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CORONACHRISTMAS/Europeans in the shade of the Christmas tree

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Our international editorial team has decided to offer you a series of interviews with Europeans from all over the continent. The subject of the interviews was tis strange Coronachristmas 2020…

Anna Ż. is a 14 year old girl from our city. She loves spending Christmas with her friends and family, but because of quarantine, she’s not able to spend these days as she always does. Let’s ask her what her plans are for Christmas this year…

How do you usually celebrate Christmas?

My family and I usually celebrate Christmas in our home. We love singing Christmas songs and talking about everything what happened through the past year. We’re really close with each other and Christmas is a perfect time in the year, when we can finally meet and just be together. Furthermore, we also cook lots of delicious dishes, for example pierogi! Pierogi are filled dumplings made by wrapping unleavened dough around a savoury or sweet filling and cooking in boiling water. They are often then pan-fried before serving. A few days before Christmas Eve me and my brother are making gingerbread with caramel inside. My parents clean the whole house. On Christmas Eve we’re sharing a holy wafer when exchanging Christmas greetings. I really love that tradition.

How has COVID influenced the way we celebrate Christmas? What are you going to do this year?

Because of COVID-19 we won’t be able to celebrate Christmas the way we’ve always done before. We’re going to meet in a smaller group (five people + my family members) and it will not look like always, but I’m sure we can still enjoy Christmas in this way. The Fact that we won’t meet our grandparents is pretty sad, but we’ll talk via Skype or Zoom. Anyway, I guess it will be a strange but wonderful time. We also have to stay inside which is not that big problem, because the weather in Poland is disappointing, especially during the Christmastime. It’s supposed to be snowing, but it’s getting warmer every year, so it doesn’t snow that much. That’s pretty sad, but this year I see this from a different point of view and I treat this fact as a good motivation to stay at home. It will be different, but not the worst for sure.

How are you going to start a new year that is getting closer and closer? What are your New Year resolutions/ expectations/ wishes?

I’m still not sure how am I going to start the new year, because of the current situation with pandemic I don’t know what to expect. Today, our government gave us some news- we’ll be in Lockdown until the 17th of January and won’t be able to leave our house at all- everything will be closed. We have to stay at home on New Year’s Eve too. We won’t be able to meet our family and friends too. My new year’s resolutions are pretty basic – I just want myself and all my family members to stay healthy, and I wish 2021 will be better than 2020. I honestly think that nothing can be worse than 2020. I have an optimistic point of view. Likewise, I wish everyone to stay strong, and I really hope the new year is going to be better for all of us.

 

Marek Z. is a 59 year old adult. He’s a wonderful doctor, who helps everyone in hard times like these. He’s very funny and caring. He loves spending Christmas with his family, but unfortunately he won’t be able to spend time with them this year. 

How do you usually celebrate Christmas?

I love Christmas Eve with my family. Especially the preparations for Christmas Eve supper, when everyone is bustling in the kitchen, me and Karolina are preparing gingerbread cookies and my wife is preparing a fish in Greek style at the same time. Different scents fill the kitchen. Closer to the evening, each of the household members quietly try to hide presents under the Christmas tree. After all, it is the only evening of the year when everyone wishes all the best, forgives each other’s bad behaviour, and carols coming from TV emphasize this Christmas mood.

How has COVID influenced the way we celebrate Christmas? What are you going to do this year ?

Unfortunately, the pandemic, or in fact it’s second wave and the increase in infections, caused an increased fear of the loved ones’ health and spoiled the cheerful mood of Christmas. The imposed  restrictions which tell us to have only five family visitors will in many cases result in the family meeting entirely these days. This year, my Christmas starts on 27 December, when I return home after three days of work in the hospital on feast days.

How are you going to start a new year that is getting closer and closer?  What are your  New Year resolutions /expectations / wishes?

I am going to spend the New Year with my closest friends. I have the resolve to be able to vaccinate myself against COVID. I will try to fight overweight. I have few expectations, but I do have the intention of finally going on the desired holiday with my beloved wife, to spend some good time there in the sun and also in the shade of green palms. The simplest wish is for everyone to love each other, and especially my wife to love me.

 

Irena K. is an old woman, she is 81 years old. She always spends her Christmas with her loving family. She loves this time of the year when

How do you usually celebrate Christmas?

I celebrate Christmas traditionally, as my parents taught me. Christmas Eve is the most important day of Christmas. Every year me and my closest family spend Christmas Eve together, eating supper consisting of twelve dishes, for example: beetroot soup with ravioli, pierogi (dumplings stuffed with sauerkraut and mushrooms), carp, dried fruit compote and kutia (made of poppy and dried fruit and nuts and honey). Before the Christmas Eve supper we pray and share the holy wafer wishing everyone all the best. After supper we sing carols and after that  at midnight we go to the church to celebrate Midnight Mass.

