As the pandemic hit Australia I submerged myself in learning to crochet and making six Pandemic Christmas Wreaths. I finished them when I was forced into lockdown due to a broken ankle.
A Pandemic Christmas Wreath of Connection and Optimism
Remember those first weeks of lockdown early in 2020, before we got jaded and screened out? That’s when it was still fun to do zoom calls. I hadn’t yet done 8 weeks of telehealth as a psychologist and wondered how many tears I had missed.
Like many others we connected with family overseas, particularly my nephew and his wife from Wellington, New Zealand. They had visited us in January 2020 with their gorgeous baby son. New Zealand entered a harsher lockdown than we did in Australia at that time so we supported each other by catching up on Zoom, playing trivia quizzes, sharing lockdown stories and Covid-19 stats. It was during one of these zoom calls that I launched my Christmas Pandemic Wreath project. I stitched love for my New Zealand family into to this wreath along with my hope that, as they hang the wreath each Christmas, they would look back at 2020 as a year of connection and optimism.
A Pandemic Christmas Wreath of Grief and Love
The impact of the pandemic hit my son and his fiancé with an unexpected ferocity. She was unable to return to the UK for her mother’s funeral and her sister’s wedding was cancelled. The ease of living overseas, where a trip home is just a day and some hard earned money evaporated overnight. If she went home for the funeral, she would not be able to return to Australia. I’m so glad she stayed. I’m also glad they had travelled to see her mum when she was ill earlier in the year.
There is no way my son and his fiancé will forget 2020. As they hang this wreath each Christmas I hope they honour their grief and remember the love they share together, with others who are not always present, and that we share it with them.
A Pandemic Christmas Wreath of Grit and Thankfulness
I worried more as I stitched this wreath. My daughter and her partner were locked down in Melbourne. Basically they’d been in lockdown since 21 March 2020 and restrictions didn’t begin to ease until November 2020. I worried about their mental health, their relationship and their jobs. While they found it tough they also flourished creating art, furniture and gourmet meals. They embraced a buy local strategy and our birthdays were celebrated with bundles of gifts found within a 5 km ring of where they lived.
The Melbourne lockdown saved Australia from a rampant attack by Covid-19. This wreath embraces the thanks I have for all Victorians who kept the rest of us safe. I hope when my daughter and her partner hang this wreath each Christmas, they look back with pride at the intense time they spent together, the determined grit they displayed, and all they achieved and created.
A Pandemic Christmas Wreath of Family Resilience and Caring
This wreath is for Ms Forgotten Australian’s youngest daughter’s family who hold a special place in my heart. The family underwent 4 Covid tests this year, whereas I had none. Like any family, the kids, 4 and 6 years old, bought home coughs and colds which resulted in multiple tests. I don’t know any child who looks forward to having a stranger stick a swab up their nose! It takes fortitude and integrity to turn up for yet another Covid test with fearful children, who probably just have a cold.
Families like them helped keep Brisbane safe. This family, like many others, coped with disruptions to their home, work, school and leisure routine and yet they continued to care for the vulnerable in their community. They got on with the task, complaint free, resiliently adapting to the changes. As they hang the wreath each Christmas I hope they remember their collective resilience and the way they cared for each other through this time.
A Pandemic Christmas Wreath of New Beginnings
Our nephew, his pregnant wife, their 9 month and 4 year old daughters started the year living with us as they made the move from Sydney to Brisbane. Then they bought a new home, he started a new job, she upstaged him by giving birth to a new baby girl during Covid, and of course were separated from interstate family. Its been lovely watching their excitement and joy at each new adventure. As they hang their wreath each Christmas, I’m sure they will remember the many new beginnings of 2020, not just that they lived through a pandemic.
A Pandemic Christmas Wreath of Friendship
As I stitched this wreath, I thought of the times we have shared with these friends this year. We started this year together in South America, a lifetime ago. While there we watched the fires burn in Australia, never thinking that this would be just the beginning of a year like no other.
As the Covid-19 raged, we were separated from family and supported each other.
As family members broke bones, we checked in with each other! Thanks for the loan of the crutches!
Together we snuck a brief holiday to Caloundra, not a destination we would normally have chosen, usually planning trips much father away. As we walked and talked, it helped eased the stress of the year.
As they hang this wreath at each Christmas, I hope it reminds them of our friendship, the good times we’ve shared and how we survived a pandemic!
My wreaths were inspired by Lucy at Attic 24. She’s amazing. You can find her patterns and inspiration here Attic24: Crochet (typepad.com)
Merry Christmas to all
I could make more wreaths, as I am blessed with family and friends who have helped me endure the devastation of the Australian bushfires, the pandemic and now a broken ankle, but I think I’m done. Lets hope 2021 is remembered as a time we all paused, focused on what we want for our lives and made some lasting changes.
I hope you all made the most of Christmas, wherever you were, whoever you were with.