Editorial

Enjoying Christmas amidst a pandemic

Christmas at home with the dog
Christmas 2020 will be different to past years, but nonetheless we need to learn to be grateful for what we have. Credit: Tirion Davies
Christmas will be incredibly different this year, but it is important that we all learn it's okay for us to celebrate. We need this festive period more than ever after the hand 2020 dealt.

By Tirion Davies | Editor-in-Chief

And here we are at the end of the year, after quite the bizarre experience. 2020 was a hard year to get through, with COVID-19 dominating our lives and the news headlines. But, although it’s the end of the year, we have finally earned some good news in the form of a vaccine, one which will start mass vaccination for the majority of us from the beginning of the new year.

New Year’s Eve 2019 got us all excited for the next decade to come, but within just a few days of 2020, we realized perhaps the exciting decade we had ahead wouldn’t quite be the way we anticipated.

This year began with the threat of COVID-19, forest fires across Australia, and the threat of a major conflict between America and Iran. By March, Britain went into a national lockdown, with the rest of the world finding themselves, similarly, at a standstill.

Between virtual hugs and hours filled with Zoom meetings, we’ve all had to adapt to a new way of living in 2020. Who’d have imagined a year ago that lockdowns, face coverings, and social distancing would be our new normal? Or that COVID-19 would dominate our entire lives?

Thankfully, the end of this journey is in sight, with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine ready to be rolled out across Britain. By next summer, although life won’t be quite how it once was, normality will begin reinstating itself slowly but surely.

It doesn’t mean the work is over. There is a vaccine, but it doesn’t mean we can stop social distancing – we must continue to take the necessary precautions to halt the spread of the virus.

What a whirlwind year this has been! January felt like a new start, and we were ready to send 2019 on its merry way. Little did we know, 2020 had its own nightmare waiting just around the corner. Tragedy after tragedy, by March we’d come to expect the disappointments 2020 would deal us.

It’s felt like a lifetime and somehow like a blink of an eye. Many of us haven’t been home since we moved back to Cardiff in September, and it simultaneously feels as though September was last week, but also as though this semester began back in July.

This Christmas period will be different than normal, of course. With lockdown and social distancing rules still in place, despite the bubble system here in Wales, many of us will still experience a virtual Christmas Day with our family members. Nothing says Christmas quite like FaceTiming your family during present opening.

Yet, although this Christmas will be difficult, following a year of loss and hardship, a little joy is well deserved. We need to be thankful that we have our health and our family members. We need to celebrate the memories of those we’ve lost this year and remember their smiles. We must remember we have homes and presents.

Being grateful during a year that’s done nothing but thrown curveball after curveball will be difficult, but a little Christmas cheer will lift spirits in a way that’s needed now, more than ever.

From all of us at Gair Rhydd, Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


A dyma ni ar ddiwedd y flwyddyn, ar ôl flwyddyn hollol anarferol. Yr oedd 2020 yn flwyddyn anodd ei brofi, gyda COVID-19 yn dominyddu’r newyddion pob dydd. Ond, er bod hi’n ddiwedd y flwyddyn, rydym wedi, o’r ddiwedd, derbyn y newyddion da bod yna brechlyn – un sy’n mynd i ddechrau cael ei rannu i’r mwyafrif ohonom ni o ddechrau’r flwyddyn newydd.

Ar Nos Galan 2019, roedd pawb yn edrych ymlaen at y degawd newydd, ond o fewn tuag wythnos o 2020, wnaethom ni sylweddoli efallai nad yw’r degawd yma’n mynd i fod mor llwyddiannus â gobeithion ni.

Dechreuodd y flwyddyn hon gyda’r potensial o pandemig, tân yn dechrau ac yn lledaenu ar draws Awstralia, a’r potensial o wrthdaro rhwng yr UDA ac Iran. Erbyn mis Mawrth, yr oedd Prydain wedi mynd i mewn i gyfnod clo, gyda gweddill y byd, yn debyg, yn darganfod ei hun yn safiad stond.

Ymysg cofleidio dros y we ac oriau llawn cyfarfodydd Zoom, rydym ni gyd wedi gorfod addasu i ffordd newydd o fyw yn 2020. Pwy allai ystyried flwyddyn lle bod gwisgo gorchudd wyneb a sefyll dau fetr i ffwrdd yn rhan o fywyd pob dydd? Pwy allai wedi gweld bywyd lle bod pob trafodaeth yn dechrau ac yn gorffen yn drafod COVID-19?

Diolch byth, mae diwedd y flwyddyn o’n blaenau, gyda’r brechlyn Pfizer/BioNTech yn barod i’w fynd i bobl ar draws Prydain. Erbyn Haf blwyddyn nesaf, er na fydd bywyd fel yr oedd o’r blaen, bydd bywyd normal yn dechrau ail-ddangos.

Nid yw hyn yn meddwl bod y gwaith wedi’i orffen. Oes, mae yna frechlyn, ond nid yw hyn yn meddwl ni ddylai ni peidio cadw pellter – mae’n rhaid i ni barhau i gymryd rhagofalon angenrheidiol i wrthod rhannu’r feirws yn fwy nag y mae wedi rhannu’n barod.

Mae’r flwyddyn hon wedi bod yn hollol od! Teimlodd mis Ionawr fel ddechrau newydd, ac yr oeddem ni’n barod i waredi ar 2019. Yr hyn nad oeddem ni’n ymwybodol ohono, roedd gan 2020 hunllefau ei hunain yn aros i ni. Hunllef ar ôl hunllef, erbyn mis Mawrth yr oeddem yn disgwyl siom.

Mae 2020 wedi teimlo fel oes ond hefyd fel bod pob dim wedi digwydd o fewn eiliad. Nid yw nifer ohonom ni wedi gweld ein teuluoedd ers i ni symud nôl i Gaerdydd ym mis Medi, ac felly mae’n teimlo fel oedd mis Medi ond ddoe, ond hefyd fel petai ein bod wedi ail-fyw Gorffennaf pedair gwaith.

Wrth gwrs, bydd cyfnod y Nadolig yn hollol wahanol i’r arfer. Gyda chyfnodau clo a rheolau pellter cymdeithasol dal yn ei le, er bod yna rheolau swigen yma yng Nghymru, bydd nifer ohonom ni dal yn gorfod delio gyda Diwrnod Nadolig gyda’n teulu dros y we.

Ond, er bydd cyfnod y Nadolig yn anodd, yn enwedig ar ôl flwyddyn o golled a chaledi, mae bach o hapusrwydd yn deilwng. Mae’n rhaid i ni fod yn ddiolchgar bod gennym ni ein hiechyd a’n teulu. Mae’n rhaid i ni ddathlu bywydau’r rhai a gollwyd eleni, a chofio’u gwenau. Mae’n rhaid i ni gofio bod tai ac anrhegion gennym ni.

Bydd bod yn ddiolchgar ymysg flwyddyn sydd wedi parhau i roi problem ar ôl broblem yn mynd i fod yn anodd, ond gall cyfnod y Nadolig bod yn gyfle da i godi ysbryd sydd ei angen nawr, yn fwy nag erioed o’r blaen.

Felly, oddi wrth bawb Gair Rhydd, Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

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