Inglewood residents Cesar and Ingrid Gonzalez are looking forward to a Merry COVID-19 Christmas with their four children Michelle, age 12, Angel, 10, Angelina, six, and Damian, age three, even though it will not be the same as previous years. Because of Ingrid’s disability there just is not as much money available to shower the family with the number of gifts that they enjoyed in the past.
Ingrid was employed at Randy’s Donuts and was an expert donut maker until she suffered a disabling injury to her wrist which caused her to lose her job in October, 2019. The $375 she receives in disability payments each week does not compare to her full time employment earnings but she has already managed to place one gift under the living room Christmas tree for each family member. “All of my children believe in Santa Claus,” she said, “and I am sure that he will come to our house with a gift for all of them on Christmas Day.”
This Christmas will be much different from previous ones in the Gonzalez’ household. “When I was working I was able to buy computers, electronic tablets, video games, clothes and other gifts,” Ingrid said. “COVID-19 has changed everything and the children understand that I am not working at the present time and that they are not expecting lots of toys and gifts.”
Being home during the Pandemic, the family has grown even closer as the children are at home all day with Mom doing their school work. Inglewood Unified schools are closed indefinitely and throughout the day the children are on their individual computer completing their remote learning assignments. Damian, the youngest child is entertained with educational videos and television programs while his older siblings are doing their work.
“The children do not miss being in school,” Ingrid said. “They enjoy being at home with their brothers and sisters, having lunch together and occasionally going outside to get some exercise. They know that when they have completed their school work they are free to do whatever they want.”
This year Ingrid plans to make preparing the family’s Christmas meal a family affair. “The meal will include chicken and pork tamales, turkey ham, sweet potatoes, noodles, cake and salad,” she said. “My children love to help and I look forward to making this year’s Christmas meal a very special one.”
Another difference for the Gonzalez family this Christmas is the fact that Ingrid’s father, Francisco, is visiting from Miami and will remain in Inglewood through the beginning of the New Year. It is his first visit to California and the first opportunity for him to meet and spend time with his grandchildren.
“My children love their Grandpa,” Ingrid said, “and his visit and the time he is spending with them is more precious than any gift they could possibly receive. This COVID-19 Inglewood Christmas is different,” she concluded, “but it will also be one of the most memorable for me and my family.”