REAL AUSTRALIA

Voice of Real Australia: Home (or away) for the holidays? It's time to spread some cheer

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A BIT OF CHEER:. Whatever your favourite tipple is, now is the time to pull it out. I'm plumping for a cup of tea. Picture: Shutterstock

A BIT OF CHEER:. Whatever your favourite tipple is, now is the time to pull it out. I'm plumping for a cup of tea. Picture: Shutterstock

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but, perhaps, not as we know it.

Over the years I've spent many a Christmas in some far flung location. One year it was Egypt. Another Syria.

A trip to Canada for the big day with a friend's family was in -30C degree temperatures and snow drifts that were taller than me.

There were many "orphan" Christmases with friends in the United Kingdom, where a brisk walk in the cold winter air was followed by too much trifle and bad Christmas movies to while away the hours until the next feeding time.

Gifts were exchanged and calls made to loved ones around the globe. Tacky jumpers and t-shirts were on display (Santa in sunglasses anybody)?

But there was, and is, no place like home.

This year, Christmas will be very different for many. COVID-19 has again reared its ugly head. People have been locked down, borders closed, holiday plans put on hold as its spread continues.

That isn't going to stop me doling out some Christmas cheer to those who find themselves cut off from their families this yuletide season.

One friend who normally travels hundreds of kilometres to be with cousins for Christmas Day is staying put to keep COVID-19 safe.

He lives alone and was facing a bit of a bleak Christmas day (even if you have turkey and pudding to hand, it's really no fun eating it alone).

So he's joining my family for Christmas. Alas, not in person. That won't be possible as he lives in the United Kingdom.

But he's going to set up his laptop, prepare his Christmas lunch and we'll have some cheese and wine at our end (the time difference means it will be late at night in Australia). There will be laughter and jokes, crackers and hats.

It will round off a Christmas where our options to be face-to-face might have been curbed, but the tidings of comfort and joy can be rolled out thanks to modern technology.

If you know somebody doing it tough this Christmas, give a thought to how you might be able to spend some time with them, or cheer them up.

Perhaps try a video tour via social media of the Christmas lights in your town. They could do the same for you in their neck of the woods.

It could be the best Christmas gift this year.

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