Shoppers at Anderson’s Walmart face long lines at both self-checkout and staffed checkout lanes. Many people were doing in-person shopping Friday and this year as opposed to a lot of online shopping in 2020. Staff photo by Kylee Mullikin | The Herald Bulletin
Shoppers at Anderson’s Walmart face long lines at both self-checkout and staffed checkout lanes. Many people were doing in-person shopping Friday and this year as opposed to a lot of online shopping in 2020. Staff photo by Kylee Mullikin | The Herald Bulletin
In 2020, Christmas was different for many Americans. Some were unable to visit family due to having to quarantine, while some were unable to feel the Christmas spirit due to financial hardships. Last Christmas, there were also mask mandates put in place by local governments, which have since ended or been modified.

Additionally, there were capacity limits in places like retail stores, which made shopping trips significantly longer if you had to wait in line.

Omicron, a new variant of COVID-19, hit just in time for Christmas this year, causing some to not see their families again this Christmas.

Last week, the omicron variant accounted for nearly three-fourths of new cases in the United States. On Christmas Eve, an abundance of flights were canceled, often due to staffing issues tied to the omicron variant.

The director-general of the World Health Organization said earlier this week about canceling holiday gatherings, “An event canceled is better than a life canceled.” However, despite the fast spread of omicron, many people still plan on hosting and attending family gatherings this weekend.

On Christmas Eve morning, Tammy Dent found out her daughter tested positive for COVID-19.

Her daughter, who lives in Ohio, was to host Christmas at her house. However, Dent is unsure if anyone will still attend.

“They’ve already cooked a huge meal and everything.”

Dent still plans on visiting her daughter but said she will take precautions to keep herself safe, such as wearing a mask.

“I never stopped going around my family.”

Last year, Dent worked as a hairdresser and was laid off for a period of time. Now she is trying her best to give her family a good Christmas.

“I’m doing the best I can, but I just got a car.”

Normally she gives all her grandkids $100 each for Christmas, but because of her new car, that will not happen.

For Lori Dixon, Christmas has not changed due to the pandemic.

“Last year we got together at Christmas, same as we do always,” Dixon said.

For shopper Kayla, who wished to omit her last name, Christmas shopping is very different this year.

“Right now, I feel like it’s more freeing to be out and seeing everybody shop. It’s how it used to be,” she said.

Last year, Kayla said she did most of her Christmas gift shopping online.

“To be out and about and going through the hassle of waiting in line, it’s more exciting.”

In terms of celebration, Kayla, like Dixon, is not celebrating any differently than she did last year.

“I have a very close-knit family,” she said. “They’re the ones whom I celebrated with last year and this year.”

Health officials urge those planning on hosting of attending any holiday parties this weekend to continue to follow safety precautions such as wearing a mask, keeping appropriate social distance and washing you hands frequently.
© 2022 Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.