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Christmas Forum 2020 : A Year in Review

  • 04-01-2021 9:23am
    #1
    Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,334 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    It's that time of the year where I post my thoughts about the previous 12 months (bare with it, it's a long one!) and encourage you all to do the same.

    It's safe to say 2020 was a year like no other, one we will never forget.

    The year started off in traditional fashion, gloomy January with all eyes focused on the next Bank Holiday Paddy's day... little did we know what was ahead.

    Lockdown 1 started quickly in March, with schools and colleges and pubs and restaurants closing first. Offices soon followed and before we knew it numbers were spiraling and we weren't even allowed outside 2km.

    At first it was exciting, dare I said it even fun, we had Zoom nights, the weather was glorious, working from home was a dream for most of us no more stinking commutes and we were exploring more walks than ever before. At first life was good... number came down and everywhere re-opened... briefly...

    The 2nd lockdown was less well received... the nights were getting darker... too many places were left open so it wasn't a lockdown as such... it was a mess. People began to lose faith, patience and hope. Personally I was spent, exhausted from it all while the first half of the year I felt the most relaxed in years the second half I felt the most stressed in years.

    Then the new officially came they were going to let us travel for Christmas the news we all badly needed to hear. Then the numbers started to rise... exemptions allowed for Christmas were slowly being taken away from us. A dreaded conference was announced for Dec 22nd... my heart sank for a brief moment I dreaded the idea were they going to shutdown travel for Christmas... my heart broke not just for my family but for families every year.

    Christmas survived just.... the days after the 26th were cut off though.

    But throughout all that... hope survived... people rallied... spirits were lifted, ChristmasFM came back early to the delight of thousands... people put up more lights and turned them on earlier before. Our own forum here was a hive of activity a beacon of support and joy for all. We survived and we did so together and we had fun along the way too. Once again this forum was a fantastic support for me when I needed it. It was a crappy year and even outside of COVID I had some crappy things going on but ye all made things better, ye got me through the worst of days and reminded me of all the good.

    So while 2020 seems negative, it's given me some amazing things;

    - Working From Home, a chance to play my podcast playlist, get more walks in, wear comfy clothes, be with my dog every day time I will never get again.

    - Time to get things done around the house, I haven't gotten to in years.

    - A chance to discover parts of Dublin I've never had time to.

    - An appreciation for the small things, I don't think we will ever not appreciate an event invitation again.

    - All of ye wonderful people, truly the best of the internet.

    - Hope for better days ahead.

    2020 wasn't the best but I still got to go home for 3 days and see some of my family, my friends back home can wait until things are better haha, and I'm sure by Christmas 2021 we will all be together again.


Comments

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,334 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    So is there anything you took from Christmas 2020 that you will be incorporating into future Christmasses?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,718 ✭✭✭ TRS30


    Will post some thoughts later when get time for a longer post.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,693 ✭✭✭ DvB


    Similar to TRS above, will need more time for a longer post. Will hopefully get around to it tomorrow when WFH or if I get some time later today.

    But I would like to go on the record to thank Loughc & Posy for their modding of this forum yet again, this place is testament to your wonderful handling of the christmas forum & it wouldn't be the same without ye.

    Thanks for all your work through the year.

    Oh & I apologise in advance that whilst Freshpopcorn may hit his daily targets again this year on the daily countdown, my weekly one, being a saturday may be a tad less thorough, especially if the kids matches get up & running again.
    "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year" - Charles Dickens




  • Registered Users Posts: 3,485 ✭✭✭ Jude13


    I echo DvB's words in relation to the Mods, its is a fantastic forum.

    The positive for me were that the lockdown (#1) meant that I could not fly out anytime a client requested so I had time with my youngest elf which I might not have had. That lead to not getting up at 3am for a flight at the start of the week, and not getting home at 3am on the last day of the week. This would have me sleeping most of the first day of the weekend, then the second day planning an early night for my 3am get up for the next flight, I had 5 months straight of this so the lockdown ended it.

