Updated: Jan 14
“It’s been challenging,” admitted Sophie Boyd. The Crofton native goes to college in Alabama, and hasn’t made it home as much as she’d like due to the pandemic restrictions. She has made it home to her family for Christmas though.
She was giving her Lab-mix Max a chance to stretch his legs during a cold Tuesday afternoon, three days before what could turn out to be a very unusual Christmas for many.
“It’s not really the same as it used to be--(with) typical festivities and gatherings,” she said. “We try to stay home more than we typically would.”
She misses going shopping though. This Christmas has more than one resident looking past it, to a time where the pandemic emergency, may be more behind than ahead. Asked to describe this holiday in three words she chose “unique’, “challenging”, and “adaptive.”
“I’m hoping for at least some sense of normalcy to come back,” Boyd said. But she is grateful to be sharing the holiday in such a stressful year., saying that “Just spending time with family—that’s definitely a privilege to have.”
Cory and Andrea Hall or Severn were also giving their four-legged family some time to run around at the dog park in Crofton. One of the animals was a new member of their household. They adopted her during the pandemic.
They weren’t sure if they would get another dog, but they had been talking about it, since there other dog was getting older. The pandemic settled the matter.
“It made it the ideal time to bring a new dog into the family,” Andrea said. She also said the couple had been talking to extended family about every day, and been using video conferencing a bit more often to do that during the pandemic.
The couple both work in IT, they said, And they said they’ve both been ill from the coronavirus. Their experience with the disease was quite mild, Andrea said.
“We’ve really been lucky-blessed,” she said. “We both have jobs. We had COVID, but it was more like a cold for us.”
This Christmas season has been more stressful for them anyway though. They both miss going out after work with their kids.
“It was part of being away,” Cory Hall said. “To be able to come home (from work) and go out and spontaneously get dinner. (We) enjoyed it.”
Andrea did see at least one silver lining sharing the day at home.
“I’ve been able to do some fitness,” she said. “It wouldn’t have happened otherwise.”
Describing this Christmas season, Andrea said it was “different”, “nontraditional”, and “disconnected”. Cory chose the words “same”, “reverent”, and “smaller”.
Also in the park, sitting on a bench, girded against the windy weather and watching the dogs play was Jeana Vincent from Odenton.
Vincent said she is non-religious, and chooses minimalism over the heavy gift-giving consumerism that often occurs during the holidays.
“There’s nothing exciting about my Christmas,” she said. “There’s no family gathering.”
She said she’s not going out for New Year’s either.
“I’m not one of those people who go out,” she said. “I’m high-risk.”
But, like the others at the park, she is looking forward to what 2021 may eventually bring.
Those at the dog park were united in their hope for a respite from the disease that has infected tens of thousands of county residents. And hoping for the opportunity to enjoy a kind of security and mobility that perhaps, many of us took for granted last Christmas.
The assembled canines for their part, were running around with wagging tails and lolling tongues. For some of Creation, this Christmas season is already as holly and jolly as ever.
One watching their shear joy in living life in those gray, cold, windy moments at Bell Branch Dog Parkon the afternoon of December 22, 2020 might wonder: what three words would they use to describe this Christmas?