A very COVID Christmas Eve: Manitobans rush to prepare for the holidays

WINNIPEG — While so many things have changed about the holidays this year, some things remain the same, including long lines on Christmas Eve.

“We’re stocked up for Christmas and our vacation,” laughed Jay Rynar and Liam Fullerton, after waiting to get into the Liquor Mart in Osborne Village. 

It was also busy inside grocery stores. Bell Harper scratched the final items off her shopping list. 

“It’s going to be very quiet, not the big dinner that I always used to do,” said Harper.

With Canada Post deliveries backed up, some Manitobans headed to the mall so that friends and family aren’t empty-handed Christmas morning.

“Some of our packages never came in the mail, so we had to improvise,” said Jasmine Perona outside Polo Park.

‘IT’S LIKE GOLD’: MARSHMALLOW SHORTAGE 

Like the first wave of the pandemic, something white and fluffy is in high demand once again, but it’s not toilet paper. It’s marshmallows.

“It’s like gold, it’s unbelievable,” said Food Fare owner Munther Zeid on Thursday. 

The grocery store on Portage Avenue is down to one bag. 

“People are definitely in the Christmas mood, they’re baking, they’re eating.”

2020: THE YEAR OF THE ‘PIVOT’

The chef of Prairie Kitchen Catering has also been cooking non-stop.

“Those last-minute ones really put the pressure on this week,” said Matthew Neufeld. 

Neufeld said normally he would be cooking in homes or catering large events, but with COVID-19 restrictions, he switched to curbside deliveries and take-out. 

“2020 is the year of the pivot.”

With big feasts off-limits, more Manitobans are ordering their Christmas dinners. 

Neufeld said he has been so busy he had to ask his family to help with deliveries.

“The response has been fantastic for supporting local businesses like myself,” he said. 

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