    The negative for me is that my eldest elf lives in a different country and I have seen them for only 1 day since April last year, I put a brave face on it but my heart is incredibly heavy over it. We had so many trips planned together that got canceled at the last minute.

    Fingers crossed for 2021, I will be planning all my leave and taking as much unpaid leave as possible to make up lost time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,718 ✭✭✭ TRS30


    A very good summary of the year Loughc and I think reflects the thoughts, hopes and worries many of us had through out the year.

    To echo the posters above, a thank you to you and Posy for your running of our forum. I appreciate it mightn't be as challenging as others however still needs to be done and you both give you time and effort freely and I think I speak for us all when I say it is greatly appreciated.

    I would also like to thank Freshpopcorn for the daily countdown posts, DvB for his weekly ones (always helped me remember it was a Friday:)), Ontomart for his regular updates from the supermarkets and to all of you for your contributions to make the forum what it is.

    Is starting to sound like a wedding speech so I'll move swiftly on.........

    2020, will be a year I don't think any of us will every forget! A year of many heights and lows and of new experiences, some good and some not so good.

    I don't want to dwell on the lows, however will share my own person low. Sitting watching the the procession of army trucks in Italy with dead bodies really hit me and I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried.

    As the year moved on and summer rolled around things started to seem a bit more normal, was able to meet up with family and friends, watch some live sport outdoor and and one of my highlights a family holiday to Donegal.

    As I am in general a positive person I can take some good things from the year just gone;

    -getting to spend more time at home with family
    -no commute so able to sure that time to more meaning things
    -holidaying in Ireland and getting to places I have never been before
    -walking and cycling more and using the car less
    -2020 went so quickly!!

    This forum really came into its own last year IMO. While it has been around for a long time and was always a great place for Christmas nuts to get together and chat all things Christmas, it really showed the value of having somewhere you can come and get away from the doom and gloom and cheer yourself up. It was a great escape for me last year.

    Christmas 2020, wasn't as badly affected for us as for others. We hosted, as we have done the last few years, had the same people (2 other families) and the day itself was pretty much the same as other years. St. Stephens day was a bit different as would usually have 3 families however that wasn't possible this year. We would also usually all meet in my sister's house in between Christmas and New years and also all get together on New Years Day in my folks, neither of these went ahead. Over all it was a better Christmas then expected and even in some ways more enjoyable, especially the build up, as wasn't as many things to have to go or places to be. This last thing is something that I would love to keep for future years.

    Let's hope 2021 is a more normal year, even though we are off to a rocky start. If we look back this time next year and see the post volumes down, I'll be happy as it most likely means we have been able to get back to other activities, travel and spent more time with family and friends.

    Stay safe all and thanks.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,693 ✭✭✭ DvB


    Notwithstanding my earlier post thanking our mods, I wanted to expand a bit more on all that 2020 brought for me & my family and didnt really get the time in work yesterday.

    It goes without saying it was a year like no other, funnily enough it started positively for me, due to work commitments there was no time for post christmas blues, it was in at the deep end from the off. So before we knew it we were into February, the kids football & hurling friendlies had started, summer holidays were booked, training was going well & the season lay ahead of us, and Rovers were finally looking like a team that could win the league of Ireland again... then out of the blue as Paddy's day approached everything changed.

    Firsty, there was the rush to enable everyone to be able to work remotely before the final lockdown kicked in, and then bam, we were told not to come to work, and 90% of our projects on site had been closed down. WFH was weird at the start, but I grew to like it & quickly. No early morning commutes on packed trains, weather was nice, windows open, music in the background and all was going fine. More time with the wife & kids, helping them with homework etc. & despite the worries that every 6.01 news brought us there was a real feeling of solidarity as we as a nation did our bit in terms of processing the developing situation. People became neighbours again, helping one another out where possible, and we all seemed to be in it together pushing in the one direction.

