Once a week, ex-rulers Eberhard Diepgen (CDU) and Walter Momper (SPD) write in the BZ Berlin about topics that move the capital. This time it’s about the corona restrictions on Christmas.
Eberhard Diepgen: No, it can be very beneficial
Christmas will be different in many families and single communities. The restrictions force you to review your cherished habits on the holidays and to set priorities with the restrictions. That can be very beneficial.
The older generation in particular experienced Christmas under much greater restrictions. A majority has not yet escaped the consumer terror of capitalism. Shortly before the shutdown, the shops were stormed. Not enough to make up for retail losses.
But online trading is enjoying new records and the garbage cans are overfilled by the masses of packaging material, which is environmentally harmful. But gifts are inevitably thought a little more carefully. In recent years, this column has often asked whether a particularly expensive gift is enough to express the love for the recipient.
With a good excuse, you can postpone an annoying visit to relatives and reduce the stress in the kitchen when preparing the traditional Christmas dinner. The restrictions can therefore be used to bring the origin and meaning of the festival more to the fore. The birth and the message of Jesus can also be celebrated alone.
And a sign of the cohesion of family and solidarity among friends? A video conference cannot replace all signs of human solidarity and the exchange of ideas – in my opinion, there are many exaggerated expectations in the current phase of digitization. But the video message, the conversation via Skype or a joint toast with the help of Whatsapp can and should be used.
There are many creative options. Christmas doesn’t have to be spoiled. And in the next year you will know even better what really matters.
Walter Momper: No, the core remains the same
We will not let the pandemic and the resulting restrictions spoil Christmas. Of course it will be a different Christmas than usual. But the core of the Christmas festival will remain the same.
We will meet in families and groups of friends as far as it is allowed. Of course, all the nice accessories that make Christmas such a great festival will be omitted. The churches will essentially remain closed. Christmas concerts and the entire cultural scene is canceled. That is a major turning point that greatly reduces public contact.
But in the small circle of the family we can get together and meet and exchange ideas. These smaller celebrations will be all the more important. With the reduced contacts we are living with at the moment, it is nice when you can get together in a smaller group, eat well, exchange ideas and be happy that you have come together again.
We will not let Christmas be spoiled for us. On the contrary: We look forward to a traditional Christmas celebration next year or when the pandemic is over with all the contacts that we have always maintained. The family gathering will continue to be the great goal. But also all the ecclesiastical and cultural events that we otherwise cultivate will inspire and elevate us. Then the Christmas party shines in its old splendor and it will be fun again as always.
And we will remember the year 2020, in which we did not let the joy of meeting in a small group be taken away, but built on the fact that it would get better afterwards.