Christmas won’t be cancelled… even though the rest of the year was

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With the second lockdown in full swing and the new regulations guiding students to go home earlier than expected this term, it’s fair to say the government is taking as many precautions as possible to ensure that we can celebrate and enjoy Christmas this year. Well, enjoy it as much as one can during a pandemic.

However, for someone who only celebrates Christmas as a national holiday and time to spend with family, rather than a day that’s part of my culture or religion, I’m ashamed to say I’m more than slightly resentful of the fact that I couldn’t celebrate my own cultural holidays this year. Thanks to being four hours away from London and in the middle of the year’s second national lockdown, I couldn’t even go home over the weekend to celebrate Diwali with my family.

And Rishi Sunak and I definitely haven’t been the only ones. Eid was called off at the very last minute earlier this year when Manchester (a city with a high Muslim population) was placed under local lockdown. Similarly, Jewish festivals including Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur were restricted to government guidelines and the rule of six.

I’m more than slightly resentful of the fact that I couldn’t celebrate my own cultural holidays this year

The government’s precautionary measures mean that I don’t think Christmas will be restricted this year. And whilst I’ll also be devastated for another highly-anticipated event in my calendar to be cancelled, it’s more than slightly annoying that we’re all preparing for one celebration, whilst the rest of us were told a strict and swift no to our events.

The cancellation of these non-Christian events has not been without reason. I completely understand the necessity of all the restrictions that have had to take place this year. I agree with the second lockdown, and as disappointed as I may have been, I agreed with the rule of six, too. All the uncertainty and the anxieties have become a normality, and have even, dare I say it, begun to ease with the reassurance of the second lockdown.

However, I’m not entirely convinced that Covid-19 won’t make a comeback at Christmas.

Whilst I’m far from a Scrooge, and love the festive season more than most, I can’t help but feel that any celebration towards the end of this year will be at the expense of so many people from different cultures that have had to miss out on their own celebrations. Christmas may be a national holiday, but that doesn’t mean, especially in a 21st century multicultural society, it’s of the most importance to us all.

Image: Udayaditya Barua via Unsplash.

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