    Even then we thought this would only last a few weeks, but no, it went on, and on & on. Holidays were cancelled, we got stiffed & badly burnt by Ryanair, but moved past it as we still had our health & were thankful for that & still having jobs. Then, it looked like we had an end in sight, we got to go to the west for a few days, which remarkably coincided the best weather in August, we got to swim in the sea, walk in forests, visit achill, have a pint with dinner in a hotel. bliss... The kids went back to school & it looked liek we'd be able to manage this going forward.

    Then Halloween came, more restrictions, then we had the christmas build up, & one by one most of the things we enjoy every year as a family in the build up were cancelled, would we even have a christmas at all!? Thankfully we did, and as i described in another thread, it was quieter than hoped, but better than expected. We managed to spend one day with my family, but my wife unfortunately had to rely on zoom to see hers, it simply wasnt the same. It was the polar opposite of a normal christmas at ours & for all the novelty value, its not what I wanted & nor want to experience again. But we did the best we could & we're all still here, still healthy & looking to the year ahead with hope, hope that this years christmas build up is a normal one where we get to savour the season without masks, sanitiser, without being 2m away from the ones we love or just want to have the craic with, the kids can see santa, we can see & hear carolers sing out loud & all sorts of other christmas treats & events...

    This forum has been a backbone to my year though. In all the days i needed cheering up, it was always here, on the darkest days when I just felt like crying I could come in here & enjoy our love of all things christmas & it gave me the energy to look forward to the brighter days to come. I looked forward to coming in & seeing threads lit up with posts to read... before I'd wrap up work on a Thursday i'd line up the picture I'd use on the weekly countdown & then when I woke up every Friday rushed to get it up as early as possible (that or risk a tut tut from TRS30 ;)) and as simple & silly as that sounds, it was a small moment of joy every week & I loved doing it. I had favourited some images months in advance & took great pleasure as the weeks counted down to finally getting to post them, so you could say Christmas brought out the little boy in me again this year & that for me is something I never thought would happen again. This forum did that & I thank you all for being a part of it.

    Christmas 2021 I hope will be back to normal for us as a family, personally I love the build up & getting out doing things with family & friends in the weeks before & I missed that badly this year. So as nice a christmas it was in 2020 all things considered, I'd be swaying back towards the traditional one this year if all goes to plan.

    TLDR = Ye are all fuppin great so ye are.:D
    "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year" - Charles Dickens




  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,334 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    Some fond Christmas memories of the season/2020 were;

    Just before Halloween Netflix added the animated version of the Grinch and it went straight to number 1 in their top 10. And Netflix tweeted well looks like ye guys decided it’s Christmas now.

    ChristmasFM’s sudden unexpected online live launch.

    Putting my decorations up, myself and my wife normally do this together but our leave days didn’t line up and I wasn’t waiting until after the toy show to put them up so I did it myself and I had the best day. ChristmasFM was blaring I was literally dancing and singing around the place putting everything up. It was just great fun.

    Getting my own personalised tin of quality street, it’s something I thought about why didn’t they do it for years so I was so tickled I got to do it in 2020.

    Christmas Eve for the second year in a row was a clear sky frosty grass night. Bring down in my parents you really can see the stars in the sky, it really brings out the magic of the night.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,718 ✭✭✭ TRS30


    Loughc wrote: »
    Some fond Christmas memories of the season/2020 were;

    Just before Halloween Netflix added the animated version of the Grinch and it went straight to number 1 in their top 10. And Netflix tweeted well looks like ye guys decided it’s Christmas now.

    ChristmasFM’s sudden unexpected online live launch.

    Putting my decorations up, myself and my wife normally do this together but our leave days didn’t line up and I wasn’t waiting until after the toy show to put them up so I did it myself and I had the best day. ChristmasFM was blaring I was literally dancing and singing around the place putting everything up. It was just great fun.

    Getting my own personalised tin of quality street, it’s something I thought about why didn’t they do it for years so I was so tickled I got to do it in 2020.

    Christmas Eve for the second year in a row was a clear sky frosty grass night. Bring down in my parents you really can see the stars in the sky, it really brings out the magic of the night.

    It really is the small things isn't it.

