Two weeks ago, President Donald Trump spoke hopefully of reopening the country in time for Easter Sunday. Since that day, each passing hour has made it more obvious that there is no end in sight for the coronavirus pandemic, and the only sane option is to remain in our homes and at a safe distance as much as possible. However misguided Trump's Easter suggestion was—and it continues to cause problems—he was right about one thing: Easter is not a holiday for quarantining.
Easter is a celebration of springtime and rebirth. At a base level, it commemorates the resurrection and emergence of Jesus from the tomb where he was sealed after crucifixion, but it also has roots in pagan celebrations of life returning to earth after the death and desolation of winter. Chicks hatch from eggs, flowers sprout from the ground, birds break out in song, and rabbits return to fields of fresh green growth. These are the symbols of Easter, and they're not really compatible with staying locked indoors.
The solution, however, is not to make an exception and let everyone go to church, roll eggs on the White House lawn, and spark a new wave of infections (that's what election days are for). The solution is to change the holiday. We all need some cheer and a reason to celebrate right now. So let's go with a holiday that is all about staying indoors with a select group of loved ones—getting cozy and warm and spreading nothing but good vibes. In other words, let's celebrate Christmas.
Back in the old days, people didn't have central heating, supermarkets, or cars with snow tires to get around. Life was much more subject to the whims of nature. December was the time to stock up on supplies and bare down for long months ahead, and Christmas was all about making the best of the dark, cold confinement of winter. With people stuck inside together, it just made sense to make being indoors as comfortable as possible.
So people wore sweaters and thick socks, lit candles, sang familiar songs, ate fattening foods, drank warm drinks (preferably with a heavy dose of booze), and brought a little reminder of life indoors in the form of an evergreen tree—with the added bonus that it made the place smell lovely. They also did their best to make sure everyone was getting along by bribing each other with gifts. Now is the time when we need those comforts, those songs, those drinks, and those bribes.
We're stuck inside—either alone or with some of the people we're closest to. We're bored, we're all worried about supplies running low, and the next few months are looking bleak. This is what Christmas was made for! Sure, it's a virus rather than the weather that's keeping us indoors, but right now do you really want to be reminded of the sunshine and warmth you're missing out on? Hell, no!
So bundle up, draw the blinds, and light a pine-scented candle. Bust out the decorations, bake some cookies, put on some Christmas music and a cheesy movie, and celebrate Jesus' backup birthday like it's the real thing. And if you still feel compelled to dye some eggs, make them red and green and stuff them in a stocking—because this quarantine is going to be a long winter.