FF – Christmas in the Rear View Mirror

Thanks for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields herself for this image.

Christmases In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Further Away

“It’ll be an adventure,” she says, “We don’t need to be home; we’re together.”

The kids stare and nod. They’re too young to be sure what things were like before. Didn’t Christmas always mean magic, crackers and LFTs?

Weeks ago, she’d packed the essentials to bring Santa wherever they were and hidden it at the bottom of the case. Last night, she’d covered it with laundry and souvenirs, relieved to go home.

But home won’t let them in with a positive test. So Christmas will be an adventure, with as much magic as Mama can conjure from a secret bag.


How much explanation this one needs might depend whether you’ve done any pandemic travelling and/or have small children. It started at almost 200 words with a bit more explanation, but I hope it still makes sense in its FF form. If not, here’s the background.

The last few weeks we’ve been in the UK and Finland, visiting Santa at his home and then loved ones at what was once ours. The plan was always to be back at our current home for Christmas.

But it was touch and go. Travel involves a raft of covid tests and we knew at any point that there was a non-zero possibility of exposure, of a positive test, and of an emergency change of plan. So our back-ups included a bag of stockings and presents in the bottom of the case, just in case (pun intended) we had to recreate the magic in isolation somewhere other than home. The kids might have accepted that family presents were back at the house, but we couldn’t exactly say Santa didn’t know where we were … especially if we ended up quarantined in his backyard!

I’m typing this on the plane home. We still have more tests to do, but any isolation now will be in our house with our gifts already wrapped, food in the freezer and tree standing ready for decoration. This story, however, could just as easily have been us.


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30 responses to “FF – Christmas in the Rear View Mirror

  1. I like how you made contingency plans, as it is wild world at the moment. The though of being trap away from home is the pits. In any case (and in all your cases) there is always a surprise, let it be a warm and wonderful Christmas at home.

    • Thank you. Yes, travel is a lot less fun these days, but there’s only so long we can put things on hold, especially where young children are concerned. I hope your Christmas was happy, and more relaxed than ours!

  2. I loved the Santa in a bag idea

  3. It’s so very good that you’ve been able to make the best of it

  4. That’s a very unique take on the festive season in our current situation. I hope yo u have a lovely covid-free christmas.

  5. So glad you are on your way home in any case and the season can be celebrated there. Great idea having Santa in a case though. Certainly a relevant story! Merry Christmas to you and yours. 🙂

    • Merry Christmas back at you, Brenda! Santa came out of the case and made a great showing at home. He even brought a new bed for the cats this year – we think he felt bad for them not getting to come visit him!

  6. The story makes perfect sense as it is in our time. I smiled about the extroduction though and am glad that you all will be safely at home. But Santa understands these things, he can bring presents in isolation and at home at the same time but surely he wouldn’t want to burden the travelers with all the presents on the journey. You don’t have reindeers after all.

    • Actually, we now have 7 reindeers, which I think is almost enough for a sleigh. Unfortunately they are all small and stuffed toy-shaped, so you’re right about our transport limits. I’m glad he didn’t need to visit us abroad, but if he had it would have just been to fill stockings with a few things to entertain us until our return.

  7. Good story and lovely explanation. Glad it all worked out so well.

  8. Dear Jen,

    I hope this comment finds you safely back home and COVID free. Just when we think it’s over, another wave begins. Well written.

    Merry Christmas,


  9. Very courageous of you to travel during this time, and triply so with kids in tow! Hope you made it home, save and sound and virus-free!

  10. The pragmatics of Covid travel. Glad you made it home safe and sound.

  11. I know so many people are feeling this one. I will never forget that brief window last spring/early summer after getting vaccinated when it was like – free at last! Now, who knows anymore, right? Nice, timely tale.

  12. A perfectly told story that mirrors this strange era. So glad you got home.

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