In the days leading up to Christmas, countries all around the world saw spikes in the number of COVID-19-positive cases and have had to enforce strict lockdowns yet again to fight the second or third waves of the virus in their territories.
At the border between the UK and France, in particular, hundreds of truck drivers are stuck and have yet to be informed exactly how they can get tested for COVID-19 and get themselves out of that limbo.
In the Southeast Asian archipelago of the Philippines (my home country), we also saw a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, as people failed to observe physical distancing while doing their last-minute shopping in malls or meeting up with friends and family in other public gathering places.
Our very own Secretary of the Department of Health was also accused by his counterpart at the Department of Foreign Affairs of botching up the Pfizer deal for COVID-19 vaccines that may result in further delivery delays for our nation’s first batches.
The most shocking and heartbreaking pre-Christmas incident, though, is that of a policeman shooting, in front of his own daughter (still a minor), an elderly woman and her adult son point blank because of an earlier altercation.
Zeroing in on my family on the day before Christmas, my mother and sister chose to be busy and stress and exhaust themselves ordering food for delivery as presents to other families and friends, going out to buy supplies and meeting up with friends.
I opted to just take it easy, but also got exhausted being around them as they stressed out and exhausted themselves.
Along with my dad, we have yet to share a Christmas meal together. With all the big and little misunderstandings among us that happened during the lockdown, I’m doubtful that will happen. Some things just can’t be forced.
There’s just so much heightened tension and so many unrealistic expectations during this “most wonderful time of the year”—with or without the coronavirus. I’ve gotten sick and tired of being depressed during this supposedly joyful holiday for several years now, so this year, I kept an eye out for messages that really help bring back calm, sanity, and purpose during and beyond the Christmas season.
Here are 13 unexpectedly helpful quotes for all of us to experience a calmer, kinder, and genuinely more loving Covid Christmas and life in general.
“It’s often the times where we are expected to be happiest that drive us most into despair. With Christmas around the corner, you might as well start picking the emotional scars you want planted under the tree because they’re all going to come out anyway…oh, come on, lighten up, cupcake. It’s just some fucking Christmas magic…” ~ Mark Manson
“If you wish to be loved, then love. If you wish to be appreciated, then appreciate. If you wish to be respected, then respect.” ~ Mark Manson
“Every single person I’ve talked to this week is not only driving the struggle bus, but crashing it, too. So, if suddenly everything feels heavy and out of control, you’re not alone.” ~ Angela Anagnost-Repke
“Right now, everyone is working hard to protect their emotional and mental well-being. If you don’t have the capacity to support someone else’s breakdown right now, it’s okay to say so.” ~ Mel Robbins
“You’re going to come in contact with a lot of people who are at their absolute breaking point this week. Friends, family, coworkers, teachers, strangers in the grocery store, retail workers. While it may be the merriest time of the year for some, it may be the saddest, most stressful, loneliest, most heartbreaking for others.
We’re all busy. But we’re not too busy to be kind, caring, and patient. Remember the best thing you can give someone this season is love.” ~ Amy Weatherly
“Be kind to your mail carrier, he isn’t the reason your package is late. Be kind to the store clerk, she isn’t the reason there isn’t any toilet paper. Be kind to the restaurant delivery driver, he isn’t the reason your order was wrong. Be kind to the office staff, they aren’t the reason you can’t get an appointment. Be kind to the customer service rep, she isn’t the reason the item was lost. Most of the time, the real ‘reason’ is outside the control of any one person–it’s just easier to take it out on them. Be the exception. Be gracious. Be understanding. Be kind.” ~ Shower Arguments
“The behaviors that frustrate us—overeating, pushing people away, sabotaging ourselves—sometimes actually represent our best attempts to stay alive and safe.
Yeah, they’re not perfect—but they’ve worked on some level. Respect where it’s due to your survival instinct.” ~ Dr. Glenn Doyle
“If you knew how deep people actually suffer, their behavior wouldn’t surprise you.” ~ Matt Khan
“It’s about the mothers who see their children after months. It’s about the homeless man whose daughter finally finds him and takes him home. It’s about the little girl who gives her present to her only present to her baby brother just so he has something to open even if it’s small. It’s about the little miracles that no one notices. It’s about the grumpy, old woman who isn’t grumpy, just tired, because she saves up all her for energy for the shelter she volunteers at and looking after stray dogs. It’s about the kindness that wraps itself in strangers’ hands as they help each other for no reason at all. It’s about the love that has found its way back between you and someone you haven’t spoken to in so long. It’s about the people who surprise you when they are there for you when you fall.
We all want to be good, truly. Christmas just makes our true nature stand out in a way where we can hold our heads high and stand tall.
It’s not about Christmas. It’s about the unbreakable bond of warmth and kinship that runs between us all.” ~ Nikita Gill
“People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason why the world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV
“Christmas 2020 may feel sad and strange. Family gatherings cancelled, our lives disarranged. A most hellish year we’d rather forget. Pandemic and politics, and it’s not over yet. Exhausted and stressed, not much holiday cheer, but you’re reading these words and I’m glad you’re still here.” ~ John Mark Green
“Tonight I light a candle for all the seasons and shades of loneliness—for all the souls wishing for more warmth and company–for the brave ones calling in community, intimacy and conversation in their lives. This flame is yours. Burn brightly. So we know where to find you.” ~ Tanya Markul
“It has to end, you know. The self-hatred. The collective shaming. The disdain for other. The emotional armor. The buried pain. The displaced humans. The misplaced kindness. The repressed trauma. The fake positivity. The meaningless materialism. The forgotten heart.
It has to begin, you know. The self-love. The collective healing. The love for other. The emotional release. The liberated pain. The welcomed humans. The perpetual kindness. The honored story. The authentic feeling. The meaningful purpose. The open heart.
It’s time.” ~ Jeff Brown