Kristin Emery is a meteorologist at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, an O-R columnist, and writer for Total Health magazine and other publications. Kristin is a Washington native and a graduate of Washington High School and West Virginia University.

Well, we’ve made it! 2020 is slowly slogging to a bitter end with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging but with hopes renewed that it may come to an end in the new year. The first vaccines have been given approval and are starting to be administered. It really is amazing to me how quickly they were able to develop the vaccines both safely and effectively. Let’s hope and pray that they prove to be safe and successful in protecting our society and that this may signal the start of a return to normalcy for the world as we used to know it.

In the meantime, how about something to make you smile and chuckle? The other day I was getting a haircut and the salon was playing Christmas music by Andrea Bocelli. It was just simply divine and made my realize that since I’ve been working from home, I haven’t been in my car listening to the radio in weeks. I’ve missed out on nearly all of the constant playlist of Christmas music! I have many favorites ranging from Andy Williams to Mariah Carey, Nat King Cole to the great ‘80s collaboration, “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” by Band Aid. Yeah, you forgot about that one, eh? I’m a sucker for Sting, Boy George and Bono all in the studio together. One Christmas ditty that I haven’t heard in recent years and always makes me laugh is a parody of the “12 Days of Christmas.” The version I’m thinking about has one guy in the middle starting to lament writing out tons of Christmas cards and exclaiming at the end that’s he’s just not doing it anymore! That always cracks me up since I abandoned sending Christmas cards decades ago when my list swelled to 70 one year. Enough is enough, and the cost of the stamps alone was enough to pay my electric bill.

So, in lieu of a card, here is my Christmas greeting to all you: A tongue-in-cheek look back at all that we’ve endured during these past 12 months of the pandemic in 2020. Feel free to sing along in your head or aloud as you read!

In this yearlong pandemic, COVID-19 gave to me ...

12 weeks of quarantine

11 work-from-home weeks

10 pounds from stress eating

9 Clorox wipes

8 bottles of hand sanitizer

7 curbside dinner pickups

6 feet of social distance

5 face masks

4 canceled vacations

3 Zoom meetings

2 times I’ve left my house

And (sing it with me) 1 COVID-19 vaccine!

I hope this gave you a reason to smile today and that your holidays are safe, peaceful, happy and bright. May 2021 truly be a happy, prosperous and – above all – a healthy new year for all of mankind. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from me to you!

Kristin Emery can be reached at

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