We have entered into the final stretch of an unusual year and the 10th month of a global pandemic that has turned many lives upside down. Very few people anticipated this year’s offerings, and yet as humans, we have shown our resilience again.

A year bearing early Christmas gift, the beginning of December signals the entry into the Christmas season, and this year seems to be no different despite the pandemic.

In fact, it would be correct to say Christmas mood came earlier than expected, ranging from the show of love that has permeated human existence throughout this pandemic to the unity in diversity this pandemic has brought along with it. And the greatest gift we all expected throughout this year came towards the end of the penultimate month of the year when pharmaceutical companies announced a vaccine that has proven effective against COVID-19.

Social media is currently filled with programs and plans to celebrate this Christmas by organisations and individuals; and for all the plans made, none is undeserving. Considering how unique this year has been, it wouldn’t be too much to party throughout the 31 days in the month of December labelling it as Christmas parties and rejoicing. However, don’t throw caution to the wind.

As we start the final leg of the year, the events which we all have experienced despite the differences in our race, religion, and ideologies have brought us together, enhanced a sense of belonging, and promoted the act of watching out for others. Hence, on this note, we have no choice than to continue keeping the distance to protect ourselves and loved ones as we navigate the last leg of this pandemic.

Indeed, many of us want to party (Detty-this-ember) to celebrate surviving this year and have an outstanding Christmas celebration; however, breaking all the guidelines that have kept us up to this stage would be a disservice to the hard work we have engaged ourselves in since the outbreak of the pandemic.

So as you celebrate this Christmas period and embark on making it a memorable one,

it is important to note that health officials around the world haven’t “stop the count.” To this end, keep staying safe as you begin to make plans for this Christmas celebration during a pandemic.

Eat well; cook the chicken, take the wine and laugh with your loved ones during this period, celebrate the small wins that you can remember, and stay grateful for beating this arduous leap year called 2020.

Olayemi Oladotun Opeyemi, Ikorodu, Lagos

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