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November Christmas Party

November Christmas Party November Christmas Party

Corona completely changes my perception of time. I mean, aside from the fact that it's already December even though it feels like yesterday that COVID-19 reached Italy and Europe started paying closer attention to what would become an all-consuming pandemic. On the smallest scale, it changed when I go to bed and wake up, when I eat, when I go to the supermarket. And now, it changed when my housemates and I gathered together around an improvised Christmas tree, exchanging Secret Santa gifts and sipping Glühwein followed by some hot chocolate (the Irish way): At 2 pm on a Monday afternoon in November.

No, the reason why is not because we are alcoholics. Instead, this cold November day was our third and last desperate attempt to meet up, and exchange gifts and stories before the Christmas holidays would separate us for a while. The first day, originally planned mid-December, had to be moved because of toughened quarantine restrictions when going back home outside the Netherlands. The second night was canceled on the very day itself when one of us woke up with a sore throat, sending us all into an anxious self-quarantine, checking the phone every three seconds to see whether the results already came back.

Finally, Monday afternoon, between tutorials and exams, the time came to be holly and jolly. Surrounded by a combination of savory snacks contributed by everyone set to leave soon trying to finish their last produce, and sweet delights, we sang, played games, and unanimously wished for a next year filled with giving hugs to the people we love, going to restaurants and cafes, and discovering new small-talk topics aside from Corona.

If time will go as quickly as this year, all of that will already happen tomorrow.

Jesler van Houdt

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