    My favorite memory of Christmas gone was the Santa video we did for each of the kids. It's a website where you put in their name, age, where they live and a picture and it puts them in a video message from Santa and his elves.

    We watched it on the TV a few days before Christmas when the Grandparents where here. They love it as much as the kids and the look of wonder in the kidsd faces just made it very special.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,693 ✭✭✭ DvB


    TRS30 wrote: »
    It really is the small things isn't it.

    Absolutely. And as you get older & look back its the little things that stand out.

    One stand out moment for me was about 2 weeks before christmas on a day I was in the office I came home to be told we were going for a walk around our area to see all the house lights, so the 4 of us wrapped up & went out for about half an hour to look at all the houses lit up... it was magical & the kids absolutely loved it, their excitement for christmas increased tenfold that night & was so infectious. I'm convinced that simple little stroll fuelled our christmas.
    "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year" - Charles Dickens




  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 26,589 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Posy


    That's lovely, DvB! :)

    I've started doing that the last few years and it's lovely just to have a wander around and admire all the lights and trees. :)

    I finally decided to get a Christmas jigsaw this year, and I'm only about 1/4 of the way through it, so that's something to keep me occupied for miserable January. I will repeat that in coming years, definitely.

    Every year Christmas flies by and I barely have time to stop and smell the roses/mistletoe.

    I need to find a job where I can take an unpaid sabbatical every December. :D


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,693 ✭✭✭ DvB


    We did the same walk this evening when I finished work at 5.30 and whilst a lot of the houses were back to normal I was surprised at how many still had lights up and switched on. Was great to see.
    "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year" - Charles Dickens




  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,334 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    Posy wrote: »
    Every year Christmas flies by and I barely have time to stop and smell the roses/mistletoe.

    I need to find a job where I can take an unpaid sabbatical every December. :D

    I hear you on that. I feel like I barely get time to admire the tree in December. That’s why it’s always a gut punch to take it down.

    Or better still I can win the lotto and not have to work again :pac:

    If I win I’ll halves with you and we can become full time modders :P


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 26,589 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Posy


    Loughc wrote: »
    Or better still I can win the lotto and not have to work again :pac:

    If I win I’ll halves with you and we can become full time modders :P
    I like your plan. :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,019 ✭✭✭ jellybear


    2020...what a year it was!

    January and February, I was still on maternity leave, was doing all sorts of baby classes with my little boy, had my birthday and my career break was approved :D

    March- BOOM! Everything changed. I vividly remember my last time in a shop, maskless and the fear creeping in. March 12th, Mr Price, to stock up on a few last minute bits. I remember making a list of everything we had to get us through those few weeks. How naive I was to think it would all be over in a few weeks!

    Hubby began working from home from the 13th of March and he's still here. It's lovely to have the company but tough keeping a toddler out of his office!:D

    The weeks went by and slowly things got cancelled...my dad's trip to Paris for a big birthday that I had booked, 2 weddings...it all seemed so unfair.

    By August, things were looking up a bit. My little boy turned one. We were able to go to Newbridge Farm, the beach and the Zoo. We even had a little party with my family.

    Then, BOOM....back to being stuck in.

    Halloween was strange. We would usually have well over 100 kids call, this year, zero.

    Then nice news, I'll be an auntie in June of 2021!

    The build up to Christmas was tough...very tough. Things worked out and we were able to see my family for a couple of hours. Things felt normal and it was wonderful.

    December ended with fear and frustration but with great appreciation for everything we have.

    Overall, I've mixed emotions about 2020. I feel robbed of a lot of things. I feel I missed out on a lot as a new mammy. I'd such different plans for my career break BUT I'm also so grateful I've been home, safe, and not had the worry of going to work that so many others had, and still have.
    As someone in the high risk category I know this has had a lasting impact on me. I worry about when I'll truly feel 'safe' again...when I'll enjoy going for a meal or haircut (both last done in February!!)

    2021 starts with hope though. There's light at the end of the tunnel. I just need to keep safe till then :)


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