‘Twas the night before Christmas, inside of my bubble,
On my bed-fort at home, where I hunker and huddle.
I’ve spent 14 hours just staring at screens;
Tiger King, Mando and old Mr. Beans.
‘Are you STILL watching?” said Netflix with stank.
Is it a crime to binge Away starring Hilary Swank!?
Besides, we’re in lockdown, there’s nothing to do.
Whether inside or outside, my options are few.
I decided to give my poor legs a good stretch.
To the kitchen, make popcorn, then back to my nest.
I sprang from my bed (OK, maybe not “sprang”)
And marched down the hall, where my grad photos hang.
I flew down the stairs, dog and cat close behind,
(whose Instagrams are somehow doing better than mine).
Past the living room, where, after 300 days,
My family is struggling to keep boredom at bay.
I’m no better, eating beans from the can, watching talk shows from home and sports with no fans.
My mom baking bread, my dad reading Twain.
My brother on dating apps, swiping in vain.
On Tinder, on Grindr, on Bumble and Match,
And lesser-known ones like Gift Horse and Scraps.
Me? I’m no better, eating beans from the can.
Watching talk shows from home and sports with no fans.
I flip back and forth between Ex on the Beach,
And the president imploring his base to drink bleach.
What world is this? When will we get back to normal?
When can I go to the mall without wearing a snorkel?
This year will be different, no nephews, no nieces. No weird uncles who claim to have friends down at CSIS.
I miss shaking hands and paying with cash.
I’d give anything to have myself a big birthday bash.
But I know for the moment we have to sit tight.
That we’re doing our best, and the end is in sight.
And so I give thanks, for what a gift to receive,
To sit with my fam on this weird Christmas Eve.
This year will be different, no nephews, no nieces.
No weird uncles who claim to have friends down at CSIS.
No big turkey dinners, no midnight communion.
There still will be wine, but with a Fresh Prince reunion.
We’ll FaceTime with Grandma on this Christmas Day, though her camera’s always pointed down and away.
We’ll have time to reflect, though, and silence to think,
And we’ll have plenty of ice on the old outdoor rink.
We’ll write letters and cards and poems like this,
And send long-winded texts that are peppered with .gifs.
And we’ll FaceTime with Grandma on this Christmas Day,
Though her camera’s always pointed down and away.
And we’ll end this call the way we now often do,
Saying “Merry Christmas to all … how do I hang up?”
— In memory of Andrew Langendorfer, whose love and generosity was felt across the globe, and whose laughter will echo for decades to come.
This column is part of CBC’s Opinion section. For more information about this section, please read this editor’s blog and our FAQ.
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