A Christmas like No Other!

This is Áras An Uachtaráin (House of the President) in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. The Christmas lights this year are dedicated to all those who won’t make it home. The centrepiece is a stream of light from a lamp in a first floor window, spreading out across the grounds and reaching out to the Irish diaspora who cannot be with their families this Christmas.

We all have much to reflect upon:

I ache for the family members and friends whose funerals I couldn’t attend.

I ache for mum in her nursing home, whose hand I haven’t held since February.

I ache for the 5 weddings I was so looking forward to and for those 10 lovely young people whose hearts were broken.

I ache for family and friends who can’t get home this week and for the terrible disappointment their loved ones are going through without them.

I ache for those missed travel opportunities – I wonder where I might have gone….


I smile at all the amazing discoveries I’ve made in my immediate locality.

I smile at my daily step count.

I smile at all the coffee meetings with friends in parks and other public spaces.

I smile at my wardrobe contents and shoe shelf as I pull on the same few sweatpants, hoodies and runners day after day after day..

I smile at the Wanderlust Magazine in the mailbox every month.

I smile at my wonderful ‘to-do’ list from the first lockdown at which I’ve made little or no progress!!

Despite everything, I’m feeling oddly blessed.

And so, fellow bloggers, supporters, family and friends, I wish you all the joys of this very strange Christmas and something good for 2021.




City Hall, Dublin, Christmas 2020.

21 thoughts on “A Christmas like No Other!

  1. I totally understand all of those feelings. We didn’t miss any weddings but my mother in law’s funeral which we have postponed. It’s wonderful to see the light and find your positives at the end. I’m working on picking myself back up to positives and this helped so thanks.

    1. Thank you Bernie – my positives are somewhat trivial compared to the negatives but hey – whatever gets us through….. It’ll be a tough Christmas with you mother-in-law’s death during the year but best wishes for a nice day. All the best for the season and here’s to 2021…….

  2. Great summary Marie. Acknowledge your losses, appreciate your positives and look forward to a New Year, even if normal might take another 9 months or so. We all have to do what we can to brighten our Christmas and then share that light with those we love. Stay well and have a Merry Christmas. Allan

  3. Indeed, we all experienced an awkward year. Although sometimes is hard, if we continue to stay positive, I’m sure better times will come soon. Merry Christmas to you and your family too!

  4. Thanks so much for the post Marie – your words in themselves are a beacon of light. Wishing you and yours a peaceful and healthy Christmas and roll on 2021!

  5. This year has been tough for sure, but there have been some benefits to it, including being able to wear comfy clothes all the time. Wish you a Merry Christmas as well. Enjoy the holidays. I’m so looking forward to the New Year!

    1. And many happy returns – Have a great Christmas and here’s to 2021…. it certainly can’t be worse than 2020 (I hope!!)

  6. Wishing you a Merry Christmas filled with extra doses of grace, peace & love! Thank you for letting us travel virtually around Ireland with you this home bound crazy COVID year. ✨🎄✨

    1. Ah thank you Virginia – the one bright thing from 2020 is my rediscovering so much of the country. Have a lovely Christmas and all the best for 2021. XXXMarie

  7. Your positivity is inspiring and has cheered me up the other, my best friend and my rock, from cancer. Her loss keeps me grieving. It’s not helped by the fact that we can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel, my family all live in different countries and I don’t know when we shall see each other again. But ….. I know I am lucky. I have warmth, food, a roof over my head, and friends and neighbours within call. I have access to books, magazines, newspapers, TV and a computer, music on tap from my CD collection and my Sonos, and the ever-wonderful BBC Radio 1,2,3,and 4 especially. How lucky is that? So, I’m grateful that my year hasn’t been worse, and I’m hoping that we will eventually come through this awful period of stress and look back on the experience and say Wasn’t That a Weird Year? Happy Christmas to you and yours and good travels in 2021 – even if it’s only local.

    1. I don’t know what happened with the first sentence above. It should have read that I missed one wedding but lost 3 friends, two from Covid and one from cancer …. (continue)!

    2. Like yourself, we’ve had a year that could have been a whole lot worse. Most of our immediate family is local enough (there are a few in England all right that we haven’t met this year) and we are both retired so not stressing re jobs and personal businesses etc. We thankfully didn’t have the stress of home schooling or kids with exams. We have our books, computer and walks etc….. Mind you – I’ve had enough of the whole Covid thing now thank you!

      I’m so sorry about your friend. I wish you both the very best for the Christmas Season. XXXMarie

  8. Thank you for reminding us that through everything this past year has been there has been silver linings! We must remember to look for those during these trying times. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and let’s hope that 2021 brings us all health and happiness! xo

  9. This usually is the time when we get together with our loved ones and share that spirit of togetherness that keeps us going for another year. Christmas season is in full swing, but this year, things are different. Nevertheless, we can still put a positive spin on Christmas by staying positive and reaching out to other people. There is always someone less fortunate that needs support. May the light of the holiday season fill your heart, and may the music fill your soul. Happy holidays. Aiva xxx

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