Wednesday, December 9, 2020

A Slightly Modified Christmas

We all know that 2020 has been a little funky, both in terms of COVID completely turning our lives upside down and also in terms of how your house smells since your kids have been going to school from your living room for nine months.

Well, Christmas 2020 isn’t going to be any less funky, so buckle up, buckaroos. We’re about to have Christmas COVID style. Here’s a short rundown on how it’s going to work this year.

For starters, many of you have been putting off your family Christmas pictures due to the obvious outbreak of COVID hair. You and your spouse are almost unrecognizable to each other at this point, and your children look like the end result of a drunken hookup between Cousin It and a yeti.

You’re going to need to bite the bullet and just do it. That cutesy holiday snapshot of your family isn’t going to get any prettier, and chances are, one of your kids is pretty good with Photoshop, so there’s some hope.

Christmas cookies are going to need to be contactless this year. You can still attempt to bake tasty treats for your friends and neighbors, but it will be challenging to say the least. Since we apparently know nothing about how COVID works, we must assume that it can survive 350 degrees for 20 minutes. That means you cannot come within six feet of any of the ingredients without being in a full hazmat suit.

Extra-long mixing spoons aside, your shopping cart was probably within six feet of you, another shopper, or a clerk during the ingredient purchasing process, so you’re really finished before you even started.

Best to just bake all the treats you would have normally made as gifts, then eat them all yourself with an eggnog chaser in front of a Hallmark Christmas movie marathon.

Santa will still be at the mall, but he will be inside a large plastic bubble, so your kids won’t get to sit on his lap. Also, the mall will be closed, so the best we can do is have you drive by with the kids and wave to him through the glass doors while he’s in his plastic bubble. Also, the glass doors will be covered with plywood to prevent looting.

Santa’s North Pole workshop is still open, being deemed an essential service, however the elves now have to work in cohorts of ten, on a rotating hybrid schedule to be able to maintain a six-elf-length spacing around the work benches. If one elf tests positive for COVID, the entire cohort, and any cohorts working in an adjacent workshop area, will need to quarantine until 2021. This has the potential to affect toy production, but the good news is Amazon seems to have ramped up to fill the gaps. We should be OK.

Speaking of elves, the Elves on the Shelves are no longer allowed to return to the North Pole each night, or at all, actually, due to the cohort quarantine shelter-in-place lockdown distance learning travel restriction slow the spread flatten the curve rules. This means they will now stay in your house 24/7, which presents a problem. Homesick elves will drink heavily to mask the pain, and a drunk elf is an unpredictable elf. Hide the peppermint schnapps and the spiced rum or you will be in for some very odd and distasteful elf pranks. Let’s just say you won’t be able to trust any of the chocolates in that See’s Candy sampler, if you know what I mean.

Since the reindeer naturally quarantine in a cohort of nine, they will be ready to go on Christmas Eve. Nothing drastic has changed about Santa’s delivery method this year since he is the original social distancer. He will enter and exit your home as usual, but your Santa treats will obviously need to be modified. In lieu of a plate of cookies and a glass of milk this year, you need to leave him an unopened school lunch milk and a sealed snack-size bag of Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies, both floating in a bucket of hand sanitizer.

Speaking of hand sanitizer, that brings up the one change in Santa’s gift-giving procedures. Naturally, Santa will social distance, but even with the fur-lined winter gloves, Santa is unable to deliver your gifts in a truly contactless manner. As such, all your presents will be completely covered in hand sanitizer this year. Also, all your presents ARE hand sanitizer.

Of course, all Christmas Eve caroling will need to be done via Zoom this year. This could present a never-before-seen issue for you and your Charles Dickens-clad choir group. People on Zoom will now be able to virtually do what they always wanted to physically do in the past, but were too polite – shut the door on you. Expect a lot of black screens and audio connection “problems.” Sorry, and best of luck to you crazy kids!

And lastly, popcorn strings will not be strung on the Christmas tree this year. All homemade popcorn strings have been deemed essential emergency supplies by the federal government and therefore cannot be wasted on the tree. They will instead need to be stored in the bathroom to be used as a last alternative in the event of a catastrophic nationwide holiday toilet paper shortage.

Good luck with that, and happy holidays!

See you soon,



Copyright © 2020 Marc Schmatjen


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