Holidays during COVID

March 25, 2021 5:38 PM

a crown icon and the words "rising voices award winner"
Photo of a birthday cake with lit candles on top. Image courtesy of Richard Burlton via Unsplash.

Photo of a birthday cake with lit candles on top. Image courtesy of Richard Burlton via Unsplash.

Birthday during COVID

April 28, 2020

The lights abruptly went off leaving me with the darkness sending shivers down my spine. I shut my school computer down and decided to do my online homework later. In the distance, I could hear the faint sounds. I got out of my room and went towards the singing. As I went closer I could hear the voices singing happy birthday. I dared myself and entered closer towards the voices and a sort of light that had begun to appear. I was nearing the dining room of my house and the light became bigger and brighter and a sort of comfort. I could hear the voices clearer and they were the sounds of my family singing happy birthday to me. I entered the dark dining room to see my family happily singing and smiling. 

That’s right: today is my 14th birthday, I remembered. I guess I was just so stressed with online school and classes that I forgot I thought to myself. My heart sank as I looked around me. It's felt like a while since my family came together to do anything, and with COVID it has felt like we are even farther apart. I was holding back the urge to cry. I looked around myself as my family finished the song. I blew the candles out and made a wish… I hope we stay close forever.

Fourth of July during COVID

July 4, 2020

I carefully grabbed the red, white, and blue cupcakes and carefully waddled them to the living room. My brother was right behind me with the sodas and my mom behind him with the rest of the snacks. All of my siblings sat confusedly on the couch. My mom started to give us our long-awaited explanation.

“Just because we can’t celebrate outside because of COVID doesn't mean we can’t have fun inside. We can watch movies and I even brought snacks!” my mom said, sounding very accomplished. There was a moment of silence. 

Once again I forget about an event, but this time it wasn’t because of COVID. In my family, we don’t really celebrate the 4th of July because as African-Americans that wasn’t the day we gained our freedom at all. Usually, we could just party for long hours outside with neighbors but everyone locked themselves airtight in their homes because of COVID. I mean it's better than being bored for a whole day and my mom sounded so accomplished. I’ll just try to have lots of fun. 

I went to Netflix full of hope for what this evening had to come. There was bright pure laughter and jokes. We ate snacks and even gossiped a little bit. There weren't any thoughts or any worries. I was just close to family. I was getting my birthday wish.

Christmas during COVID

December 25, 2020

I walked into our hotel apartment with my siblings to find my parents standing around our Christmas presents. I felt like I was in a dream. The hotel room was beautiful with white walls and amazing decoration. There was a big window in the room where the presents were showing an amazing view of Boston, but it was seeing my family in pure happiness that made this moment dream-like. 

I opened my present carefully hoping to not rip the wrapping paper.   

I kept waiting for the moment when I would wake up and realize this was all a dream but that didn’t happen. 

Everyone had a smile on their face. A real smile. My heartfelt like it was about to burst out of my chest from happiness. My parents cuddled on the couch watching a Christmas movie and my siblings were playing with their presents. It seemed as though everyone and everything in that moment from the ground up to the sky was completely happy 

I walked into the bathroom and made sure to lock the door behind me. I looked deeply in the mirror for a moment then burst into tears of joy. My birthday wish… it has come true.

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