Once upon a time, there was an old man who was all alone for Christmas. He had nowhere to go and there was no one he could celebrate with. Two years have passed since his wife died from a disease and he has been alone ever since. He recalled the happy days when his small family was complete and how they would celebrate Christmas together. Cousins, nieces, and nephews would arrive slowly, family by family, and they would greet each other in the foyer. Joyous laughter would fill the halls and even if the giggles and shrieks of little children would be disruptive to some, during Christmas time it is most welcome. A feast would soon emerge in the dining room where everyone would be waiting eagerly with excited faces and bright eyes. The smell of roast chicken and boiled potatoes would tickle the senses of the attendees.
“Merry Christmas, my dearest family!” The man would exclaim. His heart warm from being around each one. If only it could be like this every year…
… but not this year.
This year, it was only him. Most called him to wish him happy holidays and informed him about how sorry they were that they couldn’t go to meet him this year. There were no happy greetings of “Merry Christmas” when he walks to the park. No smiles. Just masks. People would steer clear of him, afraid that they were going to infect him. His old age had him placed under the vulnerable category. He wanted more than anything to have some warmth, to talk, to have someone close to him.
But not this year. This year, it would only be him.
HELLO! This short story is just a gentle reminder not to forget the elderly members of our family this holiday season. True that we may have to stay away from them for their own safety but let’s not forget to call, keep in touch, and ask how they are doing. It would do well for them, and also for us, to connect with other humans. Tell them about your day and give them something to think about. We can also engage them in games via video calls. Let’s try and be creative to let our presence be felt this year.
Advance happy holidays!