How to Have a Merry COVID Christmas

Grinch Face Adjustable Cloth Mask (available at Like all the Whos in Whoville, my wife and I were pretty depressed when we first started talking about Christmas this year. It seemed Grinch-19 had stolen it right out from under us!

For the first time in her life, our youngest daughter won’t be with us (flying is too risky). And our oldest and her significo are cautiously splitting their limited-exposure time between families. Result? It will just be the two of us on Christmas Day. Plus, the Christmas Eve service at our church will be a 20 minute, socially-distanced, outdoor event (brrrr), with no lighting of each other’s candles.

My wife suggested we skip giving each other gifts this year (we’re still doing donations in each other’s names). Which make sense, actually; after all, we’re buying some pricey work-related items right after Christmas. I don’t really care about getting presents (I was all about it when I was a little Who), but it depressed me to think about having “less Christmas” this year.

So I had a heart-to-heart with the Originator of Christmas, and He said, “Don’t do less Christmas, do a different one.” After all, the opening scene of “the greatest story ever told,” the birth of Jesus, can never be diminished. And Jesus continues to show up at Christmas, and every other day of the year, for those who invite him in. Not only is he immune to coronavirus, he’s the ultimate vaccine for the worst virus of all time: human sin.

So Trudy and I talked about how to have a Christmas that’s different, but not less. And here’s what we came up with:

On Christmas Eve, we’ll bundle up and attend that uniquely refreshing, outdoor mini-Christmas Eve service, sing a few carols, and light our candles from the same flame as others, then wish them a Merry Merry as we head for home. There, we’ll Zoom with our out-of-town loved ones, and together open the gifts we’ve shipped. Finally, our in-town daughter and her significo will join us in a tamale feast from the local tortilleria (a wonderful Mexican Christmas tradition we picked up in SoCal).

Then, on Christmas Day, Trudy and I will open our stockings (the one gift we’re still giving each other) and enjoy. After which, we’ll deliver gifts and food for a local charity to elderly shut-ins. Remember: the whole gift-giving tradition began not with a short, fat guy from the North Pole, but a tall skinny guy from Turkey (St. Nicholas of Myra)–and it was all about giving gifts to the less fortunate.

Finally, after a home-made Christmas supper, we’ll snuggle-up and watch a Christmas movie classic or two. And I’m guessing, like the original Christmas 2,000 years ago, it will be a unique,

Never-to-be repeated event!

Please share your thoughts on How to Have a Merry COVID Christmas below!

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Humor and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

69 Responses to How to Have a Merry COVID Christmas

  1. See Christmas 2020 as Temporary Makes All The Difference! A once in a lifetime opportunity to “Don’t do less Christmas, do a different one.” Thank you for this post. You have given our family some wonderful ideas to celebrate in ways that will always be remembered. Because if we have love, what else do we really need? Andrea

    Liked by 9 people

  2. What a wonderfully positive way to look at it!! Best wishes to you and yours for Christmas!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Heidi Viars says:

    Love your plans, Mitch! My son and his significa will be coming. They already had COVID … Yippee. The four kids who still live with us will be here. My oldest said he would come with his wife and stay over night. … Everyone will get food and a few gifts … Maybe hubs and I head over to your house for a Silent Night … and leave a note and casserole.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I think this is the year to do and be more–not less. It is a year to be more generous, more thoughtful, kinder and more focused on others. Many people have suffered losses–income, jobs, health, lives–and those of us still blessed with abundance can make a difference for some of those who are struggling. We can reach out via a phone call, card or front-door drop off. It does not have to be something big to be impactful. It just needs to come form the heart. Blessed Christmas and a healthy New Year to you and yours.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Rocky says:

    This will be our second ever Christmas without at least one of the boys and their family. Not even having Christmas Eve dinner with the wife’s mother, brother and sister-in-law because of the COVID-19 novel 🦠 . The last time was 2004 when we first moved to El Paso. We will attend the Christmas Eve candle light service and do the readings we have been requested to perform then stockings and our version of Santa surprises Christmas morn (we each ordered what we wanted and they will be under the 🌲 Christmas morning.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. So love your attitude. I could learn from this.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Piano girl says:

