So here it is Merry Christmas and, at the risk of sounding cliché, it's a Christmas like no other.
From what's on your Christmas present shopping list – out go the concert tickets and flight vouchers, in go the milk frothers, comfy slippers and gifts supporting local businesses – to plans for the festivities themselves.
The Christmas panto, carol concerts and film screenings have all moved online, as will many of our festive celebrations – particularly for those who are unable to travel home for the holidays.
The choir sings at the Artefacts Virtual Carol Concert
But whether it's putting our decorations up ridiculously early, having a go at a homemade wreath or simply snuggling up with a favourite festive film, we are all finding ways to spread Christmas cheer in yet another show of our resilience and resourcefulness this year.
The band plays at the Artefacts Virtual Carol Concert
It's safe to say that this year has made us grateful more than ever of the people around us. We have a newappreciation of the sense of community, an understanding of what is really important, and an awareness of the part we can play in strengthening these ties.
Staff and students at the Year 1 Christmas Quiz
As we bid farewell to this year and look forward to the next, we at the School of Medicine are sending out our thanks and best wishes to all of our students, who this year and every day have given us so much to be proud of and hopeful for the future.
How you'll be spending Christmas 2020
We asked a few people from around the School what they were most looking forward to this Christmas. Here's what they said:
Year 5 student doctor Sumirat Keshwara
"Watching a lot of Christmas films... and eating a mince pie for every film watched!"
Year 1 Student Rep Stephanie Girgis
"Skiing back home in Canada! I was surprised to hear that skiing is quite an 'elite' sport over here, in Canada everyone skis! I just love the snow. I'm missing it over here."
Year 1 Student Rep Alicia Jade Cox
"I am just really looking forward to spending some quality time with my loved ones. I'm the oldest in the family and have some really young siblings so Christmas is such a magical time. I also can't wait to see my dog Bella!"
Season's greetings from Year 1 student reps Stephanie Girgis and Alicia Jade Cox, and Year 1 Director Professor Jim Gallagher
EDI Lead Dr George Ampat
"Spending time with my family. I have 2 daughters. One of whom lives at home and has cerebral palsy – she is a great inspiration to me – and the other is away studying at University and hasn't been home in 3 months so I am looking forward to having the family all together."
Deputy Director of Wellbeing Dr Richard Latten
"Spending Christmas day at home and seeing my sons enjoy their Christmas presents. I'll be working in my hospital on other days and look forward to working alongside my clinical colleagues providing patient care over the holiday period."
School Dean Professor Hazel Scott
"Having quiet, computer- free moments of fireside chocolate indulgence after frosty dog walks."
Year 5 student doctor Olivia Olujohungbe
"I'm most looking forward to spending time with my family this Christmas - after being at home for the first national lockdown, it has felt strange not seeing their faces every day! This year is the longest I'll have been at home for Christmas break since first year and I will be sure to make the most of it, with lots of festive activities (and mince pies!)"
Year 5 student doctor Natasha Varshney
“I am definitely looking forward to returning to my 'happy place' this holiday. Not quite Turf Moor, but I'm lucky to have Allington Loch on my doorstep and it is the best place to recharge the batteries following a very long term.”
Student Natasha Varshney will be enjoying Allington Loch this Christmas
Year 5 student doctor Kate Tipping
“I've got tickets to Dunham Massey's Winter Wonderland with my family. I'm so excited to see all the lights and displays. It'll be a bit different this year as it's Covid secure with social distancing but I'm still excited! And the food. I love mince pies, Christmas pudding, turkey and I eat my body weight in Quality Street. Calories don't count at Christmas or so I tell myself!”
Student Experience Team Leader, Assessment & Graduate Entry Ian Heyes
"After this year and the changes to assessment, having to arrange a completely new electronic platform in 2 months, I am certainly looking forward to the break this Christmas. I’m looking forward the most to eating and drinking the contents of the fridge, but it might put a strain on my already expanding lockdown waistline.”
Year 5 student doctor James Baker
"I am most looking forward to going home and seeing my family whom I haven’t seen for months - also they have just moved house, so I am looking forward to seeing the new house."
Year 5 student doctor James Lay
"Celebrating Christmas together with family and getting to spend time with them for the first time since September. Not forgetting drinking lots of hot chocolate and snacking on the mince pies!"