Messages From Home

They were supposed to be present at Christmas

Between visits to the beach, deveining prawns, pouring more pinot gris, smiling for happy snaps and waiting for sundown to see fairy lights, there’s something magical about Christmas time here in Australia.

Though the magic didn’t glow quite as bright this year. Trying to navigate this ‘new norm’ with the virus still wreaking havoc on shores, frequent government updates to keep our communities safe and travel restrictions changing at the drop of a bauble. The sad reality was not everyone got to enjoy the simple pleasure, and sometimes hectic time, of being present with their families this year. Whether separated by state borders or international waters, Christmas was never going to be the same for 2020.

To recognise this longing to be reunited with loved ones at the most festive time of year, we gave Sydneysiders a helping hand to spread the love and Christmas spirit with our ‘Messages From Home’ series.

Thinking of loved ones in Brazil, America, South Africa, New Zealand, United Kingdom, China and far north Queensland, the smiles captured meant that little bit more this year.

From the sisters who couldn’t see their baby brothers, and the parents awaiting their returned daughter to finish quarantine, to the family who couldn’t see their ill grandmother, this photo series was bittersweet.

We’re grateful to those families for sharing their heavy hearts and letting us photo document this unprecedented festive season.

As you scroll through the photos you may spot our very own Nicholas Fiennes, unusual for him to be in front of the camera, but thanks to selfie-mode he was able to join his own family in wishing their loved ones in South Africa a Merry Christmas.

We hope 2021 sees families reunite, good health and positive news stories regularly on the news cycle and for the Christmas magic to be a whole lot brighter.