    Definitely thinking different instead of less. It’s ok to feel sadness, but I don’t won’t to let a focus on traditions steal the joy. Planning to enjoy a small celebration at home! Merry Christmas! ❤️🎄

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Erika says:

    It may be different but can be uniquely special that way. Christmas can become even more meaningful this year if we are making it.
    My mother cannot go to Vienna this year, she has not seen my sisters and their families for almost all year. So we (my husband and our three grown-up kids) will celebrate Christmas Eve with her. We will basically celebrate as usual but instead of watching a movie in the theatre, we will bring the theatre to our living room. After that, we are going to have a little Christmas market atmosphere in our garden and enjoying some spiced wine. Then we are lightening the Christmas tree and exchange gifts. Later we will have a traditional Swiss cheese dinner. Christmas Eve is the more important Christmas day over here. On the 25th we will be at our mom’s and on the 26th (which is another holiday over here) we are having a brunch at my daughter’s apartment. It will be a relaxed Christmas since we are not stressed about visiting a lot of people or going somewhere… I don’t mind that part at all!

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Linda Lee/Lady Quixote says:

    Love this!

    Liked by 4 people

  10. We decided to give our grandchildren gifts. My wife sent a text message to them asking what they wanted. We got Amazon links in reply. Made shopping easy. Then we made our Christmas donation list and will be sending those out next week. But mostly we’re saying home in front of the fire being thankful that we have a fire to sit in front of.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. Awesome! Your plans are so good.
    I’ll be with my family, the old and usual way. Since we can’t have ‘that’ much fun, we’d be cooking our evening and night out, thanking God for saving us from the pandemic. It’s shocking that even in my oblivious and nonchalant state, I didn’t get the virus. So, we’ve already gotten our Christmas decors out and it is blinking every second. Beautiful! Maybe, just maybe, we’ll be going out to have pizza or shawarma or something like that ‘cause I am literally craving for all!

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Your plans sound wonderful! My husband is trying to figure out how we can share the gift-opening experience with The West Coast (daughter, son-in-law, 2 naughty doggies).

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Nancy Ruegg says:

    We’ve been enjoying long, leisurely quiet times during Advent this year, since there is less to be accomplished. Our church is offering its Christmas Eve service on Zoom. For Christmas Day we’ve planned a simple dinner-for-two and FaceTime chats with the grandkids so we can watch them open their gifts. Have yet to drive through some neighborhoods and enjoy the light displays also. (Any recommendations?!)

    Liked by 5 people

  14. Like last Easter, this Christmas will have more time to focus on the important things and less stressing over minutia. (speaking for myself, anyway.) I’m sure you and Trudy will make it special. (And hey, less clean-up, right? 😉 )

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Aimee P says:

    Sounds amazing! We too are doing something different this year! This Christmas Eve we will be having a birthday party for Jesus! Have a wonderful Christmas, Mitch!

    Liked by 6 people

  16. Yip, that’s the attitude to have! Do what you can with what you’ve got. One thing I’m doing that I haven’t really done in a few years is sending out Christmas cards. To anyone I can think of! And I ordered my own cards with a photo I took, so they are unique. Then I ordered New Year Cards, so if I run out of Christmas cards I can send new year cards after Christmas!
    I have to remember…No mater what, we aren’t quarantined from Jesus! 😊🙏🏻

    Liked by 5 people

  17. I’ll say… Sorry to hear about that. I don’t actually celebrate Christmas but I always enjoy the festivities and atmosphere. Seems like this December will be quite a gloomy one…

    But still, you can still enjoy and celebrate it what you have, can’t you?

