Home > Personal Posts > Merry Christmas – Joyeux Noël 2020

Merry Christmas – Joyeux Noël 2020

December 25, 2020 Leave a comment Go to comments

This year, Christmas is a weird affair. A COVID Affair. In Europe, each country has their set of rules, allowing more or less dinner guests, counting children or not and permitting visits within a certain range of kilometers or not.

Here in France, we’re allowed to travel to visit family but we shouldn’t be more than six adults at the table. There’s a curfew after 8 pm but we’re free to travel anywhere during the day. We swim into an ocean of advice about airing rooms, wearing masks, splitting guests between several tables, not hugging and kissing.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that important. But it comes after nine months of controls, epidemic ups-and-downs, almost total homeworking and whatnots. Things aren’t under control here and this new stain spotted in Great-Britain tempers all the good hopes we had in these brand-new vaccines.

We’re in stressful times and this disease attacks our health but also our socialization, it weighs on our morale. Some rules seem unfair and illogical. Why should churches and shopping malls be open and not cinemas and theatres?

But I can’t complain. I’ll get to be with my family. I’m sending virtual hugs to all of you who have family living in another country or children stuck in their student room or who are under such a strict lockdown that Christmas is going to be a lonely affair. Let me know how things are going for you in the comments, so that we can share our experience.

I send you all my best wishes for this special Christmas, one we’ll all remember, but not fondly. I wish you a good day and don’t forget that readers are never quite alone since books are steady companion.

Merry Christmas to you all!

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  1. December 25, 2020 at 9:13 am

    So glad your daughter made it back in time, despite the drama and exhaustion.


    • December 25, 2020 at 10:10 pm

      Thanks. We had a great day together and I hope it was the same for you.


  2. December 25, 2020 at 9:29 am

    Hello from Melbourne where we have been so very lucky that things are (more or less) under control. But like most people, we have had a quiet day, because we are all keen to protect what we have and we know how fragile our 55 days without a local infection are.
    In our case we are just cherishing the opportunity to be with friends (today) and family (tomorrow). We are alive, we are well, and we have not lost any friends or family to this awful disease. We have a lot to be thankful for.
    All the best for 2021, which *will* be better…


    • December 25, 2020 at 10:12 pm

      Hello Lisa,
      I’m glad that things are better in Melbourne and 55 days without a case is an achievement.

      Like you, we are thankful that everyone is healthy so far and for the rest, we just have to soldier on and hope for the best in 2021.


      • December 25, 2020 at 11:44 pm

        Is Macron ok? We heard he’d caught it…


        • December 26, 2020 at 11:50 am

          Yes, he’s better. It probably helps that he’s only 43.


          • December 27, 2020 at 1:32 pm

            That’s good. I don’t know anything about his politics really, but the more stability there is at the moment, the better IMO.
            (Except that I will be, of course, glad to see the back of That Man in America!)


            • December 27, 2020 at 2:47 pm

              Yes to all. And we’d like to see the back of That Man in England too.


  3. December 25, 2020 at 10:20 am

    Joyeux Noel to you too. Here in England things are getting worse again- new virus strain as you say, and Brexit. We are staying alone and greeting family and friends in England and overseas via technology. As Lisa says, life will get better again.


    • December 25, 2020 at 10:13 pm

      Thank you Simon. I hope you and your family are safe and that things will improve quickly in England.
      We all hope that 2021 will be better.


  4. December 25, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    Joyeux Noel to you too. Enjoy your day and any bookish delights Father Christmas has brought you.


    • December 25, 2020 at 10:16 pm

      Thank you Cathy. I hope you had a great Christmas and got great books too.
      Nobody dares to give me books but I still got one Connelly and one Higashino, right on time for Japanese Lit Challenge.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. December 25, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    Joyeux Noel to you also or, since I’m from Wales I shall say Nadolig Llawen.
    Our Christmas plans have changed so many times I don’t know which way is up any more. It was going to be a family gathering of 8 for two days, then it was for one day, then 8 became 4 and finally just ended up with my husband and I at home with each other for company. Better that however than put any of my loved ones at risk.


    • December 25, 2020 at 10:18 pm

      Thank you Karen. I hope you had a nice Christmas with your husband.
      How do you pronounce Nadolig Llawen ?


      • December 25, 2020 at 11:37 pm

        Nadolig is fairly straightforward – the “a” is pronounced like that in the word “bad”. The rest is phonetic

        In the second word most of it is phonetic except for LL.

        The ‘LL’ in Llawen is a sound unique to Welsh. It is produced by pressing the front and sides of the tongue to the top of the mouth and simply exhaling, so a sound similar to the ‘ttl’ in settle, but without the harsh ‘T’ sound, is produced.

        Here’s an example of someone saying it


        • December 26, 2020 at 11:52 am

          I’m afraid this LL is too much for my French mouth.
          Thanks for the link to this site, it’s a great source.


  6. December 25, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    merry christmas


    • December 25, 2020 at 10:19 pm

      Thank you Stu. I hope you had a great Christmas and that you’re safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. December 25, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    Happy Christmas Emma! It’s dead weird here – we are now in Tier 4 so technicall pretty much complete lockdown yet presumably allowed to mix for one day (today). We aren’t and we’ve contacted family virtually (which is what we always planned). I’d rather that and keep people safe. Here’s to a better 2021!


    • December 25, 2020 at 10:20 pm

      Thank you Karen and I hope you had a great Christmas in spite of everything.
      Let’s hope that 2021 gets better!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. December 26, 2020 at 2:18 am

    Merry Christmas Emma. I feel very fortunate to live in what must be the safest place in the world right now: Western Australia has had no community transmission in 3+ months and the only cases we get here are returned travellers from abroad. And those are limited because for 6 months or more only 250 people per week could return home by plane. We have a state premier here who has made very tough decisions about our borders, effectively isolating us from the rest of Australia (and the world) but it has worked. And I am grateful. I could not go to Melbourne for Xmas to be with my family but I’m here in Perth with my partner and we had a lovely day eating seafood and drinking sparkling wine.


    • December 26, 2020 at 11:59 am

      Thanks, Kim and it’s nice to know you’ve had a nice day too.

      I’ve followed a bit of the rules between the different Australian states through Bill’s trucking adventures.

      It’s easier to secure a country when it’s an island.In Europe, with all the physical borders that we have, it’s illusory to think we can close the borders efficiently between continental states.


  9. December 26, 2020 at 3:37 am

    Speaking as one of Kimbofo’s “tough decisions” I waited 6 months to be with my immediate family again. We had a late afternoon dinner out on the patio, despite the hottest Christmas Day for 13 years (40.4 C). Cooler today and I’ve already ridden over on my pushbike to pick up my car. Later today we’ll have a picnic for our wider family down on the river.


    • December 26, 2020 at 12:00 pm

      It’s hard to imagine 40°C when it’s freezing here. 🙂

      Have a nice picnic with the family!


  10. December 26, 2020 at 4:03 am

    Joyeux Noël, Emma!


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