Church Services Were Canceled for Christmas

Empty church decorated with Christmas decorations
Artwork by Anthony Faust
Empty church decorated with Christmas decorations

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic forced Americans to rethink their traditional Christmas celebrations. Depending on the state or municipality, many churches were closed. So, instead of the usual pageants, carols, and midnight masses, people had to fill out fast-filling attendance registration forms ensuring they could attend a limited service, or they were firing up the laptop to participate in services offered on demand.

While attendance limits for in-person services varied from place to place, some braved the new world and attended church on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Other church leaders urged Christians to stay away from gatherings to reduce the spread of the virus. The lack of social interaction and the inability to participate in traditional celebrations lead to loneliness and isolation during the holiday season for some, as travel restrictions and quarantine requirements made it difficult or impossible to see loved ones in person.

Virtual events, such as online concerts and church services, helped people feel more connected to their communities, even if they couldn’t gather in person. Some churches organized virtual gatherings, where they can share a meal or exchange gifts over video chat. This was especially important for the members of the church who were isolated.

The lack of a regular Christmas routine and the powerful need for positive news given the special circumstances, had many Americans pouring new energy into making the holiday uplifting, while still maintaining social distancing guidelines. Christmas trees and decorations were up earlier than usual, partly because people were just at home more, and had less to do.

Some people experienced that those around them reflected on the season’s meaning in a new way. That Christmas was a powerful time of a very trying year, and many used it as an opportunity to count their blessings. Make no mistake, Christmas would come whether there was a pandemic or not—and people were looking for something to celebrate. That Christmas brought hope, joy, and new life, when most people needed that most in their lives.

"This book will make you laugh and feel ALL the feelings."

Five star rating

"One of the most delightful reads of this year! I highly recommend."

Five star rating

"A great coffee table book. Easy to pick up read."

Five star rating

"Great coffee table conversation starter."

Five star rating

"Funny and fun to read. What a fun way to put the pandemic in perspective."

Five star rating

Picture of author Anthony Faust

About the Author

My life as a husband and father transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sent home from work in March 2020, I've yet to return to the office. Adapting to the new pandemic world proved challenging for us all.

However, we managed to find silver linings. Drive-by birthdays brought joy to my kids' friends. I'll never forget stumbling upon a heartfelt hand-painted rock during my jog, reminding us that we're all in this together. Regular Zoom happy hours with close friends created cherished memories.

While quality time with my family was a blessing, we also faced hurdles. Assisting my youngest daughter with frustrating math homework on a poorly designed iPad app tested our patience. Both girls struggled with wearing masks during sports and school.

Sadly, witnessing COVID-19 being politicized and witnessing the closure of small businesses while the wealthy thrived was disheartening.

I wrote this book to document our experiences, learning from them and striving for better decisions in the future. Join me on this rewarding journey of resilience and growth.

Tony signature