    Merry Early Christmas 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

  18. gregoryjoel says:

    Christmas will be different this year for sure, but more because of my son Jeremy’s death than COVID. Jeremy was born on Christmas Day so I’m not real excited about the holidays this year. COVID is limiting the family get together and, quite frankly, that’s okay with me.

    One thing I have learned is that the best way to get out of one’s self is to help someone else. Grief is isolating so what a better time to give to others. We’ll make Christmas special for the grandkids although we can’t physically be together. This year it’s truly about them.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. Paula says:

    Hope you and the lovely Trudy enjoy every moment of your day. It’s obvious you’re going to help some lovely people who are shut in.

    My plan, since I live alone anyway, will be to slurp some homemade turkey vegetable soup, the same as I did on Thanksgiving. I’m thinking seriously about letting Scout the Rabbit play outside his cage all day, instead of the two-to-three hours he gets each evening. I’m calling it “Frolic and Play the Mini-Lop Way.” Rennie the Gecko, however, will have to stay in his terrarium. He leaped out the door last week when I was putting the ‘grass’ back after cleaning his little house. Geckos run faster than rabbits, and I’m not going through that again.

    Despite everything, I’m glad I have my pets to keep me company, keep me smiling, and keep me running. hahaha (would that be “Ho! Ho! Ho!” ?) Thanks for all your lovely posts this year.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. I love all your ideas. This is the highlight to remember and a true Christmas treasure, “He’s the ultimate vaccine for the worst virus of all time: human sin.” Merry Christmas, Mitch!

    Liked by 3 people

  21. kathy says:

    This sounds like a very wonderful and meaningful Christmas, despite covid! May you be blessed as you celebrate the wonder ofour Savior’s birth

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Ann Coleman says:

    You’re right, it’s all about how you choose to look at it! And you’re lucky that your church is having an outdoor service, ours is just via computer, as it has been for the past nine months. (Gotta admit, that’s getting old.) But like you, we’re trying hard to look at it as different this year, not necessarily in a bad way. As long as we remember that Christmas is really about celebrating the birth of Christ, we realize that we can always celebrate this special holiday, no matter what it going on in our lives. All the extras: time with loved ones, decorations, gifts, etc. are just the icing on the cake!

    Liked by 4 people

  23. Merry CHRISTmas! Jesus is the Reason for the Season. Well Done! 🌟✨💫

    Liked by 2 people

  24. gracespeaker says:

    Love this. Even without the virus, traditions are changing as our family changes. We have lost some and gained some. I find my joy in focusing on the Christ, Who is the Light, and watching the wonder in the grandchildren’s eyes. Like Mary and Joseph, we are often on the road during Christmas. Thankfully, the Light goes with us. Immanuel! Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 4 people

  25. Pingback: How to Have a Merry COVID Christmas –

  26. Love this! Definitely share similar sentiments towards still doing Christmas, but doing it differently. Wrote about in my blog post today about how, now that all that we consider “Christmas” is not available, maybe it is a reminder to look past all the decorations and traditions and celebrate what truly matters! Jesus! And He is still present despite the lockdown. 😊
    Loved reading your post!

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Gibberish says:

    Sounds like the perfect Christmas plan in the current scenario…happy holidays 🌲☃️🎁😊

    Liked by 3 people

  28. Sherry says:

    Sounds like a great plan! Back when all the family was living in SoCal and there were lots of events planned at the same time I always told the kids we can celebrate Christmas any day of the year. We celebrated Christmas on New Year’s Eve and we’ve even celebrated it on Thanksgiving. Hallmark can’t tell me when to celebrate holidays! Merry Christmas Cuz and family!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Lucie says:

    The “big guy” and I had this same discussion recently and ya know what? I’ve been having a GRAND holiday season this year because I’ve”put it in his hands”! ;>)

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Pingback: How to Have a Merry COVID Christmas – Meine Gedanken sind immer noch frei

  31. Sounds like a lovely evening. I’m snuggling up this evening with my two cats and listening to Christmas music.

    Liked by 2 people

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