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Under difficult circumstances, Minnesotans cope with Christmas 2020

It's not an easy holiday season, but people are making the best of it.

MINNEAPOLIS — Walking with her dog, Bandito, at Bde Maka Ska on Friday, Gisel Flores marveled at the sunny weather and calm afternoon winds.

“Today, I woke up, and it’s a beautiful Day, the 25th of December,” Flores said. “Why not go out and go to the lake?”

It looked – and felt – like a regular Christmas in many ways, with snow packing the sidewalks and temperatures hovering near single digits in Minneapolis.

Still, Flores could feel the absence of human interaction. Outside of taking Bandito for a stroll, she spent most of her day alone on Zoom, catching up with relatives in a virtual format that has come to epitomize the year 2020.

“I have family in the cities, and family back in Mexico, and it was nice to be able to talk to them, and just be grateful for what we have,” Flores said. “I had some good food – and wine – so that was nice!”

Hopefully, there will never be another Christmas during a pandemic.

But even with so much despair in the world, Minnesotans found ways to cope. Some of you watched the Vikings play a rare Christmas Day game against the New Orleans Saints, offering some entertainment during quarantine. They may have lost and fallen out of playoff contention, but some superfans still enjoyed themselves – like the KARE 11 Facebook follower Mary Garbutt, who shared a photo of her dog wearing a Vikings jersey with sunglasses.

Credit: Mary Garbutt

Others drove through light shows across the state, including GLOW, which was sold out at the Fairgrounds for most of the evening.

Rob Duggan, meanwhile, took his bike for a spin around Bde Maka Ska.

“Needless to say, [the pandemic has been] very, very challenging on many different levels,” Duggan said. “Fortunately for me, I have a bunch of hobbies. As long as I’m staying active and being able to get out there and enjoy things that are fun to me, it’s how I get through it.”

For Gisel Flores, the outdoor activity of choice is walking her dog – until it’s safe to return to a pre-pandemic lifestyle again.

“When this is over, we can take advantage of seeing each other. But, for now, it’s OK,” Flores said. “Just hang in there.”