Lockdown and Christmas: How I Combat the Loneliness

It’s December, Sinterklaas has long since arrived back in Spain, the temperatures outside are dipping into the negatives, and everywhere you look you see fairy lights and hear Mariah Carrey. This can only mean one thing… the Netherlands is in lockdown again! Yeah sure, it’s also Christmas and all, but everyone is currently much more occupied with not being allowed to visit their relatives and friends. Understandable really, the holidays are supposed to be a time for togetherness and all. But just because we can’t all be cozily huddled around a table enjoying Christmas dinners with the family, that doesn’t mean we have to be all sad and lonely! We can still make the most of the holiday season, without violating COVID measures! And so I wanna share what I’ve been doing to combat the loneliness and still have a merry Christmas with friends!

Remote Coziness with Discord!

Discord has been a very useful platform for many people since the start of the pandemic. What once was just a platform for gamers to have easy access to voice chat if the game they’re playing doesn’t have it built-in, has now become a massive social platform for all sorts of purposes. Groups of friends can make their own servers completely for free, and enjoy group voice and text chats together with easy ways to stream games and movies as well. That feature is especially handy during this lockdown because this streaming feature gives people the ability to host movie parties online or play games such as The Jackbox Party Pack (games made specifically to be streamed online for people to easily play along anywhere in the world). This is precisely what I did during last year’s lockdown in December, and what I plan to do again for this Christmas.

Werethrope Presents: Simple Secret Santa!

Speaking of Discord, for the past one and a half years I have been a member of a very large furry Discord server owned by my friend and renowned furry artist Werethrope (I’ll call him Were for short). I have a lot of friends on there, and all of us have become like a family together. Last year, Werethrope came up with a fun idea to spread joy during the lonely Christmas season. He called it Simple Secret Santa, and it went like this: everyone who wanted to join the event would let Were know, along with if they would want their present to be strictly SFW, or if NSFW was okay as well (this is the furry community after all, sex is a very common and accepted topic). Once the submissions were closed, he would use a program to randomize all the names and automatically Direct Message them to the participants, including his own name. Then everyone would secretly do a bit of research on their giftee to see what they’d be interested in, and get to work on getting them a gift.

But what do you do if you get someone you barely know, or you get someone who lives halfway across the world? This is where the “Simple” in “Simple Secret Santa” comes in. The gift can be anything, so long as there’s a bit of effort in it or you know it’s something your giftee really wants. It can be art you’ve drawn, a poem you’ve written, a few memes you’ve created for them, or even just a nice message to them. It’s all good so long as it spreads joy to your giftee for the holidays. I have participated in this event twice now, and I can personally attest it is incredibly fun and wholesome (because yes, making porn for your friends can be wholesome). I really admire Were as well for wanting to do his part to spread love and joy in such an uncertain time.

If you can’t be with friends and family in person this year, I heartily recommend trying one of the ideas above! Have a safe and very merry Christmas and a wonderful new year <3