Haskell: A very COVID Christmas

Posted 12/21/20

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the country not a creature was stirring... except various politicians who violate their own mandates.

Seems I’m at a loss here. What …

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Haskell: A very COVID Christmas


‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the country not a creature was stirring... except various politicians who violate their own mandates.

Seems I’m at a loss here. What rhymes with lockdown?

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. May want to skip the milk and cookies this year kids. St Nick will be arriving via Zoom and his team of reindeer are surviving on unemployment, praying for a second stimulus package. After all, unemployed reindeer have few options.

There’s no denying that the COVID pandemic has reshaped our world and has had an impact on holiday celebrations. Mom’s favorite expression was “Every cloud has a silver lining.” Does it?

As I searched for new and different ways to celebrate the season, I realized that COVID has forced us out of our comfortable routines and predictable patterns. It has “encouraged” us to get back to basics and overcome challenges with a pinch of creativity and some out-of-the-box thinking. You seem skeptical. Ok.

When life hands you lemons make lemonade or... pie. For example, tired of those tedious social distancing protocols? Spice it up. To enforce that 6 foot distancing requirement, how about some fun floor decals? Such as, floor decals adorned with the likeness of your favorite politician? Hey, they’ve been walking on us for years so ...

COVID has also opened the door for new and unique gift options. How about masks imprinted with someone else’s likeness? Comes in especially handy when you want to commit a crime. You do the crime, they do the time.

Trump could wear a Biden mask and Biden could wear.... you get the idea.

Don’t forget the pets. COVID has also impacted their daily routines. It’s not easy having us around all day and not just at the all important feeding time.

They need their privacy too. Comes in handy when shredding furniture, toilet paper and that hideous quilt made by some distant relative that no one has ever met.

Perhaps a gift card to one of those posh pet resorts? Dedicated to all pets who engage in this type of activity. Jules, Luna, Tut. You know who you are and the “crimes” you committed.

Back to that silver lining — COVID has saved me from many of the holidays’ most tedious tasks and presented a few holiday challenges. Are you as annoyed as I am by the “rush” to celebrate Christmas?

Sure Christmas helps take our minds off the pandemic but I’m good with one month of holiday “cheer” — rather than three. I long for the good old days when holidays were confined to their own month. Who said Christmas was allowed to have three? Retailers that’s who.

We’ve transitioned from an insult-filled election season right past Halloween, minus the trick or treating. Halloween. The one holiday where masks are required but it still violated the new COVID world order.

What’s a sugar-deficient-kid to do? Transition right past Halloween, ignore Thanksgiving and go straight to the main event. Christmas spelled $$$. The one holiday tradition that COVID hasn’t impacted is premature holiday decorating. This should be outlawed. Perhaps some politician can decree/mandate that holiday decorations cannot be put up more than 30 days prior to the holiday.

Currently decorations often go up two months prior to the holiday and are sometimes left up months after the holiday for roughly seven months of holiday “cheer.”

Yes, the annual competition with neighbors to see who will win the Clark Griswald holiday light display competition.

I prefer not to endure three months of holiday cheer. It forces me to be proactive.

Over the top light displays are still allowed but holiday dinners are via Zoom only. Otherwise, Governor Ducey may pay you an unwanted visit. President-elect Biden would but until recently there was a bit of confusion over his “status.” He doesn’t travel much so I hear.

Locally, the sleigh has been replaced with the Borowsky party bus. It was recently retired following some disappointing election results.

Socially-distanced elves in need of some seasonal work (developers shills and former candidates for anything) staff the bus decked out in Scottsdale style.

Jewelled masks, cocktails served from a safe distance. Oh wait — this is Scottsdale. The bar district. Wink, wink.

I do have a question for the head elf in charge of distancing protocols and mask mandates for the city. Recently, the decision was made to close the Mustang Library in north Scottsdale again. Only one library is now open located on Civic Center Boulevard. The reason? The explanation given by library staff went something like this: The Mustang library is smaller and more crowded. The Civic Center location is larger.

Hmmm. On the many occasions I visited the Mustang location I observed the following. People observing the mask mandates and distancing protocols . This location was never packed with avid readers. Computer seating was limited and safety procedures were in place. Won’t the one remaining library be twice as crowded now?

Contrast this with activity in the bar district. This past Saturday, I witnessed the following in downtown Scottsdale. Scantily clad Scottsdale babes decked out in Santa hats and bikini tops seated side by side aboard bar bikes. No masks, no distancing. Lots of drinking. Now, before anyone labels me a conservative prude, my issue is with the logic used to determine which activities are allowed and which activities are deemed high risk.

Libraries are apparently COVID epicenters along with gyms and restaurants but any activity that involves alcohol is a free “zone.” Perhaps we need to consult Dr. Fauci regarding the benefits of using vodka in treating COVID. It might take the edge off of being dead.

Don’t despair. You can still enjoy a very cozy COVID Christmas — at home, snuggled up on the couch with your significant other — 6 feet apart. PJs replaced with Hazmat suits. Another holiday protocol conundrum. Will the Xmas Turkey have to “mask up?“ Tom Turkey is already dead.

Holiday shopping has certainly taken on a new spin. Gone is the time honored tradition of in person shopping replaced by the oh so impersonal act of ordering online, clicking a button, entering your credit card number and praying that your selection will resemble the pictured item when it arrives.

Ahh the eager anticipation as you wait for Amazon’s crack team of delivery drivers to fling your package from a speeding truck where it comes to rest — on your neighbor’s front lawn. Close enough. You don’t even have to wait in line to return the holiday sweater from Aunt Kate. Lines have been banned. You haven’t seen Aunt Kate since you were five and judging by the sweater Aunt Kate thinks you are still five.

Excuse me, but no self respecting adult would wear a sweater adorned with Rudolph complete with a battery operated blinking red nose and matching socks. The complete package. Wear that to work and a promotion will be decades away. Oh wait. Everyone works from home now so you can look as ridiculous as you want. Just wear the socks. No one cares unless — you’re on Zoom.

Holiday dinners are discouraged unless you opt for the more impersonal family celebration via Zoom. Never fear. There is a silver lining. Gone are those dreaded family dinners. You know the ones. Together again with family members you haven’t seen in years and after the holiday dinner you hope you never see again.

In this season of COVID I think we have things to be grateful for. COVID has saved us from uncomfortable family dinners, Black Friday mania and in person shopping. Instead of home for the holidays it’s Zoom for the holidays.

So, this year don’t let the Grinch, I mean COVID, steal Christmas. Remember, everything has a silver lining. You can still wish people a Merry Christmas even if it is from 6 feet away.

Editor’s Note: Lisa Haskell is a resident of Scottsdale.