Top 10 Things I Missed During COVID Christmas


christmas“SAAAAAANTAAAA! I know him! I know him!”

But our visit last year happened over Zoom. During our COVID Christmas of 2020, most holiday festivities were cancelled, but I am as excited as Buddy the Elf in a snowball fight to see so many of our annual holiday traditions return this year. Here is a list of a few of “my favorite things” that we missed out on during last year’s socially distanced holiday season. 

10. Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies

Last year, the town of Fairfield made a few-minutes-long pre-recorded video to celebrate the annual lighting of the tree. There was no Santa riding in on his fire truck, no school choirs singing “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” and no collective cheering as we officially kicked off the holiday season. I cannot wait to attend Fairfield’s IN-PERSON celebration on Friday, December 3rd!

9. Christmas Present Shopping

While I love online shopping as much as the next person, I actually love shopping in person! 

8. Going to the movies on Christmas Day

So you’ve opened all of your presents, you’ve eaten all of the Christmas Eve feast leftovers…now what? We love going to the movies on Christmas Day, and can’t wait to see “Spider-Man: No Way Home” in a candy cane coma.

7. The Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular

The Rockets have been synonymous with Christmas since their first appearance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in 1957, but last year, their show went dark. I can’t wait to continue my family’s annual visit, and for my daughter to experience the show for her first time.

6. Baking Christmas Cookies

While I still baked cookies for my close friends and family, I refrained from my usual bakefest, during which I make enough cookies for everyone from the receptionist at my doctor’s office to every barista at my local Starbucks. It was kind of frowned upon to be sharing food made with germy hands last year, and while I will probably not go into Full Elf Mode, I’ll definitely be buying out the butter stock at Stop n’ Shop.

5. The Essex Steam Train Polar Express

We were very sad to not bust out our matching pajamas and board the Polar Express for our hot chocolate and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, but THRILLED to hear that the train would be running again this year! As is the case with most years, the event sells out in about three seconds, so calling the ticket hotline about 80 times on the day tickets went on sale didn’t even phase me. It felt like a return to normalcy!

4. Christmas Parties!

We can have them again! And we can hug people at them! 

3. “A Christmas Carol”

Every year, my theatre company produces an immersive, environmental production of the Dickens classic as our audience follows Scrooge from room to room within the historic Burr Mansion. Last year, we did a quarantined livestream version. This year, we are back! Every year, it feels like a big family reunion, and we love spending the holidays together as a community, so we are so excited to get to spread Christmas cheer in person again!

2. Santa!

He’s back! And we get to actually be in the same room as him! Lap access is probably still off the table, but I’ll take what I can get from The Man With the Bag!

1. Family

Getting to travel to see our families, getting to embrace and dine together, cooking together, exchanging gifts in person, singing together…just being near each other…it’s what the holidays are all about, and I am so grateful that families can safely gather once again.

What did you miss the most last year?


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