For many of us, the festive season is characterised by a whole host of familiar traditions; from assembling a tree and decorating your house with lights, to eagerly opening the doors of your advent calendar, or settling in for a Christmas movie marathon. For others, it could be about spreading joy through gift giving or baking your favourite Christmas sweets. Or, perhaps Christmas is simply a time to catch up with family and friends and enjoy quality moments with loved ones. However you typically spend the 25th of December, and the weeks leading up to it, it is safe to say that this year, Christmas has taken on a new meaning.
In the past year, various regions were forced into lockdown, businesses were forced to close, interstate and overseas travel was banned, and strict measures were put in place to limit the number of people who can gather at home or in a public place, in order to keep our community safe.
Depending on where you live and how your year unfolded, Christmas may have varied in level of priority. Perhaps your months-in-the-making White Christmas getaway had to be cancelled, or you won’t be able to reunite with much-loved family and friends. Maybe you are just sitting patiently on the last page of your calendar, waiting to cross your many obligations off your overflowing to-do list. Christmas could be an assuring glimmer of hope that the year will finish on a positive note, or it could be just one day closer to a new year and a new start. Either way, the festive season has reared its tinsel-covered head, whether we are ready for it or not.
While Christmas may not look like it did previously or as you had initially planned, 2020 has certainly offered us a chance to find new ways to celebrate. So, we put a call out to our network of centre and head office staff to find out what Christmas looks like for them in 2020.
Christmas At Home
Western Australia Operations Manager Renee considers herself one of the lucky ones of this year, being able to see her friends and family freely due to her state’s lack of current restrictions.
“My son and I have matching Christmas pyjamas, and we always set up a nice little treat ready for Santa when he arrives on Christmas Eve.”
Renee’s Christmas day will involve a big dinner with her extended family.
For Jo, Christmas will be proudly brought to her via everyone’s favourite video conferencing platform, and 2020 buzzword – Zoom. As the Centre Manager of National Storage Kirwan in Townsville, Jo will unfortunately be apart from her children and grandchildren who live in Melbourne.
“I will really miss not seeing them this year. However, we will definitely video call.”
With her husband working as an interstate truck driver, Jo’s Christmas day will be on the quieter side this year.
“I will be celebrating with my two fur babies, but we will make it as happy and joyous as we can. It will be a year like no other.”
Deck The Halls
Sponsorship and Campaign Specialist, Sophia, shared that her family have decided to repurpose the money usually spent on a big Christmas gathering, as a result of her siblings unable to return home to the Sunshine Coast for the big day.
“With one sister living in Sydney, and the other in Melbourne, we were hoping to be together this Christmas. My sister in Melbourne has not been home for Christmas in three years, one year travelling overseas and last year being in Perth with her partner’s family. We would not have thought that in the third year she would not be allowed to cross the Queensland border! Typically, Christmas day involves us hosting 30+ people at my parent’s house, but this year it looks like it will be a small party of three – mum, dad and myself. So, we have decided to repurpose the money that we would have spent on Christmas celebrations to build a deck which we can use for celebrations in years to come.”
A Christmas Reunion
Call Centre Agent Lachlan will also be reunited with his family for the first time in over a decade.
“One cousin is moving home from Canada, where she has lived for eleven years, and my other cousin is moving home from New York, where she has lived for the last four years. Everyone is meeting up at Byron Bay.”
Keri from National Storage Rotorua fortunately finds herself in a similar situation.
“This is the first time in nine years that my whole family are in the same country and get to spend Christmas day together, so I am one of the lucky ones. This year it will be held at my brother’s house so will be spending a week down south in Nelson with my new niece who I have only seen once. My sister has set up a professional photographer for a family shoot to mark the occasion.”
Whether you are spending December 25 with your furry friend, or uniting with family in person or over zoom, one thing is for sure – Christmas can be celebrated in more ways than one. This year, more than ever, we are presented with new ways of marking the occasion, ultimately encouraging us to make the most of every situation, and create new traditions.