Santa’s COVID Christmas a great keepsake

The way children dealt with the year that was 2020 is often very different to that of adults, many won’t remember, and there will be many that will look back at the COVID-19 lockdown year with a mix of memories.

Christmas was very different for many children last year, families were separated and many families had reduced funds to spend on Christmas gifts.

This is where the children’s picture book ‘Santa’s COVID Christmas’ comes in.

Written by Lexton author Judy Martin, it is now being sold through the East Grampians Health Service Residents’ Support Group as a fundraiser for new equipment at 70 Lowe Street and Garden View Court.

“Santa’s COVID Christmas will make a wonderful keepsake for all children – a book they can pick up in 10, 20, 30 years and be reminded that Christmas in 2020 was very different to anything any of us had ever experienced,” Residents’ Support Group president Marlene Goudie said.

“We are very grateful to Judy for allowing her wonderful book to be a fundraiser for our aged care facilities and encourage everyone to buy a book and put away to pop in Christmas stockings this year.”

Ms Martin, a teacher, developed her love of sharing books and the written language through her work with foundation to year two students. Poetry was often used to write amusing and creative stories with her young students.

Ms Martin was inspired to write the poem in the lead up to Christmas last year when Neil Mitchell and other media outlets were commenting that Santa would still be able to come as there was no COVID-19 at the North Pole.

But Ms Martin’s thoughts were more about those who had suffered both financially and emotionally from the virus.  She was concerned that Christmas 2020 was going to be a lean and lonely time for many and started pondering the idea of sending a message to children through a poem.

Ms Martin said the poem covers many aspects of COVID-19 and the changes everyone had to make in everyday life.

The poem was written in three to four hours one Saturday morning and after widespread feedback, Ms Martin decided to turn it into a book, which lead her to approach 14-year-old illustrator Roza Mac, from Waubra, who provided the beautiful illustrations for the 19 page book

“Her interpretation of the various parts of the poem are impressive and bound to entertain the readers.  She has done an amazing job; she has really made the story in the poem come to life!  It’s been exciting to work together on this project,” Ms Martin said.

‘Santa’s COVID-Christmas’ is available from Foster’s Mensland and We’re Knot Crazy, Residents’ Support Group members or Linda on 0439 802 538. The book costs $15.

Pictured L-R, members of the EGHS Residents’ Support Group, Lynne Wilson, Julie Kuchel, Linda Kerr, author Judy Martin, Marlene Goudie, Jas Chalmers and Chris Clark.