Why a Pandemic Christmas Is the Best Damn Holiday on the Planet

I won’t miss the war zone that extended-family meals inevitably became

Reuben Salsa
Published in
4 min readNov 24, 2020


Photo: Christin Noelle/Unsplash

There was a time, not so long ago, when whole families gathered together for Christmas Day, experiencing the Hallmark moment of passing the ritual meat across the table as all smiled beatifically at one another.

Is this how you remember your Christmas?

Mine, not so much.

It would begin calm enough. The in-laws would arrive, and we would all greet each other warmly — except my mother-in-law, who came armed with a passive-aggressive statement to launch at the mother of my children. Not wanting to miss out on the action, the sister-in-law would serve up a slice or two of habitual barbed arrows laced with poisonous put-downs.

The men would scoff and bellow and depart to the lounge while the women would quietly smolder in close quarters in the too-small-not-as-big-as-mine kitchen. The squabbling would continue throughout the day among the grown-up siblings. The eldest daughter would slowly get smashed on cheap red wine bought as a gift by the cheap brother who wants nothing more than to depart unscathed into the night to enjoy some freeloading revelry.