HALIFAX -- An uptick in COVID-19 cases has many Maritimers scaling back their holiday traditions.

Dartmouth, N.S., writer Kate Watson took pen to paper, expressing the sentiment through a pandemic poem.

“T’was a month before Christmas, and all through N.S., the people were moaning: ‘we’re in such a mess!’” she wrote, inspired by the latest COVID-19 restrictions in Nova Scotia during the province’s second wave.

“You with your travel, you with your sports, you and the restaurants, you with your moist snorts!” another stanza reads.

Watson already knew this Christmas would be much different than 2019. Her daughter lives in British Columbia and usually comes home for the holidays.

That won’t happen this year. Some of her other traditions will have to be put off, too.

“You either laugh or you cry,” said Watson.

Kay Bosch is in a similar situation.

“I have a really big family,” saidBosch, an expecting mom who’s waiting on a new baby girl any day now.

Her usual Christmas tradition involves a series of dinners with family and friends starting on Christmas Day, all the way up to New Year’s Day. Bosch says the tradition usually involves lots of music, games, and food.

Kay Bosch and her family

Kay Bosch and her family. (Photo submitted by Kay Bosch)

“So, the extended people that we would have had for Christmas, now we’re thinking that’s not going to happen either.”

Bosch says with new limits on social gatherings, and her expected baby, she’s focusing on making this year as normal as possible for her kids at home.

“So we’re actually taking the Christmas tree out today, and we’re gonna put that up. Just do cookies, and just do a gingerbread house at some point, so that they don’t feel like they’re missing out on Christmas.”

Peggy Pippy from Ingramport, N.S., says this year will be much different for her.

“I won’t be able to visit my mom in Truro,” said Pippy.

She says she set up her mother’s Christmas tree right before the recent increase of COVID-19 cases.

Peggy Pippy and her family

Peggy Pippy and her family pose in this photo from a previous Christmas. Pippy is in the front row, on the right. (Photo submitted by Peggy Pippy)

This year, she says she will innovate.

“I’m probably going to meet my sister at the edge of the county line, we’ll do a Christmas exchange, so she can take my gifts to Truro, and she can come to me. We can always have a spring party, or maybe do a Christmas in July next year.”

As for Watson and her poem, she says it’s her way of looking on the bright side.

If you’re wondering how it ends:

“…and when this is through, we’ll be stronger, and wiser, less selfish, more kind, in a world that’s less lonely, with goals realigned.”