It isn't "Christmas as usual" this year. Covid-19 has resulted in restrictions on movement and social contact and, on top of that, there is a great deal of uncertainty, as well as the daily reports of the number of people who have been hospitalised and the number of Covid-19-related deaths.
There is also the constant din of conflicting and contradicting opinions about what the Government should be doing and this is happening in countries around the world.
Twenty-four-hour news is filled with people disagreeing, politicians disagreeing and scientists disagreeing and, of course, everyone has an opinion.
Even Tony Blair - yes, remember him? - was in print this week providing epidemiological advice in a national newspaper article entitled, 'We are in a race against time - we must change our vaccine policy now'.
Back in the summer, Boris Johnson was suggesting that, hopefully, it'll be all over "in time for Christmas". At that time, it seemed possible, but Christmas has come and, while we now have a number of vaccines on the way, it looks as though it will be well into next year before we are back to something resembling normal, or at least a new normal.
Those words "in time for Christmas" remind us of the young men who joined the British Army in the autumn of 1914 with the suggestion that the war would be over in a matter of months and that they would be "home for Christmas".
Instead, those who were still alive spent that first wartime Christmas in the trenches, or in field hospitals, far away from friends and family and with little in the way of material comforts.
On some sections of the front, there was an unofficial truce, with the singing of carols, a game of football and the opportunity to bury casualties, or repair trenches. However, elsewhere the fighting continued on Christmas Day and people were killed.
Indeed, by that first Christmas and after five months of fighting, the toll of British casualties had reached just under 100,000 and in the end four Christmases were to pass and a fifth was approaching before the War came to a close.
Tomorrow morning, many churches will hold Christmas services, but we do well to remember that there will be many places around the world where religious persecution will prevent Christians meeting openly to celebrate the birth of the Saviour.
At present, our liberties are somewhat restricted, but such restrictions are modest and temporary.
They are as nothing compared with the plight of Christians who continue to endure persecution under totalitarian regimes, whether they be communist or Islamist, and parts of Africa where Islamist terrorists hold sway.
Unfortunately, the victims of persecution are often forgotten and only occasionally do their stories reach the headlines, usually after some particular atrocity, before slipping once again from public attention.
Meanwhile, back home, it was not altogether surprising that at least one daily newspaper used the headline, 'The Worst Noel'.
Of course, the headline is a play on the title of the carol The First Noel, but the carol was written in 1823 and so the newspaper wasn't the first to come up with the headline. More than 25 years ago, the television comedy series Married with Children used it for the title of a Christmas-themed episode.
But was 'The Worst Noel' really a fair description of Christmas 2020? It's certainly "not great", but as we look back and look around the world today we can perhaps get a better perspective on things.
It will certainly not be the sort of Christmas that many families will have anticipated, although for some others, who live alone or in difficult circumstances, it may not be that different from what they would have had anyway.
However, for most of us, whatever our circumstances and situation may be, it will certainly not be 'The Worst Noel' and, while we live in a more secular age, there are still many who will look back to the first Noel and a message with which so many Ulster folk will be familiar, that "God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son."