many.

I never thought I’d unwillingly miss a family Christmas.

Last year, we had a trial run. We figured alternate Christmases would be fine. One with our “little family,” one with my partner’s Slovak family, and one in England with my nearest and dearest. As lovely as it was, it felt so alien to me, and I knew alternate years was the only way long distance would work for me.

So 2020, Christmas in England I exclaimed. Well, looks like the jokes on us. This stupid virus came along tearing apart families and friendship groups too.

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Many have lost loved ones to Covid, I really feel for them and the metaphorical loss hasn’t been easy either.

Covid has already meant I’ve missed out on my little sister Ava’s 10th birthday and Nanny’s 80th birthday. The photos you all sent to me were lovely, but nothing beats being there experiencing the celebrations with you.

I don’t want it taking Christmas from me too.

I’ll miss Marissa’s classic and elegant table décor and the glitz and glamour of the Christmas tree. Oh, and don’t forget those cocktails!

I love our Boxing Day madness together. Dressing up (often in our Crimbo jumpers) and busting out the rock band, dance mats, and old school computer gamesI still can’t beat my cousins at racing games or “Crash Bandicoot,” but I sure do love trying. My partner and I still reminisce about the dance contest. We may be Latin and ballroom dancers, but we still lost out to Noah’s “Pen pineapple apple pen” dance. I’m laughing just thinking about it now.

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I’ll miss buddying up in pairs to play “Buzz,” or belting out “Wannabe” on the karaoke with my sisters.

I’ll miss fighting over the last piece of chocolate gateau with my Uncle G, and cousins Jonny and Nigel. Although sometimes we were secretly happy to share . . . No? OK just me then.

I’ll miss Aunty Pearl’s signature trifle. I mean–I don’t like trifle–but the running jokes about it will be missed, along with Uncle Iv’s naughty jokes that only now as an adult I can truly appreciate. Maybe this year I’ll do a video call rendition of Mary J, just for you.  I think I know all the words now and not just the chorus: “I going downnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn, ‘cos you ain’t aroundddddddddd.”

The sad thing is I will likely be feeling down as I’m sure many in the world will.

Not having my family around is hard on the most normal of days, but during the time of year where we always get together, I have no idea how I’m going to keep my positive spirits up.

I just keep praying for God’s plans and His anointing over our lives. I know we are all doing our part to keep Covid at bay and staying away is actually the best way. But it sucks.

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I know millions have died and with the flu season upon us, we are likely to have many more go before their families get to give them that last hug.

Man! Hugs. I miss your hugs family. I miss your warm smiles. Zoom calls are nice, but they just don’t beat the warm enveloping of your arms around mine. But we will get by. A quiet second Christmas will be worth it if it means many more memories can be created together soon.

Let’s hope in 2021 we won’t have to worry about missing out on the fun, games, and affection that is family.

Aisha Brown

Aisha Brown is a "wife-in-training" living in the Netherlands with her partner and their grumpy, yet playful Jack Russell Terrier. She is a blogger, poet, and sustainability enthusiast. When she's not writing, you'll find her at the gym, drinking Earl grey tea with friends, walking with the dog, reading yet another book, or strumming her ukulele.