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How 2020 Stole Christmas

Tuesday, 22 December 2020
This is an opinion article by an external contributor. The views belong to the writer.
How 2020 Stole Christmas in Belgium, a story adapted with inspiration from Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Alle mensen

In Belgium

Liked Christmas a lot. . .

 

But 2020,

Who watched over Belgium,

Did NOT!

 

2020 hated Christmas! All holiday seasons!

Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.

 

The year took our colleagues, families, and friends,

we questioned the heavens – please! When will this end?

Why must we smile behind city-issued masks?

We wanted our summer bars! Was that too much to ask?

But I think the thing that bothers us most of all,

Is that we are all very tired of staring at our Belgian home’s walls!

 

But, how? Oh how?

How did we cope?

Did we cry? Did we scream? Or give up all hope?

 

With restrictions relaxed, we went to the coast

The summer was saved! And we laid down to roast. . .

In the warmth of the sun, our bodies were tanned,

Until Blankenberge brawl. Then daytrippers were banned.

 

But the schools opened, and parents cried with relief

The school year had started, but we wondered how brief. . .

We gathered with friends during autumn events

It was only a tease! Second lockdown was imminent.

 

Yet it does not matter, and whatever the reason

2020 kept marching, to ruin our seasons. . .

Alle mensen stood together, with masks on our faces

2020 loomed over Christmas, not hearing our cases

 

Staring down from above, the year was unmoved by our pleas

For it knew it had power over all lands and all seas. . .

 

We’d outsmarted that devil – through ZOOM calls and masks

We’d locked down again and completed our tasks.

Alle mensen bought take-out and gifts for Christmas on bol

Our contacts were grocery clerks and parents at school

 

“They’re so stinkin’ creative!” 2020 snarled with a sneer.

“Next week is Christmas! It’s practically here!”

2020 then growled and glanced at his watch,

“Plans must be ruined! Canceled! And Botched!”

 

2020 struggled to keep up, in its frustrated state,

Alle mensen were still going, despite the world’s fate. . .

 

Perhaps the year stopped, amid stars to look down,

perched atop the cathedral, gazing across Belgian towns

It saw sparkling lights and heard happy sounds!

2020 pinched its face into a COVID-frown.

 

“They gather in the Grand-Place to gaze at the tree

Don’t they know that there’s no Light Show to be seen?!

There’s no ice skating! No gluhwein! All Markets are canceled!

But yet they’re wrapping their gifts – as if it’s all handled!

They wipe down their baskets and then off they go,

I must stop this now! There’s no more ‘on with the show!’”

 

“I’ve shelled out home-school and stay-at-home-orders

I’ve shut down the zoos, bars, restaurants, and borders!

Surely, after all, I can stop Christmas from coming,

After all I have done, depression is numbing. . .”

 

Yet, on the eve of the sad Christmas season,

Despite all the distance and awkward zoom greetings,

2020 did pause, waiting a minute or so. . .

But the year did not hear, tearful sounds from below

 

The year did hear a sound, buzzing over the ZOOM

The twinkle of laughter dancing through living rooms

 

The sound wasn’t sad!

Why, this sound sounded merry!

It couldn’t be so!

But it WAS merry! VERY!

 

And 2020, with its tight grip on control

Stood thinking and thinking, “How could it be so?”

“It came without restaurants! It came without hugs!

“It came without gatherings or touching loved ones!”

And 2020 thought a lifetime till his thinker was sore.

Then 2020 thought of something it hadn’t before.

“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a place,”

“Maybe Christmas. . . perhaps. . . is more than a space.”

 

And what happened then?

Well. . . in 2020 they say,

the year surrendered

And stopped fighting that day.

 

And all saw the world a little different that night

Let go of their fears, and knew what was right. . .

 

2020 embraced a new kind of love

Much like the one that is sent from above,

With surprise the year learned that love has no bounds,

And its cold tiny heart then started to pound,

No longer tied down, the year started to fly

Alle mensen then smiled, and kissed 2020 goodbye.

 

– Written by Celeste Beran-Bennekers,

Inspired by How the Grinch Stole Christmas, by Dr. Seuss.