How has COVID influenced the way we celebrate Christmas? What are you going to do this year?

Restrictions imposed by the government influenced that we meet in a smaller group than before. We won’t visit each other. Due to the risk of infection, we won’t go to church. I will spend this year’s Christmas with my daughter, her husband and their children.

How are you going to start a new year that is getting closer and closer? What are your New Year resolutions /expectations / wishes? 

This year was difficult to achieve my resolutions and plans. I approach the new year with optimism and hope that everything will return to normality. I wish myself to spend more time with my daughters, but especially with my granddaughters. I also wish everyone to be happy, stay healthy and to be loved.

 

Anthony (16 years old)

How do you usually celebrate Christmas?

I usually go caroling with my friends in the morning and in the evening, I spend time with my family, watching Christmas movies and listening to carols.

How has COVID influenced the way we celebrate Christmas ? What are you going to do this year ?

Because of this year’s pandemic, I’ll spend time at home, I won’t be able to meet friends.

How are you going to start a new year that is getting closer and closer?  What are your  New Year resolutions /expectations / wishes?

This year I will sit at the computer and play with my friends. My wishes are for the virus to disappear and for me to be able to visit another country in the summer.

 

Maria (48 years old)

How do you usually celebrate Christmas?

I usually met friends and spent time together while eat, drink and dance.

How has COVID influenced the way we celebrate Christmas ? What are you going to do this year ?

Because of the covid this year I spent in the family listening to carols and talking to those close to me.

How are you going to start a new year that is getting closer and closer?  What are your  New Year resolutions /expectations / wishes?

I will start the new year with my family, protecting us. The year 2021 I want to bring an end to the pandemic and the possibility to travel anywhere without restrictions.

 

Nicoleta (81 years old)

How do you usually celebrate Christmas?

Usually on Christmas day I go to church in the morning praying for my health and the health of my loved ones and the rest of the day i spend time with my family.

How has COVIDinfluenced the way we celebrate Christmas ? What are you going to do this year ?

Because of the pandemic, I could not go anywhere, so for my own good and for the good of my family, i was isolated in the house.

How are you going to start a new year that is getting closer and closer?  What are your  New Year resolutions /expectations / wishes?

Next year I want to start it with hope in God and peace through work. My wishes for next year are: to be healthy and to get rid of this disease without another one spreading around.

 

Laura (16 years old)

How do you usually celebrate Christmas?

I usually celebrate Christmas with my family at home having lunch and dinner all together and singing carols. My mum cooks a delicious roasted pig with potatoes although my favourite part is the dessert, I love nougats! In recent years, I have also had lunch with my highschool classmates to celebrate Christmas break.

How has COVID influenced the way we celebrate Christmas ? What are you going to do this year ?

In normal circumstances I would celebrate Christmas with all my family, but as COVID won´t let this happen this year, I’m only celebrating it with my parents.

How are you going to start a new year that is getting closer and closer?  What are your  New Year resolutions /expectations / wishes?

I´m an optimistic person, so I´m going to start this new year with hope and joy. My resolutions are to improve my marks at highschool and I hope to attend a Chase Atlantic´s concert in Madrid, too.

 

Fernando (59 years old)

How do you usually celebrate Christmas?

I usually celebrate Christmas with the family preparing special dinners and lunches, including boiled shrimps and a wide range of cold meat and cheeses. Moreover, we prepare a lot of Christmas presents and we open them on the `Three wise men´ day (January 6th).

How has COVID influenced the way we celebrate Christmas ? What are you going to do this year ?

In the good old times, we had meetings with friends, lunches with workmates and visited our family all around the country. But during this pandemic, we are bound to stay at home to avoid the danger.

How are you going to start a new year that is getting closer and closer?  What are your  New Year resolutions /expectations / wishes?

I´m going to start the year with a lot of precautions, reducing the number of social contacts to a minimum until I get the vaccine. And my main resolution is to keep alive and away from the virus.

 

Félix (83 years old)

How do you usually celebrate  Christmas?

I usually celebrate Christmas in the company of my whole family, inviting them to have dinner at home with my wife and I. On the 31st of December, just before the year starts (at 23:59) we eat twelve grapes as the twelve months of the year and drink champagne.

How has COVID influenced the way we celebrate Christmas ? What are you going to do this year ?

COVID has affected the way I spend time with the people I love. This year we will be celebrating Christmas with just the company of the only single daughter that we have, really very sad. In addition, we will be using technology to be in touch with the rest.

How are you going to start a new year that is getting closer and closer?  What are your  New Year resolutions /expectations / wishes?

My expectations for 2021 are to stay away from the virus, celebrate the end of the pandemic with all my family in our country house and travel to the coast with my wife in July.

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